My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, so that you may acknowledge the righteousness of the LORD.’ ”- Micah 6:5 BSB
Notice the command of the prophet MICAH; REMEMBER! God knows how we have a problem remembering the RIGHT THINGS. We remember our trauma, our drama, who wronged us, or the times when God didn’t answer our prayers…. We have a tendency to keep our pound of flesh, our record of wrong. Our walk with God really comes down to what we choose to RE-MEMBER. The word remember means to PUT BACK TOGETHER. Every time we put the arms and legs onto Mr. Potato Head, we RE-MEMBERED him, we put him back together. One of the greatest prayers in Judaism is the SHEMA; Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the entire SHEMA means to HEAR! When we remember we replay things and we HEAR them again, or SEE them again, or FEEL\experience them again- we put it back together. We are told to remember 2 things specifically: the interaction between Balaam and Balak about the cursing of the Jews and the Journey from Shittim to Gilgal. We must REMEMBER GOD IS IN CONTROL! He is omniscient, and as we remember these 2 things we will see and hear and feel, God is in control and HIS WILL, will be done! Let’s look at the 2 things the Prophet Micah is told by God to tell us to remember!
Leader, this interaction between Balaam and Balak is really important. Throughout Scripture Balaam and the interactions between him and Balak are mentioned numerous times. There is more said in Scripture concerning Balaam than there is said about Mary the mother of Jesus. There is more said about him than about ten of the apostles of the Lord all put together. Therefore, the Word of God does give some emphasis to him. The New Testament mentions him three times – always in connection with apostasy. In three of the apocalyptic messages of the New Testament you will find references to this Balaam and his doctrine, his way, and his error. God is telling us to pay attention to this character Balaam. He is mentioned in 57 Verses, from 8 Books and the 3 mentions and books in the New Testament are all PROPHETIC! Balaam is a model, he is a WAY, and it is an ERROR, and it becomes a DOCTRINE of being separated from the DIRECT WILL OF GOD. When we consider Balaam, and this encounter with God and Balak, it brings into question the Will of God. It has been suggested that there is a DIRECT will of God for our lives, however, there also exists a PERMISSIVE will of God for our lives! God works with what we give HIM. That is the essence of ROMANS 8:28; God causes ALL THINGS to work for the good of those who LOVE HIM and are called according to His Purpose (WILL). God’s DIRECT WILL WAS expressed to Balaam right at the beginning of this interaction. Hear the Word of the Lord; And Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them away.’” But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:10-12) This could have been a really short story! Numbers 22:2 introduces us to Balaam, and it should have ended with Verse 14: And the princes of Moab arose, returned to Balak, and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
Conduit, what a message for all of us! This is why there is so much in scripture referencing this seemingly insignificant man, in the overall picture of God, Humanity and the Good News of Salvation through a saving relationship with Jesus, the Christ. Balaam’s story doesn’t end till 9 chapters later, under the Title; Vengeance on Midian. Then they waged war against Midian, as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. Among the slain were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. (Numbers 31:8-9) We must remember God is a JUST GOD; Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, referencing Deuteronomy 32:35) Balaam like many of us, attempted to do things HIS WAY, instead of GOD’S way, while pretending to want GOD’S WILL! After receiving God’s Direct Will in v 14, Balaam persisted because of the TREASURES OF THIS WORLD that he was seeking. Then Balaam received an altered WILL, it was God’s PERMISSIVE WILL. That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, get up and go with them, but you must only do what I tell you.” So in the morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. (Numbers 22:20-21) This train of thinking can be supported in scripture, indicated by the fact that the ANGEL OF THE LORD stood in his path to hinder him, he was going to kill him! “Then God’s anger was kindled because Balaam was going along, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him”. (Numbers 22:22) Another piece of data to support this position is how clear it is made that BALAAM DID NOT DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS! He was slain among those who were slain by the vengeance of God. The potential understanding of the 2 wills of God could also shed light on other scriptures: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9) See also 1 Timothy 2:4; Hebrews 10:9; Ezekiel 18:23…. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37) The TIME IS NOW, decide; Do you want God’s best- His DIRECT WILL or are you lowering ‘the bar’ and just shooting for FIRE INSURANCE? Balaam is a SHADOW of someone who communicated with God, called Himself a child of God, who MADE MONEY OFF OF GOD, who God used for His Will, BUT who died the death of an unrighteous person and is used to remind the world of its Way, it’s Doctrine and it’s ERROR! Choose well!