Sunday, January 28, 2018
Block 95 Balaam
Click HERE: Go to Stitchintree.com to download the draft pattern for this block.
“…even as there will be false teachers among you…” 2 Peter 2:1
Have you ever met anyone who talked out of both sides of their mouth? Well, that describes Balaam the prophet. Balaam wasn’t really a false prophet; he was given many of his prophecies directly from God. But rather, Balaam was an evil prophet; he betrayed God and His people, which led to the temptation and destruction of Israel.
The Israelites were in the land of Moab on their way to Canaan. The king of Moab wanted to conquer the Israelites and he enlisted help from Balaam the prophet. The king asked Balaam to pronounce a curse on the Israelites. He promised Balaam a rich reward. Balaam replied that he could only speak the words that God gave him. The words that God gave Balaam were not the words that the king wanted to hear. Three times Balaam pronounced that the Israelites were blessed and could not be cursed. Finally the king was fed up and dismissed Balaam without giving him a reward. Balaam reminded the king that he had warned the king that he would only speak the words that God gave him. As he was leaving, Balaam spoke four additional prophecies. In the final prophecy, Balaam foretold the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Balaam desperately wanted the reward, and he was clever enough to find a way to get the reward without “technically” violating God’s command. God told Balaam to speak only the words God had given him, but God did not tell Balaam that he could not find another way to help the king destroy the Israelites. So Balaam advised the king that the way to destroy the Israelites was to tempt them with prostitutes and false idols. Balaam even helped the king by suggesting to the Israelites that they had the freedom to disobey God. The king heeded Balaam’s advice, and the Israelites did, indeed, fall to temptation and brought a curse upon themselves.
Satan worked through Balaam, and he continues with the same tactics today. If Satan cannot curse us directly, he sneaks in through the back door and tempts us to bring curses upon ourselves. The story of Balaam serves as a warning to us to guard against bad influences in our lives.
I chose the Two Colors Block to represent Balaam. Balaam was the quintessential two-faced prophet. He spoke the word of God, while scheming to work against God’s command.