Hezekiah, 13th King of Judah

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King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

A little background before we begin: the nation of Israel divided after King Solomon (because Solomon abandoned the Lord – 1 King11)  The north, or Samaria, had 10 tribes and the south, Judah had 2 tribes. Long story short, North Israel- Samaria  was ultimately destroyed while  Hezekiah reigned in Judah, the kingdom of Israel was  taken captive by Assyria and the people were scattered among the nations. The remaining nation of Judah stood alone. The bible tells us the that the fall of Israel was due to the sins of their kings and the people. I’m not talking about one or two sins, I’m talking about years and years of the people rejecting God, rejecting God’s laws, refusing to listen to warning and finally meeting their ultimate destruction.

Enter King Hezekiah at age 25 as King of Judah. Now Judah was not without fault, but within Judah, God saw a remnant of righteousness and King Hezekiah was one who stood out at being righteous before the Lord.   The Kings had the power to bring sin or righteousness into the nation with their leading. Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz was a wicked king, even sacrificing his own sons and being in alliance with Assyria, yes the nation who destroyed their own family to the north, Israel. Hezekiah, his son,  steps in and changes everything – for the good.

Hezekiah begins to rule in the 3rd year of King Hoshea of Israel. Just 6 years later, Samaria/Israel is wiped out and destroyed by Assyria leaving only southern Judah ruled by Hezekiah standing strong. Samaria/ Israel falls during Hezekiah’s of Judah’s 6th year because ” Israel refused to listen to the Lord their God and obey him” . Assyria eventually goes after Judah, because, unlike his father, Hezekiah will not submit to Assyria. Assyria is  unsuccessful, all  thanks to the Lord’s amazing help, his angelic army, and his strategic maneuvers.

Hezekiah’s story begins in 2 Chronicles 29 and 2 Kings 18 (Also in Isaiah)

K Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord

  • He repaired and opened the Temple doors
  • Demanded the Levites purify themselves and once again lead the people to worship the Lord
  • Cleansed the temple
  • brought back the Passover
  • during his reign, the leaders of Simeon completely destroyed the descendants of Ham and the Meunites- No trace of them remains today. They destroyed them and took their land. They also destroyed the few Amalekites who survived.
  • Brought back the feasts of the Lord
  • held the greatest celebration to the Lord since the days of Solomon
  • He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, obeying all the commands of Moses
  • He conquered the Philistines in Gaza
  • he broke the bronze serpent that Moses had made because the people of Israel had been offering scarifies to it. They had named it Nehushtan
  • Brought goods back into the storehouses for the Priests
  • brought knowledge to the people by having Levites teach the knowledge of the Lord
  • repaired walls, erected towers, put up a second wall , reinforced terraces
  • manufactured weapons and shields
  • built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and other valuables
  • built a pool and dug a tunnel to bring water into the city
  • saved a nation because of his humble heart and obedience to God
  • He constructed many storehouses for grain, new wine and olive oil.
  • He made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats
  • He built many towns and God gave him great wealth
  • He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon
  • he brought back the Passover and feasts of the Lord
  • he purified the priests, the temple and the people
  • collected and recorded Proverbs of King Solomon Pr 25-
  • He brought back and obeyed all the commands of God, the commands the Lord have to King David
  • “And so he succeeded in everything he did” 2 Chronicles 32:30
  • lived during time of prophet Isaiah and prophet Micah of Moresheth

Once the Temple and priests were cleansed, he gathered the people and made a great offering/ sacrifice to the Lord for the sins of all the people

Imagine this first gathering of worship:

 The entire assembly worshiped the Lord as the singers sang and the trumpets blew, until all the burnt offerings were finished. Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship. King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the psalms written by David and by Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship…. So the Temple of the Lord was restored to service.  And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.

This was an amazing day for the people, imagine everyone in the land coming together as one to offer praise and honor the Lord with song and rejoicing, but also with repentant hearts and acknowledgment of their sin and God’s mercy

This was just the beginning! He sent word inviting the people of Ephrain, Manasseh, Jerusalem, all Israel to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. At this time, the people had not celebrated Passover. Word went out to all the people, some mocked them and others humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

A HUGE crowed assembled to celebrate God’s holy feast of unleavened bread! They removed the idols and the pagan altars. Although they missed the original day of Passover, instead of waiting for the proper day the following year, they held the Passover a month later than usual. The local people were not properly prepared or cleansed for this special feast so  Hezekiah prayed,  “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.”  And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.

