Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 2

About Balaam

Revelation 2:14

Balaam was a genuine prophet (holy man), but he loved money. In Numbers chapters 22 to 24, King Balak of Moab offered to pay him to curse (declare an evil fate for) Israel. Balaam was unable to do that. He could not curse a nation that God had not cursed (Numbers 23:8). So instead, he blessed Israel.

Revelation 2:14 refers, however, not to that incident, but to the next incident in Numbers chapter 25. The Book of Numbers shows, in Numbers 31:16, that Balaam was responsible for that event. Also Christ declares in Revelation 2:14 that Balaam was responsible.

Balaam had taught Balak how he could make God angry against Israel. God would be angry if his people were not loyal to him. So, Balak decided to tempt Israelís men to act in a wicked manner.

Balak made a special holiday for his false god, called Baal. His people invited Israelís people to join them. There was plenty of meat for them, which Baalís priests had offered to Baal. There were also plenty of women who were available to have sex with Israelís men. In the religion of Baal, it was usual for people to carry out wrong sex acts.

The result was that God was angry with his people. They followed their feelings and they were not loyal to him. A terrible illness spread through Israelís camp and many people died (1 Corinthians 10:8).

Some Christians in Pergamum were also allowing their wrong desires to direct their lives. They did it for the same reasons. They wanted to eat the meat that people had offered to false gods. Also, they wanted to have sex with anyone whom they chose. Of course that made Christ angry. He urged them to change their attitudes and to turn back to God. If not, he would act against them in judgement. He would separate wicked people from the people who were truly loyal to him.

Next part: Godís word will act in judgement to separate people (Revelation 2:15-16)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.