Read Numbers 1
Note three godly principles in today's reading. Integrity — If a man vow a vow (Num. 30:2). Vengeance — The Lord is the only One qualified to take vengeance (Heb. 10:30). Then, who shares the "spoils?" Note how the spoils were divided, and who received a share.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. . . . And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses. . . . Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword (Num. 31:1-2,7-8).
Moses' last official responsibility was to: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites. The war against Midian had been commanded earlier (25:16-18). Now it was the time for the execution to be carried out. The Midianites were to be judged for their wicked sin of persuading the Israelites to participate in their idolatrous worship and immoral acts.
Not one Israelite was killed during their overwhelming victory. Among the thousands of Midianites that died in battle, we find that Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword (31:8).
Balaam failed in his efforts and his many sacrifices to keep Jehovah from blessing His people, but he succeeded in turning the Israelites away from God. Balaam taught the Midianites to invite the Israelites to participate in a religious ritual of Baal-peor that resulted in the Israelite men committing fornication with the Midianite women (25:1-3; 31:16).
Yes, it is the same Balaam who had said: Let me die the death of the righteous (23:10). But his end that resulted in his death was certainly not what he had anticipated.
He is the prophet upon whom the Spirit of God came (24:2), the one who saw the vision of the Almighty (24:4). Yes, Balaam even prophesied the coming of Christ, saying: I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab (24:17).
What a pathetic example of a double-minded man proclaiming prophetic words, yet instigating sinful acts among the people of God that led to the downfall of thousands.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication (Rev. 2:14).
Thought for Today:
But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out (Num. 32:23).
By Moses who judged Israel's actions and passed sentence (Num. 31:1-17). In righteousness He doth judge (Rev. 19:11; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 1:14-15).
30:2 bind his soul, to abstain from something; 30:3 bond, promise; 30:4 hold his peace at, say nothing to; 30:5 disallow, forbid; 30:7 held his peace at, said nothing; 30:9 their souls, themselves; 30:13 void, invalid; 30:16 statutes, regulations; 31:2 be gathered unto thy people, die; 31:11 spoil, plunder; 31:21 ordinance of the Law, biblical Law; 31:23 purified, ceremonially purified; 31:26 prey, booty; 31:28 tribute, tax; beeves, cattle; 31:29 for an heave offering, to be presented as a sacrifice to the Lord, by the gesture of waving before the altar; 31:32 booty, spoils; 31:39 tribute, assessment, portion; 31:47 charge, duties; 31:49 sum, count, accounted for; 31:50 oblation, offering; tablets, necklaces, beads; 31:51 wrought, artfully designed; 31:53 had taken spoil, took away the valuables.
Pray for International Broadcasts: In memory of Audrey Hash • Country: Sudan (28.9 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert • Major languages: Arabic and Nubian • Limited religious freedom • 70% Sunni Muslim; 19% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you strength for today's need (Eph. 3:14-16).
Optional Reading: Luke 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20