I find it amazing how quickly and instantly God hears prayers – there is no time delay or a waiting period. There may be a waiting period to be answered, but God immediately hears prayers. (also see Daniel, his prayer was instantly heard and instantly answered but demonic forces stood in the way of the answer arriving)

Imagine this holy celebration! It was the GREATEST CELEBRATION since the days of King Solomon:

The people of Israel in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for 7 days! Each day the Levites and priests sang to the Lord, with  loud instruments The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.The entire assembly decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week.  The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah. There was GREAT JOY, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.

Wow, just wow.

After the celebration, the people continued to destroy all the idols, pillars, poles, shrines and pagan altars. K. Hezekiah made so many good changes, by good, I mean by bringing the people back to the Lord. Teaching them, bringing knowledge of God’s word to the people, restoring the duties of the priests and Levites in order to Honor the Lord as well as bringing the tithes of people back to the temple. The people gladly gave until there was an overflow of abundance.

TROUBLE COMES, Here comes Assyria….

King Sennacherib of Assyria invades Judah (remember, he had just destroyed Samaria and taken the land captive and Hezekiah’s father was bf with Assyria) . Hezekiah strategically blocks the Assyrians water supply, increases military strength, creates new weapons and enforces protection around the city. He tells the people: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.

TAUNTING WORDS OF DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESPAIR

King Sennecherib of Assyria mocks King Hezekiah of Judah and his hope in God. His words are meant to discourage and crush the hope of the people. He mocked the God they hoped in. (2 Chronicles 32) The Assyrians shouted the threats and hopelessness to all who had gathered along the wall to listen. Instead of speaking in Arabic, they shouted in Hebrew so all the people could hear and understand. And they shouted:

  • What makes you think your God can rescue you from me?
  • Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t listen to your king!
  • your king, Hezekiah, will never be able to rescue you from my power.
  • Don’t let your king fool you into trusting in the Lordby saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’
  • no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors.
  • Hezekiah is misleading you
  • Make a peace treaty with me and you will be blessed
  • perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lordour God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah?
  • Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?
  • Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors?
  • the God of Hezekiah will also fail
  • What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?
  • What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lordcan rescue Jerusalem from me?”

These words of discouragement were shouted to all the people gathered on the walls of the city in their own language so they could understand and try to terrify them. King Hezekiah’s men tell the men to Assyria to shhhhhh! and talk in Arabic so the people wouldn’t hear but they refused and said ” King of Assyria wants all the people to hear it, for when we put you to seige, they will suffer with you! You will be hungry, thirsty so much you will eat your own dung and drink your own urine”

However, the king had commanded the people to be silent and not to answer the Assyrians so the people did not utter a word. The Kings men reported to Hezekiah and  tore their clothes in despair as they went. Hezekiah joins them, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and went to the Temple. He sent his men to call on Isaiah and request prayer  and tell the Lord how the king of Assyria had defied the living God.

ISAIAH STEPS IN

The prophet Isaiah and K.Hezekiah cried out in prayer.  and the Lord sent and angel to destroy the Assyrian army 185000 of them, the ground was littered with corpses when the rest of the Assyrian army awoke! God hears prayer! As prophesied, King Sennecherib of Assyria went back to Ninevah, his capital, and as he was worshiping his god Nisroch, his 2 sons killed him with a sword and Esahadon became next ruler of Assyria..see below for full story:

King Hezekiah sends messengers requesting prayer and and update on what is going on with Assyria.  Isaiah reports to K. Hezekiah: ” The Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian King’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land where I will have him killed with a sword”

Then, as the Lord had said,  King Sennecherib  is called back home to Assyria and eventually killed by his own sons.(with a sword)- and even on his way back home, before his death, he sent more threats to Hezekiah, saying don’t trust in your God! He deceives you with promises.

Hezekiah prays in the temple with the letter spread out before the Lord and asks the Lord to look at the words , listen to the defiance against the living God.

Isaiah sends message to King of Assyria/ King Sennecherib 2 Kings19:20-30

The daughter of Zion laughs in your face –  oh Assyria, you are despised, we shake our heads as you walk by, what a joke you are

Who do you think you’ve been defiling? Against who did your raise your voice? No one messes with our God, the living God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, No one.

You think your men and your chariots make you so great? you think because you’ve destroyed nations that you are above God? You sit in your abundance of pride, but God is not mocked.

