"Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah!"
(Jude 11, Amplified Bible)
The wording here in the Amplified gives us the idea of a reckless abandoned to the sin nature--------------- with no thought or care given to consequences.
Balaam has always been an enigma to me. Who can fault him for his "words," deny, or say that his prophetic utterances were not "good" prophesies? Everything Balaam said of Israel was and is true. Why then did the Jews of a successive generation seek him out to kill him? Why is he in our text linked with the likes of Cain, a murderer, and Korah, symbol of presumptuous rejection of God-appointed authority? Something was obviously wrong. You get a little of it in his willingness to compromise obedience to God with procuring Balak's money and prestige. It was as though the money drew him, and/or the prestige of a ruler of a people group seeking out his "gift." One thing is for sure; Balaam's whole approach was shrouded in religious language. How very "spiritual" we can sound, getting many to confirm our "words" and deeds, and affirm us as a man or woman of God. But the determining factor of God's favor and blessing is not "spiritual," religious, cliche talk. It is a matter of the heart.
A question which arises from today's text is, How does one avoid, "the way of Cain,"
or, "rebellion of Korah," or, "the error of Balaam"? My first thought is, a pure heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." They shall see Him when everything that Satan can throw at us descends upon us, when the temptations are seemingly too much to overcome. I submit to you that, "....For they shall see God," is the same as, "Looking unto Jesus." And when you and I run our, "race," with such focus, such purity of heart as the Amplified says, "Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus," then we will not see money, prestige, fame, recognition, acceptance, flattery, or anything or anyone else. When we have a pure heart of utter surrender and devotion to Jesus Christ, the race that is set before us will be run in Jesus Christ and in His example, "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." This is the way of deliverance from the ways of Cain, Balaam, and Korah, "Looking unto Jesus," and keeping Jesus as, "the joy...set before [us]."
Oh, Father, in Jesus' Name, help me today to run as You "ran" on the earth Incarnate in Jesus. Keep the "prize" ever before me today, You and Your Eternal Abode. Amen.
Russia's Descent Into the Past? www.jerberwash.blogspot.com
Unreached People Group of the Day: www.apfunreachedpeoples.blogspot.com
When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"
"Looking unto Jesus"