So long as the question of his going with the men was undecided, he betrayed no agitation on the subject; but now that these rewards were passing out of his reach — now that he was absolutely forbidden to do anything that would secure them, a passionate desire to be possessed of them was stirred within his breast, and unmistakably betrayed itself in his behaviour towards the men to whom he had promised to communicate the answer of the Lord.(W. 22 Then God became angry because he went.So while he was riding on his donkey accompanied by his two servants, the LORD’s messenger stood in the road as his adversary. 2. 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. There can be no mistaking the spirit of this language. 1 0 obj
Our associates indicate our character. - Y. And yet, in the midst of all his anger, he cannot bring himself to utter such decisive words as shall foreclose for ever the prospects of advancement opened up to him by Balak. It is at once both insolent and hesitating; it is abrupt, and yet circuitous.
As he rode along, his heart filled with expectation of the future - riches, honours, fame, power - an ample share in the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them. AN INDICATION OF THE DANGER OF DALLYING WITH TEMPTATION.(W.
Roberts. Plainly Balaam wants to go with the princes of Balak, and he is irritated that he cannot go; and so, first of all, he vents his spleen upon the men who were the innocent occasion of his disappointment. Such at all events cannot say that no one has cared for their souls.
When he first saw the rewards of divination he was, perhaps, scarcely conscious of their influence upon his mind. Roberts. It by no means follows because we have spiritual faculties that we are spiritual men. His consciousness of subjection to God in the use of his powers. 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." Observe HOW DANGEROUS A THING IT IS SO MUCH AS TO ATTEND OR LISTEN TO THE CHARMS OF WEALTH AND HONOUR. The reiterated overtures of Balak should have been indignantly rejected. 1. I confess that this view of the case commends itself to my own judgment.
But Balaam had in view the possibility of wielding forces above nature, cursing Israel so that its strength might utterly melt away. 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. if he wishes me to go, if he will not let me stop where I am,", Balaam; Or, Spiritual Influence, Human and Divine, God Permits Balaam to Go, and Yet is Angry, No Contradiction Between God's Two Answers to Balaam, Obedience Without Love, as Instanced in the Character Of, Perversion as Shown in the Character of Balaam, The Talking Ass, and What it Taught Balaam, Possible origin of the chronicle of Balaam. The prohibition seems hard and unreasonable. 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." Let us not fail to notice this instance of the lower creation recognizing God's messenger. But this is the just judgment of God upon them that have not their peace made with Him, to be vexed in their minds with unnecessary fears (Leviticus 26:36; Deuteronomy 28:65, &c.). "Go with the men," the Lord says to him, giving him up to his own heart's lusts, which he followed to his destruction. Thou canst not be long among unholy ones but thou wilt hazard the defiling of thy soul, which the Holy Spirit hath made pure.
He opens the mouth of the prophet's ass. 1. 2.
He may indeed plead God's permission, but this plea will avail him nothing. And yet, in the midst of all his anger, he cannot bring himself to utter such decisive words as shall foreclose for ever the prospects of advancement opened up to him by Balak.
�9�x��}��e�t��`\�D�!�!�@B�E�r�"�? Balaam was certainly not altogether an impostor. For a long time the ass had only been of ordinary and commonly accepted use. He was an old donkey, having carried Balaam for many years 3. Learn —.
AN INDICATION OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD FOR OUR COMPANIONSHIPS.IV. We argue concerning the lower animals far more from ignorance and carelessly-accepted tradition than from real and discerning knowledge. V. Observe, further, that when once willful men have run such lengths in opposition to the will of Heaven, GOD THEN GIVES THEM UP TO A REPROBATE MIND, AND LETS THEM FALL FROM ONE DEGREE OF WICKEDNESS TO ANOTHER. So it has been with many zealous persecutors: they have no natural thirst for human blood; they have thought only of the establishment of their creed — the extension and honour of their Church.
"A man is known by the company which he keeps."2. The second motive is envy. The mischief is in what is left unsaid, because unthought. We have seen that the first effect of besetting sin is that the Lord is served reluctantly. I. It is quite possible for divinely-bestowed gifts to miss their object and intention! I. God, as his custom is, takes the weak things of the world to confound the mighty.
Balaam belonged to that still numerous class who theoretically know God, and who actually do fear Him, but whose love and fear of God are not the governing principles of their minds. I. III. 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. The word telling Balaam that he might go to Balak was not like the call to Abram to get out of his country and away from his kindred to a land which the Lord would show him; nor like the sending of Moses to Pharaoh, and Jonah to Nineveh. Balaam was traveling along the path on his donkey and the donkey saw that there was an angel on the path in front of him. 1.
( W. Gurnall..)The Lord refuseth to give me leaveHesitating to do rightW. We know positively nothing as to what sort of consciousness underlies the phenomena of their existence. Some sort of conscience they must have, but it amounts to nothing more than taking care to keep a reputation for honesty and respectability. Then, how he struggles with conscience! 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a path among the vineyards, where there was a wall on either side.
%PDF-1.5 In his heart Balaam desired permission to go with the princes of Moab, because he coveted the wages of unrighteousness; and God gave him that permission.
he is fascinated by the very means of his ruin: like a silly fish, he is playing about the bait.
One thing more we may observe from his history, which is this: THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD MAY SOMETIMES VOUCHSAFE TO COME UPON A VERY WICKED MAN (so far as concerns the extraordinary gifts) WITHOUT REFORMING OR INFLUENCING THE SAME MAN AS TO HIS LIFE AND MORALS, in the way of ordinary operation. There are 22104 characters in the full content.
1. All this may be true, but there is no distinct affirmation of it in the narrative and it is not necessary to assume it for reconciling purposes.
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