Your end approaches. Have you not heard? The Lord planned this out before you existed! Long ago, and now it is happening. I planned for you to crush those nations, that was the Lord, not your own power.  But Oh Assyria, the Lord know you very well. He knows where you go, where you came from, the words youve spoken against Him and now the Lord says ” I will put a hook in your nose and a bit in your mouth. I will make your return by the same road on which you came”

Isaiah gives Hezekiah a promise from the Lord (vs29) and another word against the king of Assyria- that their armies would not enter Jerusalem, nor surround it, the king will return to his own country

THAT NIGHT!

An angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 18500 Assyrian soldiers

Hezekiahs untimely death and sickness about this time- Hezekiah is in his 14th year of reign and all this stuff with Assyria just went down…

Hezekiah becomes deathly ill,  Isaiah brings a word from the Lord to him ” Get your affairs in order, you are going to die, you will not recover” but prayer….. Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and before Isaiah had left, the Lord said – Go back and tell Hezekiah, I have heard his prayer and in 3 days I will heal you. I have seen your tears. I will add 15 years to your life and I will rescue you and this city from Assyria- for the sake of my servant David.

The SUN GOES BACKWARDS? FIG OINTMENT?

Read 2 Kings 20:7-11 We have and odd verse that Isaiah made a fig ointment that was put on the kings boils, then he was healed. Also a sign was given to Hezekiah proving God would heal him, he was given the option of the shadow on the sundial to forward 10 steps or backward 10 steps, Well Hezekiah says backwards, because it always goes forward. And Isaiah prayed, and the Lord caused the shadow to move 10 steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!

Sin of PRIDE Sneaks in the Heart 

After the Lord healed him, scripture says : “But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.  Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

The Test of Hezekiah’s heart

You have to read the version in Chronicles, Isaiah and Kings to get the full picture . Here it is:

God withdrew himself from Hezekiah in order  to test him and see what was really in his heart.  This happened when Hezekiah decided to show the ambassadors from Babylon every single thing he owned when they visited him”

The son of the king of Babylon heard Hezekiah was healed of his sickness (boils) and sent good wishes and a gift to Hezekiah. Hezekiah welcomed the people of Babylon into his house and showed them everything in his royal treasuries.

This reminds me of a verse in 2 John :If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.” Hezekiah should not have let the ambassordors to Babylon in his house nor shown them all he had.

Somehow, that I do not understand, this was a test of Hezekiah’s heart. Was he firm in standing with God? Did he honor God’s house? Who did he trust? it seems he did not pass this test.

Isaiah soon comes along and questions Hezekiah about what he’s just done..yeah- showing the enemy all your treasures, being their friend and bringing them into your house. The Lord then sent a message: The time is coming when everything in your palace, all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left. Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile” and the King thought to himself ” At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime” ( Hezekiah knew something more)

We always need to be on alert for sin in our heart. K. Hezekiah became proud and the Lord was angry,  The anger came against the land of Judah and Jerusalem but not during K. Hezekiah’s lifetime

Hezekiah in book of Jeremiah:

Hezekiah was remembered among the people in Josiah’s day (Hezekiah’s great grandson) for honoring God’s prophet when doom was pronounced on  them. Usually a king would kill a bearer of bad news, but when the prophet Micah prophesied disaster and ruins, King Hezekiah respected the words and instead of killing him, King Hezekiah and the people turned from their evil ways, begged for mercy and worshiped the Lord. Then the Lord changed his mind about the disaster had pronounced against them.

Hezekiah in Proverbs

He collected the proverbs of King Solomon.(over 200 years had passed, Hezekiah was 13 kings after Solomon. See proverbs 25, probably chapters 25-29, Here are a few King Hezekiah collected

Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
    or you will wear out your welcome.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
    is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
    or pouring vinegar in a wound

It’s not good to eat too much honey,
    and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.

A person without self-control
    is like a city with broken-down walls.

Hezekiah did not have a godly example of a father: (133 years of history condensed below)

Understand that Hezekiahs father, King Ahaz, was a wicked king – the opposite of his son Hezekiah. Ahaz reigned for 16 years starting at age 20. Hezekiah’s righteousness was probably taught to him from his mother -which might explain why her name is mentioned ” His (Hezekiahs) mother was Abijah, (Abi) the daughter of Zechariah”. He also knew much about history which is evident during his reign, as well as the laws of God. Ahaz, his father, rejected the Lord, he sacrificed his sons in the fire, he burned incense to shrines, shut the temple doors so no one could worship the Lord, he worshipped Ball, he made pagan shrines in all the towns, he rearranged the temple and sacrificial times and made his own rules based on what he saw the pagans doing in Assyria and their idol worship.

