Summer Growth Challenge - Week 6

The Summer Growth Challenge 2015 project is written by Kevin Kusunoki. He loves mentoring students, watching baseball and reliving his days as the frontman of a boy-band. 

 

With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed -- an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.

The story of Balaam is very interesting. Its tucked away in Numbers chapter 22. It is the story of a prophet who was summoned by the King of Moabites in order to curse the invading Israelites. God, however, ordered Balaam not to help the Moabites.

After a series of strange interactions, one including a talking donkey, God allows Balaam to go with the Moabites, but only on the condition that he only speak what God allows him to speak. And so Balaam goes.  The Moabites expect him to heap curses on the Israelites, but, instead, he blesses them. Seven times this happens! Of course the Moabites are furious.

Now here is the part of the story that Peter is probably referring to in 2 Peter 2. Balaam can’t curse the Israelites because God wouldn’t allow it. So in order to work around that, he began advising the Moabites to seduce the Israelites into sexual immorality by sending their women. This eventually led to the worship of Baal and infuriated the Lord. A plague would result as punishment, and the Israelite people would suffer greatly.  

It is an interesting illustration because the cause of the plague was really two-fold. It was Balaam’s fault because he was deceiving, conniving, and evil. But it was also the people's fault because they gave into temptation so easily. We must not merely be weary of false teachers, we must also be grounded in the truths of God which are in his word. Because ultimately we are responsible for the actions we perform and the people we choose to follow and believe. 

Follow along with our memorization here!