Compromise and greed
Compromise and greed
The land of Reuben also included all the towns of the plain and the entire kingdom of Sihon. Sihon was the Amorite king who had reigned in Heshbon and was killed by Moses along with the leaders of Midian—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—princes living in the region who were allied with Sihon...The Jordan River marked the western boundary for the tribe of Reuben. The towns and their surrounding villages in this area were given as a homeland to the clans of the tribe of Reuben. Joshua 13:21-23 NLT
Reuben’s territory included Moab. Balaam was connected with the Moabites (see Numbers 22-24). When Moabites heard how powerful the army of Israelites, they dreaded facing them in a battle. “And when the people of Moab saw how many Israelites there were, they were terrified” (Numbers 22:3). The king of Moab, Balak, summoned prophet Balaam to come and curse the invading Israelites and he will be paid with great promising riches. Balaam went and faced the Israelites and instead of cursing them, God took control of his lips that he uttered blessings. When he realized that he failed, he returned to king Balak and advised him to befriend the Israelites. He will invite them to their feasts so they can become weakened and will compromise their belief. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor” (Numbers 31:16). Sure enough, there were men of Israel that took Moabite women violating God’s command. Balaam’s plan succeeded and later on Peter wrote about the covetousness of the Israelites. “They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong” (2 Peter 2:15). Jude also mentioned the error of corruption of Balaam. “Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. John in the book of Revelation called on to the sin of compromise of Balaam. “You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin” (Revelation 2:14). The story of Balaam provides us a stern warning not to ignore God’s command. When we take the path of compromise and greed, we will suffer the consequences. We will lose the ability to live in accordance with God’s will and miss the joy of following Him.