Hezekiah ruled for 29 years beginning at age 25. At age 39 he was given another 15 years to live. He died at age 54-55 and his (wicked) son Manasseh (age 12) ruled in his place, he was king of Judah for 55 years until his son Amos ruled (2 years)  then Josiah (age 8) rules for 31 years. King Hezekiah was a great and godly king, he did much good yet the sin of pride came in as a destroyer. Just like we see with King Solomon who, although a great and wise king, died in his sins. How easily the world pulls us into sin. We need to be diligent in our walk along the narrow path – a path that is difficult and few find it. Don’t get caught on the highway to hell, the path that is wide, easy and many choose- Matthew 7,  Isaiah is accused of walking this “narrow path” in Isaiah 30:11 ‘Get off your narrow path and stop telling us about your Holy One of Israel

Verse to think about:

Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:8

 

 

“These are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3 Are you being tested?

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“these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3

When I read this  verse in Judges, I thought NO! That’s horrible, no more testing! They need a break, but wait….  He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. In  the wilderness, the tests and trials they experienced were to refine them, to humble them, to know what was in their heart, to see if they loved the Lord with all their heart and whether they would keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 8:2  Deuteronomy 13:3Judges 2:22

The people of Israel finally reached their promised land after wandering for 40 years but God did not destroy all their enemies.  The Lord left Israel’s enemies so that they might be tested. I couldn’t believe it when I read it, why!? They experienced plagues, death, sword, leprosy, sickness, they even saw those who rebelled be swallowed up by the ground. Finally – they reached the promise land, the promise given to Abraham but their testing and proving still was not completed. You’d think, phew! Finally! They made it, but they were still not at their final destination, they needed more testing in order teach the next generation.

 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.1 Peter 4:12-13

HE RIDES ACROSS THE HEAVENS TO HELP YOU

Even in all Israel’s trials, God always wanted them to know how much He loved them. This same truth is for you today, He wants you to know that He loves you and He has always loved you. His thoughts for you outnumber the sands on  the shore, He loves you with an everlasting love. Isaiah 40:30 tells us that those who wait on the Lord (that means to reach out to Him/trust) will renew their strength, mount with eagle wings, run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. He is your source of strength. Reach out to Him. “ Indeed He loves His people, His holy ones are in His hands” Dt 33:3 and also “He will never leave you nor forsake you” Dt 31:8. Jesus said “and lo, I am with your always, even until the end of this age”

 Who rides the heavens to help you,And in His excellency on the clouds Dt 33

  To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.ps 68:33

Even though the people of Israel endured many trials and still had much more ahead, they knew the Lord was with them. We know the Lord doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He still rides the heavens to help you.  Every time the people cried out to the Lord, He came to help them.  They cried out to the Lord 50X

We, like the Israelites in the wilderness, look forward to our heavenly country 

Hebrews 11:10, 13-16 :  Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God……. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

As I read the verse above, I wonder if the walk of the Israelites through the wilderness to the promised land represents our walk on this earth as we journey to our promised land. Just as Israel reached their promised land, so we have received our promise but our enemies are still here – just as they were with Israel. Jesus defeated death, He made a way for us but we still have much work do to. We are told we wage an invisible war, we are soldiers of the cross not to be entangled with the things of this world.  We embrace these promises as we walk as strangers and pilgrims on this earth.We, like the Israelites, are headed to the promise, our heavenly country. We, like them, will die in faith seeing this promise afar off. We don’t see the heavens, we don’t see eternity just as Israel didn’t see the promise, but they knew it was ahead- it was in their heart. We know that there is a heavenly country ahead that we journey to also. Maybe the walk of the Israelites is symbolic of our walk today.  Yet, we are also told that as we walk here, we are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God because of Christ Jesus.  Even on this journey, the Lord is with us just as He was with Israel as they walked. (Eph 2:19)

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,  having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.1 Peter 1:11-12

In Ecclesiastics 3, King Solomon wrote that everything has it’s time

 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

 

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How do we handle life during seasons of testing?

  1. Cry out to Him
  2. Patiently Endure
  3. Reach out to Him and He will help you Isaiah
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Put on the Armor of God- we don’t fight flesh and blood, but the unseen
  6. Rejoice and Count it all Joy (it develops great endurance)

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and then there are other times when God brings peace and lets you rest for a while. It’s good to know that in whatever circumstance you are in, God is always there for you. Have you cried out to Him? Are you too overwhelmed to pray? Ask someone for prayer to help you though this time.  Romans 5:3-5 tells us to rejoice in our trials, because it is during these times that we change. James 1:12-15 promises God’s blessing on those who patiently endure testing and temptation.

