March 19, 2019

2 Peter 2:10-16

Peter was disturbed by the inroads the false teachers were making into churches. He knew their approach was subtle, but their teachings were fatal, and he wanted to warn the churches about them.

In this passage, Peter mentions Balaam, one of the more obscure characters in the Old Testament, chronicled in Numbers 22-24. Essentially Balaam should be considered a “diviner” with an international reputation. Balak, the king of the Moabites, fearing Moses and the Israelites, summoned Balaam for help. Despite being a pagan prophet, God chose to reveal himself to Balaam and told him to not come to the aid of the king.

Sadly, after Balak seduced him with the promise of money and fame and despite God’s rebuke which came from the mouth of his own donkey, Balaam revealed to the king all that was needed to defeat the Israelites. Ultimately, God saw to it that Balaam was permanently put out of the false prophet business when he was killed “with the sword” when Israel defeated the Midianites (Numbers 31:8).

While not all religious frauds are punished the same way Balaam was, Peter assures us God will one day deal with all of them. Like animals, they will be captured and destroyed.