86. Don't compromise for fleeting pleasures

The Israelites had conquered the Amorites and they had conquered King Og of Bashan. They were on a winning streak and it felt good to be making some progress beyond their wilderness existence. They camped east of the Jordan river and King Balak of the Moabites were terrified when he saw them. They were as many as the sand on the sea shore and he had heard what they had done to the Amorites and King Og and he was scared out of his wits. And the first thing he did was to run to a sorcerer, Balaam. Balaam was famous for the fact that those people that he blessed seemed to be blessed and people that he cursed seemed to be cursed. And now Balak wanted Balaam to come and curse the Israelites on his behalf in the hope that it would work. He sent his officials to Balaam with money to try and persuade him to come and curse the Israelites. Balaam was flattered by the offer and told them that they should sleep over so that he can hear from God. God did in fact appear to Balaam that night and told him not to curse the Israelites, as He had already blessed them.  Balaam informed the officials of what God had said and they then returned to Balak with the bad news.

But Balak didn't let that deter him. He sent even more distinguished officials and promised even more money if Balaam would just come and curse them. Now instead of telling them to leave as God had already told him to, he was flattered by the distinguished officials and the lure of money and told them that he would ask God once again in the hope that He would change His mind. He was in fact basically telling them that he would try and 'twist God's arm'. Now of course God doesn't allow anyone to 'twist His arm' on matters and He was displeased with Balaam for allowing the lure of money to entice him to sin.

And today we must also stand strong against the lure of money. It is so easy today to twist God's Word to mean something totally different than what it meant to say, in order to gain popularity and to make some money in the process too. Many use the Bible to justify their actions. Popular opinion and the selling of books have become a big industry for Christian leaders too, especially in America. Unpopular, though biblical, opinions are not voiced and not penned down in the fear of losing wealthy members in their congregation and out of fear that their book sales will decline. God's Word is not to be twisted. Sin is always wrong, no matter what it is and to try and rationalize it in order to be 'in' with popular opinions is not God's way. God's way may not always be the popular route, in fact, it is mostly the difficult route to take. But we shouldn't be like Balaam who sold his soul for status and money (2 Peter 2:15). We should stay on the right path and should take a stand for what is right.

Money and status is the name of the game in our society today. But God is not impressed with it. What counts for Him is what we do on this earth to promote His Kingdom. His Kingdom will last forever and the effect we have on it now, will last forever too. Our reward is there. We are royalties, citizens of the new Jerusalem to come and we shouldn't jeopardize that for the fleeting pleasures of this world.

Father please help us not to be like Balaam. He fell for the lure of money. Help us to look past the alluring wealth of this world towards our true treasures that lie with You. Amen

1 comment for “86. Don't compromise for fleeting pleasures”

  1. Gravatar of MariMari
    Posted Wednesday, 07 May 2014 at 7:56:59 PM

    Amen. Ons moenie vir ons skatte op die aarde bymekaar maak nie, maar skatte in die hemel

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