Balaam: A Prophet for Profit
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Across the pages of Scripture march men and women from all walks of life. The Holy Spirit customarily gives a camera-sharp picture of each one of them. There is generally a clear delineation of character that the Holy Spirit gives to us in a few words.
There are some exceptions to this. There are those whose character is fuzzy. Darkness hides their true nature, and we are not always sure that we have a correct estimation of it. Let me mention some of them. In the Old Testament we see Cain, Esau, Balaam, Samson, Saul, and Absalom. We can't be sure about these men. And in the New Testament there is the rich young ruler (we wonder if he ever came back to Christ); there are Judas, Demas, and Ananias and Sapphira. These are characters who walk in the shadows.
One of these, Balaam, is clearly a prophet for profit. He is one of those enigmatic and mysterious characters in the Word of God, one of the strangest characters in all of Scripture. The question arises: Is Balaam a genuine prophet of God? Or is he a religious racketeer? It's difficult to answer. Is Balaam sincerely seeking to serve God, or is he a fake, as phony as a three-dollar bill?
You be the judge. I'll attempt to tell you all that I have gathered concerning him, and I've read everything that I could put my hands on.
I will let you decide concerning this man. I'm confident that a great many people, when they read Numbers 22, 23, 24 and 25, are ready to dismiss Balaam as an unsavory and an unworthy character not worth further consideration. But you can't do that. Even before you finish the Old Testament, Micah tells us that we're to remember him. Notice what the prophet says,
O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab counseled, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from Acacia Grove to Gilgal, that you may know the righteousness of the LORD. (Micah 6:5)
In other words, Micah says you can't forget him; you can't ignore ...
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