“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (Jude 11).
As documented in Numbers 22-24, the life of Balaam is another sad chapter in the history of covetousness and compromise. The love of money—the root of all kinds of evil—is what prompted the prophet to go when God said to stay and to argue with a donkey and lose.
The error of Balaam springs from a greater love for wealth than truth. The wages of unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:15) were of greater value in his heart than treasure in heaven.
The error of Balaam transformed a spokesman of God into a hireling who ultimately sought to tickle the ears of King Balak for his own personal profit (Jude 11).
The error of Balaam resulted in his offering evil counsel to a wicked king so that the loyalty and holiness of God’s people were heinously compromised and then they were justly punished (Numbers 25:1-18, 31:16).
The error of Balaam culminates in aiding and abetting someone to place a stumbling block in another’s path. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Beware of the error of Balaam.