And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said to Balaam…
I. THE CAUSE OF BALAK'S ANGER. That Balaam had not fulfilled the terms of his contract (vers. 10, 11).
1. Consider the reason and nature of the contract. Urgency of case. Great reputation of Balaam.
2. Consider the position and reputation of Balaam.
(1) He is called a prophet (2 Peter 2:16).
(2) God held communication with him (Numbers 22:9, 12, 20, 31; Numbers 23:4, 5).
(3) He was also a warrior-chief (Numbers 31:8).
(4) He was a man of high gifts of intellect and genius, besides having a knowledge of the true God.
3. Consider how Balaam had failed in his contract (Numbers 23; Numbers 24:1-9).
II. BALAAM'S SELF-JUSTIFYING ANSWER (vers. 12, 13).
1. Was it true? Yes (Numbers 22:13-18).
2. If true, why did he leave home? He loved money (2 Peter 2:15).
3. If God Commanded him to go (Numbers 22:20), why was he blamed for going (Numbers 22:22)?
(1) God's permission was based upon Barnum's strong desire to go. God gave him up to his own lust.
(2) God's displeasure arose from the fact that Balaam was so determined to go and do that which he was told he must not do. Sinners must not think that their sin is any the less odious because God permits it.
III. BALAAM'S PARABLE (vers. 14-19).
1. The situation.
(1) Behind him lay the vast expanse of desert extending to his native Assyria.
(2) On his left the red mountains of Edom and Seir.
(3) Immediately below him lay the vast encampment of Israel.
(4) Beyond them, on the west of Jordan, rose the hills of Palestine — the promised land.
2. The parable.
(1) The condition of the prophet when he had the vision (ver. 16).
(2) The leading subject of the parable — the mighty and glorious King of Israel.
(a) The prophet sees Him in person.
(b) He is able to distinguish His nationality.
(c) He sees Him as a mighty conqueror.
(3) That this refers to Christ is clear to any one who accepts the testimony of God's Word.Lessons:
1. God intrusts superior talents to men who may abuse them.
2. One besetting sin may be enough to dim the most splendid abilities and destroy the most brilliant reputation.
3. Balaam's failure to curse Israel is a significant type of the fact that he whom God hath blessed can no man curse.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
WEB: Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times.