While reading Numbers 22-24 you’ll encounter the prophet Balaam who had a divided heart.You’ll find additional information in chapter 31. Check your concordance for other references where he is mentioned, (eg. Deuteronomy 23:4-5, Joshua , 2 Peter -16, Jude 11, and Revelation ).
After collecting information about him, correlate it into an outline. I found this hard because of the convoluted way in which Balaam operated. I finally decided to give as the title: True Prophecies, False Prophet. Point 1. the prophecies, 2. the prophet, and 3. his tragic legacy.
Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel, promising him a significant reward. When Balaam inquired of God he was forbidden to curse them, but rather pronounce a blessing upon the Israelites. In his second oracle he included this: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” That’s a good verse to summarize God’s activity in the book of Numbers. In his third oracle he again identifies Israel as a lion that devours his enemies, and adds a picture of abundant fruitfulness.
In his fourth oracle he says, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” This likely inspired the trip of the wise men from the east to find the Christ child, born to be a king described in Matthew 2.
Could it be that one who made such precise, accurate prophecies nevertheless be a false prophet? We’ll consider this in our next visit.