Do we know the story of Balaam and the donkey? Well, what about the rest of the story? Maybe we can learn a little from this misguided prophet.
Almost all Christians who grew up in the church are aware of the story of Balaam and his eccentric donkey. What the story books often leave out, however, is what happened before and after this infamous encounter. Balaam is a unique character in Biblical history because he is an actual prophet of God who was not in the line of Jacob. He wasn’t part of the Children of Israel. But God used him in interesting ways.
Balaam is a prophet for hire and the King of Moab wants to use him to curse his enemies. However, this particular enemy turns out to be God’s chosen people. Balaam knew that this business venture would not work, but he let his greed and thirst for power outweigh his logic. As a result, Balaam is one of the most detested names in Jewish culture.
Today we want to examine why and try to understand why his name is used so negatively in the New Testament as well.