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-4

 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:12-15

The testing of our faith produces patience and this testing refines us as silver is refined or gold is tested.

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  •  Revelation 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
  • 1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
  • James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
  • Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
  • Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
  • Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
  • Psalm 66:10 For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
  • Zechariah 13:9I will bring the one–third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
  • 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
  •   In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.  We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 cor 6
  • James 5:11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy

 

 The great men and women in the bible had to go through testing and trials. Consider Joseph, Job, Abraham, Joshua, Moses, David, Jeremiah, the prophets, Jesus, Paul, Esther, Gideon, Elijah and many more. Every great man and woman of God endured trials.

IS ALLAH THE SAME GOD AS THE GOD OF THE CHRISTIANS AND JEWS ? “MUSLIMS, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD”

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The title above is straight from America’s World History Books taught in every public school. It is also spoken by Muslims so we would, as they request, worship no other god but Allah, but is this the same God? Are the words we hear true? We will go straight to the source to discover the truth. No opinions, no theories, no lies. We will go straight to the quran/koran and the bible and see if these words are  true.

Not knowing the truth is detrimental to your life, the generations to come and the future of your country. The masses are told and the children are taught that Allah of Islam is the same God of the ‘People of the book’ aka Christians and Jews. It is important that you make sure you know the truth because lack of knowledge can destroy your very soul. Please tell your children, your grandchildren and your family the truth I will share below. I have seen much confusion on this and knowing the truth will clear up any confusion. There is a scheme to turn all to Allah and since so many Christians and church goers don’t read or study the bible, they will never know the truth – they will be those in the last days that will be easily deceived, but today we can change that.

To accept and believe in Allah as  the one true God is to reject God’s Son

The Quran says that Allah has no son, in fact, it is blasphemy to say he has a son
Allah says that Jesus was only a messenger; a son of Mary. Their book teaches that Jesus was a prophet sent from Allah to deceive Christians, that Jesus was never crucified, it was only made to appear that way. Quran Surah (Chapter) 171,5:35,43:81-82, 30, 4:157, 4:142,4:159

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not: Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness The Christian say, ‘The Messiah is the son of God.’ These are but baseless assertions made in earlier times by those who deny the truth. May God destroy them 9:30

The bible tells us that anyone who denies that God has a Son has the spirit of Antichrist, anyone who does not acknowledge the truth of Jesus is a deceiver and the antichrist: Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7

• 1 John 2:22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.
• 1 John 4:3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
• 2 John 1:7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.

We were forewarned of this

In 2 Corinthians 11:3-5 and Galatians 1:6-9 we are told to beware, lest we also be deceived as Eve was, of anyone who preaches another Jesus or if you receive a different spirit that you have not received or a different gospel- DO NOT ACCEPT IT, DO NOT PUT UP WITH IT. Beware of those who pervert the gospel – even if an angel from heaven preach another gospel to you, let him be accursed. Listen carefully : if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed!

Does God have a Son?

Let’s stop and go back to the scripture of the prophets and Torah – before Jesus was born. What did Israel know? What was written in their holy scriptures?

1. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 30:4 that God has a son (fulfilled Matt 27:54, 1 John 5:13, Rev 2:18, John 3:19, John 1:1-3)
2. Isaiah 7:14 tells us a virgin will conceive and His name will mean ‘God with us” Immanuel, He will be a ruler and a priest (fulfilled Matthew 1:23)
3. David said God has a Son in Psalm 2:4-12 and His inheritance would be the ends of the earth (Matthew 1:23)
4. Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us a Son will be given, His name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace

What do we know about this Son? What was foretold before His coming?

1. He would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 (fulfilled Matthew 2:1)
2. He will come riding upon a donkey, He is just and bringing salvation Zechariah 9:9(fulfilled John 12. Matthew 21)
3. The price they appraised Him at was 30 pieces of silver Zach 11:12 (fulfilled Matthew 27:3. Matthew 24:14-16)
4. The money was to be cast to the potter in the house of the Lord Zech 11:13 (fulfilled Matthew 27:10)
5. His hands would be wounded in the house of his friends. Zechariah 13:6 (fulfilled Mark 15:20, John 19, John 20:26-27)
6. He would be oppressed, afflicted, would open not his mouth as a lamb to the slaughter Isaiah 53:7 ( fulfilled Mark 15, John 19, Luke 23)
7. His grave was with the wicked and with the rich in death because he had done no violence neither was their deceit in His mouth Isaiah 53;9 (Matthew 27, Mark 15)
8. His hands and feet would be pierced. Psalm 22:12 (fulfilled Mark 15:20, John 19, John 20:26-27)
9. Daniel prophesied the exact days until his triumphant arrival. March 445BC – April 32AD) Daniel 9:25

