They thought it was an apparition. But even as the ass sees the angel, so conscience begins to waken to nobler uses. Dumb things have a voice to him that hath ears to hear, rebuking our madness. Onward still! The Lord answers our prayers sometimes as He answered the prayers of Israel for a king, in His anger; nor is it easy for a greater curse to come upon a man than to be left to the gratification of his own selfish and sinful desires. And this was not cute little cuddly angel… they never are. Other interpreters maintain that his permission to go was on the understood condition that he was not to curse Israel; and that it was because his heart, craving after the gold, was already wavering from this purpose, that the Angel of the Covenant accused him of perverseness, and having given him a striking and solemn warning, suffered him again to go forward. Ridiculous I say the men who will have no miracles, no admission of the supernatural; and ludicrous as well as ridiculous, seeing that it is an ass, of all animals, which is chosen to speak. When the younger son came to himself, he did not say, "I will go back to my father if he wishes me to go, if he will not let me stop where I am," but definitely, "I will arise and go," &c. Therefore, in spite of the angel's presence, the drawn sword, the thrice intimation through the ass, in spite of all the words to make all plain, Balaam goes on. Balaam was a prophet of the Lord. Deny the statement, and the chief virtue of the narrative is lost. Let me first ask attention to SOME PRELIMINARY POINTS WHICH MAY BE NOTED. If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now!". He is the same low-minded man wherever he is, and it matters little to himself whether he is destroyed in Pethor or in Moab. And just as the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, so there are communications of the answering God which can be put in no human tongue. Roberts. This angel had been sent by God in order to stop Balaam from cursing the people Israel. 1. Balaam was certainly not altogether an impostor. So it is with many in common life: they have no wish to injure others; but they wish to secure their own ends, and they do not hesitate to trample on those who stand in their way. ? How small the importance to be attached to mere profession! First, we notice the indulgence of evil desire — desire for gain and honour, which could only be obtained by wrongdoing; his heart goes after covetousness. "A man is known by the company which he keeps."2. Principle is surrendered, honour lost, the soul itself bartered for the wages of unrighteousness. Thus its speaking is prepared for as a climax. Now, Balaam did not see the angel but his donkey did, so the donkey did what any reasonable donkey would do in the face of a warrior angel and turned off the road. Jones. Our associates influence our character. How little do even great men know themselves! Durst thou drink in the same cup, or sit in the same chair, with one that hath an infectious disease? In reality God is beginning to close with us for our own good. Balaam’s Eyes Opened. @j �&5��3����CU���r�7�R�gS�s\__��J��f�`�9B����"vG$p�z �#�V���S��Qwh%k�) �8��niy3b�J��O{w��� W�`Z��O7��Ƃ�y���V��zK����lN� �]_��H5�. "Go with the men" — when neither the first words of God who forbade him, nor the signs and dangers which met him by the way, could turn his heart or deliver him from his error, the Lord bids him to go on — as Jarchi, the Jew, well paraphrases the words — "Go with the men, for thy portion is with them, and thine end to perish out of the world.". It is quite possible for divinely-bestowed gifts to miss their object and intention! But at all events he protests manfully: "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more." There are deeply agitating influences at work upon the mind of him who, yesterday, a master of wise speech and full of graceful hospitality, can say to inoffensive guests, "Get you into your own land; for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you." "I have sinned." 2 0 obj These are they that tremble at every crack of thunder. V. IN THE CHARACTER AND HISTORY OF BALAAM WE HAVE A STRIKING ILLUSTRATION OF THE DECEITFULNESS OF THE HUMAN HEART. His conscience would not allow him to act in direct opposition to the will of God; but, at the same time, his heart was not wholly in God's service. II. And thus many find their consciences as little troublesome, as constantly agreeable, as the ass was to Balaam. Let us pray that God Almighty would cross our most cherished purposes, and defeat our darling projects, rather than suffer us in our own self-willed perverseness to enter upon a path in defiance of His holy will. It is further urged, as a consequence of this construction, that the encounter with the angel took place not at the outset of the journey, but rather towards its close. THE HISTORY OF BALAAM ILLUSTRATES SOME VERY IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT. Let us now proceed to THE ANALYSIS OF THE LIFE AND ITS STORY. AN INDICATION OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD FOR OUR COMPANIONSHIPS.IV.


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