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THOSE WHO LOVE GOD
One author noted the apparent difference between the
way some people act in church and the way they live when
not in the presence of stained glass windows and organ music:
"They're praising God on Sunday, they'll be all right on
Monday. It's not a little habit they've acquired." This
disparity between creeds and deeds has been the church's
No claim is laid that this malady originated with Ba-
laam, but God's word does highlight him as a prime example
of those who are ready to deal with both God and Satan.
Erskine could well have had Balaamin mind when he wrote:
"To good and evil bent and both a devil and a saint."
Balaam wanted the best of both worlds. He was "Mr.
Facing Both Ways." He is the Bible's version of Dr. Dolittle's
"push me pull me." He loved God, wanted to be true to God,
he really did. But he also loved power and money, and was
open to raking off some dividends on the side. He had his
His story is scattered all over five chapters of the
book of Numbers. (22-25,31) You see, the King of Moab
was rightly afraid of the invading army of Israel. He had
already seen that armaments were not enough to defeat them.
fie recognized God's power in their conquest. Ile concluded
that the thing to do was to fight spiritual power with
spiritual power. He sent for Balaam, a religious man, in
fact a professional religious man, a prophet. He offered
a sum of money which probably exceeded a prophet's lifetime
income if Balaam would place a curse on the army of Israel.
Well Balaam could not put a curse on God's people, but he
advised King Balak: "You don't have to curse them, just
corrupt them. Their power is in their purity. Remove
their purity and you have removed their power."
So King Balak sortof threw a party. Did it in the
name of religion. But I assure you it was no kool-aid and
cookies affair. He served the best steaks, which had been
offered t ...
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