Chuck Misler did the math on these 8 prophecies and the chances of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000 – that’s 28 zeros behind the 10. That would be like putting a mark on one silver dollar and mix it with others – enough to fill the entire earth all the way up to the moon. The chances of the one silver dollar you pick up to be the one with the mark on it is the same chance that one man – Jesus Christ- 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000 would fulfill all 8 of the above prophecies. (Cosmic Codes by Chuck Misler) There are only 8 prophecies listed above, but there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament of Jesus.

Daniel prophesied the exact days until his triumphant arrival. Daniel 9:25
“Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem (March 445 BC)
Until Messiah the Prince, (April 32AD)
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; (477 years=68.14 weeks- difference is days March 14- to entry in April)
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

For more prophecies on God’s Son Jesus :Is Jesus a Prophet or was He the Son of God? , Prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament , Who is Jesus? Let the ancient prophets speak  and  Is Jesus here? Last days Prophecy Warning: Jesus Messiah vs. False Messiah Isa predicted in Hadith

God loves the Jewish people : “ I have loved you with an everlasting love;Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel! Jer 31:1-4
Allah hates/despises the Jews : 5:60-65Say “Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allah and His Wrath, those of whom (some) He transformed into monkeys and swines, those who worshipped Taghut (false deities); such are worse in rank (on the Day of Resurrection in the Hell-fire), and far more astray from the Right Path (in the life of this world). The Jews say: “Allah’s hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief. And if only the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) had believed (in Muhammad SAW) and warded off evil (sin, ascribing partners to Allah) and had become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2) We would indeed have blotted out their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise). Anyone who does not believe, Allah has put a disease in their hearts : http://quran.com/search?q=disease+heart

ARE MUSLIMS PEACE LOVING? Verses from the Quran: “Unbelievers are your enemies” Surah 4:101 “Rouse them to fight for they are without understanding. 8:65 You cannot have a prisoner of war until you have subdued the land 8:67. You must fight all who fight allah 2S196And slay them wherever ye catch 2S191 Fight them and allah will punish them by your hands 9:14 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing that is good for you, and that you love a think that is bad for you. 2S216 Fight the cause of Allah to him who fighteth in the cause of allah soon shall we give him a reward of great value 474 Fight allahs cause 484 Seize them and slay them wherever you get them, we have provided you with a clear argument against them. 491 fight those who believe not in allah nor the law even if they are people of the book, until they pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel subdued 929 when you meet unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks, at length when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them. Those who are slain in the way of a. he will never let their deeds be lost Surah 473-4. Allah loves those who fight his cause Surah 61:4 and the people of the book , did a cast terror in their hearts, so some you slew, and some you made prisoners. Suah 31 “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment Surah 5 33
Jesus taught:  “ I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE! YOU MUST WARN EVERYONE AROUND YOU – it may seen insignificant to many, but the souls of many are about to fall to eternal destruction.

GOD SAVE ISRAEL! GOD BLESS ISRAEL! GOD SAVE YOUR PEOPLE AND MAY THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DECEIVED OPEN THEIR EYES AND FIND THEIR SALVATION IN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD, IMMANUEL.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSEOVER WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM WOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, John 3:16

Doctrine of Balaam : the good, the bad, and the hidden deceit

Comments 15 Standard

  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Revelation 2:14

Balaam is mentioned 7 different times in scripture as a warning. His story is found in Numbers 22-24.  Why is this ancient prophet mentioned so many times ???????? 

This is what we know about Balaam:

  1. He was a well-known prophet
  2. His curses and his blessings came about
  3. he was a teacher who tried to teach others to trip/stumble/sin
  4. he showed Balak how to trip the people of Israel to sin
  5. He taught people to sin by eating food offered to idols
  6. he taught people to sin by committing sexual sin or idolatry
  7. he intentionally tried to destroy God’s people
  8. he deceived people for money Jude 1:11
  9. false prophets of today follow in his footsteps Jude 1:11, 2 Peter 2:15-16
  10. loved to earn money for doing evil 2 Peter2
  11. a talking donkey stopped him 2 Peter 2:15-16 (or was it the angel?)
  12. he was eventually killed by the Israelites (Joshua 13:22)
  13. he used magic to tell the future J 13:22
  14. he was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel
  15. he heard from God
  16. he told half-truths and obeyed only partial to what he was told to do.
  17. he was the son of Beor which means ‘burning’, so I guess we could call him the son of fire

