Chapter 23 and 24- Balak brought Balaam to the edge of the Israelite community as he attempts to have Balaam curse the nation. All three attempts conclude with Balaam blessing them rather than cursing them.
Attempt 1: He cannot curse them because God has not cursed them.
Attempt 2:He cannot undo the blessing of God. God is their King and even warns Balak that they are protected by God.
Attempt 3: He admits that his words are from God himself. He exalts him even above Agag, the future king of the Amalekites. He ends the 3rd message restating the blessing on Abraham “may those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed”.
Balaam was done with Balak and fires him, but I can just see God saying to himself…Balaam is on a roll…let’s give them some more! God continues to use Balaam to give 4 more messages regarding future prophecies.
Chapter 25- SPOILER ALERT. I am going to jump over to Chater 35:15 to tell you HOW this all started!
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.
Apparently, after Balaam was fired, he brainstormed a way still claim the reward from Balak after all. He knew that if the Israelites were seduced to worship another god the Lord wouldn’t protect them. So Balaam said to himself “I am a man…what is my weakenss? Sex.” (He didn’t say that, but I am sure he thought it).
11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
NOW jump into Chapter 25.
If you are tracking the voyage on a map, I want you to see how close they are to the crossing the Jordan River into Cannan!
But the men quickly fall into sexual immorality and bowing down before their gods just as Balaam planned. If you printed the handout on the Priest genealogy, you will see where Phineas is the son of Eleazar. Phinehas puts a quick end to the ordeal by making a sacrifice for their wrongdoing to get them back on track. While Zimri (from the tribe of Simeon) is doing the horizontal mambo with Zozbi (a Midianite), Phineas drove his spear into both of them at the same time.
So here we stand. When the sun is up we can see Jericho! Are we ready?