  Those who follow in his footsteps:

  1. scoff at what they don’t understand
  2. indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight (No fear of God, prideful, haughty)
  3. delight in deception
  4. commit adultery with their eyes
  5. their desire for sin is never satisfied
  6. lure unstable people to sin
  7. they are trained in greed and live under God’s curse

     There’s got to be more to this Balaam story than what we see. I  think it’s very interesting that he is mentioned so many times. Of all the people to use as a warning- why him? Jesus mentioned Jonah on two different occasions in 3 gospels. Noah, David, Solomon and other godly men are mentioned often but this man Balaam is mentioned throughout scripture even to the last book of Revelation as a warning to those living in the last days.  

  With all the warnings we are given about Balaam, we read that he continually blessed Israel, he obeyed God’s voice (sometimes), and he prophesied about Jesus!

  I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth vs 17

    At first, you may wonder- What did he do wrong? We find one of the many clues in Numbers 31  “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord

And so we can conclude, although it is not mentioned in Numbers 25, that Balaam and his leading was behind the great sin spoken of in Numbers 25 that brought about the destruction of the Israelites

 “and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”

  Do you see how sneaky that was? You have to really search to find out he was a bad prophet- same with prophets today. It’s unbelievable that a prophet who hears God’s word and obeys Him can do the exact opposite at the same time. Balaam did all the right things- but then we see that he actually caused the people to sin so their own sin would curse themselves. Balaam didn’t actually curse them, but he caused the people to curse themselves. Interesting….. 

      Balaam was a prophet/seer, possibly a soothsayer as history records, he had the ability to bless and to curse. He also had the ability to hear God. What? I thought only godly prophets heard God, but then who exactly is godly? Jonah was a prophet of God but we see a man who was disobedient, rebellious and angry- even until the end! His last words were “Yes! I’m even angry enough to die”. Yikes, I bet he regrets that, or does he? Do prophets curse people? In 2 Kings 2:24, we read that some kids made fun of Elisha and he cursed them to death- all 42 of them were all eaten by 2 bears. Ezekiel was a prophet of God- but God created him to be hardheaded like the rest of the people. Hardhat Ezekiel probably wasn’t the nicest guy or mr. churchman who walks around smiling. Maybe I’m wrong, but the hardhats I know are only happy when they get their own way. Ezekiel was disobedient also- he didn’t speak when he was told to. Well, maybe that is up for debate, but I think there were many times Ezekiel didn’t speak when he was told to- and possibly why he was tied up and wasn’t allowed to speak unless God allowed him. Look at Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father…he was made(temporarily) mute because of his unbelief. What’s my point? Well, I’m guessing that prophets of God are not perfect people like I would suspect (and hope), in fact, they still have their own free will. For instance,  we have the prophet Balaam, who heard God’s voice, but made his own way and sought out things for himself. He used his ability for his own gain and greed while he destroyed people by leading them to live sinful lives. His intention was to destroy them. We are told he was out for his own good – greedy for money among other things. Why would God give such a wicked person a prophetic gift? Let’s look at the parable of the talents- each of the three was given a gift, they each had their own free will to do whatever they wanted with that gift. It wasn’t until the end when they received their reward/punishment.

 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven

   In Matthew 7 we are told that some people who PROPHESY IN Jesus’ name, cast out devils, and do miraculous works in Jesus’ name will not enter heaven. Here we have the same situation as Balaam. They are workers of iniquity and don’t belong to the Kingdom of God. They mingle among us (or do we put up with them) and have many followers. They are mighty in works, words, power, and seem super holy and wise but their deep motive is greed and possibly their sin is pride.

   All this is quite frightening if you ask me – I hope I don’t get complacent or vain in my life as a Christian. And exactly who is fake? Would the real Balaam please stand up? They wont- and I wonder if their conscience could be so seared they wouldn’t know it? Yet, the message is clear- these false teachers and prophets – fakers – INTENTIONALLY deceive. Come on! Balaam totally knew the Israelites were God’s people, His mighty works drove nations to fear. Balaam knew he was not to curse them – but sneaky, sneaky- he figured a way to get around it. He decided to tempt them with sin. How crafty. This is our warning- that there are teachers and prophets that have full intention to lead people away from God. It’s difficult for me to get that thought processed in my head, it just doesn’t make sense to me – but it’s true.

       Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock

   We find another interesting story in 1 Kings 13 of a prophet who- disobeyed  because another prophet of God lied to him. What? That story always has my head spinning. What a jerk! Or was he? What!

  
Let’s look at the elephant in the room. Balaam had an argument with a donkey. You would think that a talking donkey would have made him run far, far away, but he talked back to him like it was normal. Did Balaam have no respect for the supernatural? I would pass out if my dog asked me why I just threw him off the couch. I certainly wouldn’t have the nerve or strength to argue back with him like Balaam did! “Look you dumb dog, and I don’t care if you are talking to me- you crapped on my floor, ate my shoe, and I just stepped in your vomit, you deserve a beating!. Uhhhh no, none of that would come out- I’d be passed out in fear or screaming my head off trying to claw my way out of a window.  The first thing that comes to mind is this verse in Jude 1:10

 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

  And interesting enough…. The next verse mentions Balaam

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core

And this verse in 2 Peter 2

they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.- Balaam had no respect for the things of the supernatural world

  And interesting enough….four verses later, Balaam is mentioned

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

  2 Peter goes on to describe Balaam and people like him as: wells without water and clouds that bring no rain. They speak great words of vanity and they use lust and greed to get what they want. And this verse ends with a lovely Christian OSAS debatable verse-

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

And since I’ve been sidetracked onto that subject, I thought this verse was interesting in 1 Corinthians 15:  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

   Let’s look at this: We are saved by the gospel of Jesus by which we stand IF we keep it in memory unless we have believed in vain. All these ifs and no ifs in different versions get really tricky- so let’s assume there is no if there- we find an unless we have believed in vain.  Can someone believe in Jesus in vain, idly, to believe but have no affect?… apparently so. Yet it seems that this would only happen at a christians first moment of belief, but also possibly after one has become a Christian. It’s like the parable of the seed- the guy was super excited at church waving his white flag and accepting Jesus as his savior- started reading his bible, going to church…. But the pull of the world, troubles, trials, material wealth snatched that seed out of his heart and his religion becomes vain- could it be? I got sidetracked, but if you want to know my theory on this: Can a Christian lose their salvation? Exposing satan’s schemes

        The Doctrine of Balaam is alive and thriving- it’s an important warning for today. Balaam is mentioned in 2 Peter 2, Jude 1, and Revelation 2:14. We are warned of teachers/ prophets of religion who will use God’s word for greed and personal gain. These false teachers/prophets intentionally deceive people and do not care about the salvation of others. They gather in the people to commit great sins, specifically idolatry and sexual immorality.  They do not care about God’s lost sheep. They appear to be powerful and wise full of good works. Honestly, is there anyone righteous out there? I just don’t know. The wisest decision you can make is to spend time with the Lord and study His word so you won’t be deceived.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect Matthew 24:24 

Well known verse spoken by Balaam:  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23

 
It’s interesting that God made the donkey talk like a human and Balaam, a false prophet, spoke as a real prophet when he wasn’t. Is there more to the story? The angel first stood standing in the way, then in the path of the vineyards, and finally the angel stood in a narrow place. I would get mad at my donkey if it was being disobedient, but it seems that Balaam was angry at the donkey for embarrassing him. “Because thou hast mocked me” Hebrew word means- to make a fool of, to act childish. Just thoughts…. anyways, Balaam finally shows some respect to the mighty angel and bows down and falls flat on his face. The lure of riches, wealth and fame were too much for Balaam- let’s face it, it could happen to us if we are not careful. Balaam hit his donkey 3x and God spoke to Balaam at 4or more different times in the story. 

Judas and Balaam?  As I read the story of Balaam, it reminded me of Judas. Judas was (or seemed to be) a disciple of Jesus just as Balaam seemed to be a prophet of God. Both men tried to bring destruction on God’s people. Both were religious men who were greedy for money and popularity. Greed, money, materials, fame, man’s approval are things we are not to seek out. Are these sins in our heart?   Are Christians are immune to these sins? I don’t think so- look at Solomon’s downfall. Not only should we be aware of false teachers and deceivers, but maybe we should make sure these sins have not crept into our own hearts. David asked the Lord to search out his heart:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139

  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever 1 Chronicles 28:9

  I have much more to say on Balaam- but I think this is a good place to end today. May God search our hearts and show us any wrong way that might have crept in so we might be cleansed in Jesus name, keeping our feet on that narrow path that leads to salvation.

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