"THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS".
1. Moses was leading the children of Israel throughj the wilderness.
2. They had overcome Sihon, King of the Amorites and Og, King of Bashan.
3. Then, they encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
4. We are told at this time, that Balak, King of Moab saw what Israel had done to the Amorites and Moab was sore afraid.
5. So, Balak sent messengers unto Balaam, the son of Beor, calling him to come and curse Israel that Balak might prevail over them.
6. Even though Balaam had prophesied some good prophecies, he was also known to prophesy falsely for his own gain.
A. Because of this, his name has become a synonym for false teachers.
7. But, on this occasion, God gave Balaam strict orders not to curse the children of Israel for Balak because they were blessed.
A. So, Balaam did not go with the messengers of Balak on this occasion.
B. But they returned with much greater enticements from Balak.
C. Balaam knew God's wishes in the matter, but he approached Him again about it.
1) This time, God told him to go with them but he was only to speak what God told him to speak.
2) God tried to discourage Balaam along the way.
8. But Balaam went on to Balak and prepared for the utterances that God would put into his mouth concerning Balak and the children of Israel.
A. And so, he made his first prophetic speech as is found in Num. 23:7-10.
B. It is in verse 10 that we find our text for our discussion.
I. BALAAM'S DESIRES:
A. He wanted what unrighteousness would bring him, because Peter says that "he loved the hire of wrong doing", 2 Pet. 2:15.
1. But, he also wanted the outcome to be that which comes only to the righteous.
B. People have not changed, even today.
1. They do not want the criminals upon the streets to rob, rape, and kill, but they want the laws to be so liberalized that a criminal's "civil rights" are not violated.
a. In other words, they do not want the crimes, but they desire to defend the criminal.
C. Modern man doesn't see fornication, adultery, and homosexuality as sin.
1. But simply looks upon such as an alternate lifestyle.
2. But, he doesn't know how to cope with these so-called life styles.
a. Because, we see broken homes out of which come deeply emotionally disturbed children, venereal diseases, suicides, and a host of other unwanted side effects.
D. Our communites do not like the animalistic behavior manifested most everywhere we look.
1. But, they want our schools to be free to teach that man has evolved from lower animal life and was not created by God in His image and likeness.
2. Man has determined to establish the fact that there is no God.
a. And, in doing so he will not be subject to any higher power.
3. But, on the other hand, he does not like the consequences of man being left to himself to decide his own standards of ethics and morals. Jer. 10:23.
E. Parents want to have happy, healthy, obedient, well-behaved, mannerly children.
1. But, they do not want to do what it takes to produce such.
a. For us to have children that we can be proud of, that will rise up and call us blessed, we must have the proper standards of child rearing.
1) These standards are from the wisdom of God and not from the modern humanistic, Dr. Spock type.
2) There needs to be a lot of righteous examples set before the children.
3) There needs to be a lot of communication that is under-girded with the kind of love that only God can teach us. And there must be the right kind of discipline practiced.
4) Such cannot be if we are so interested in success, self-fulfillment and recreational pursuits that we rarely see, much less speak, to and with our children.
F. Husbands and wives want a story book marriage, they want to "live happily ever after".
1. But, in too many cases, they are not willing to do what it takes to produce that ideal union.
a. It takes more selflessness than most are willing to give.
b. Too many are so interested in self fulfillment that they rarely see the needs of their mates.
c. Being self-centered, they are unable to love and give themselves for the well being of the other.
G. We desire to be looked upon as faithful, devoted and zealous Christians.
1. But, we are not willing to do what it takes to "live godly in Christ Jesus". 2 Tim. 3:12.
2. It would make us feel good to have someone point his finger at us and say: "that person is truly a Christian".
a. But, we are not willing to pay the price that would make such statement so.
1. Yes, "Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end be like his!" is an exclamation that each and everyone of us desires to make.
A. But, we need to realize that, in order to die the death of the righteous, so that our latter end will be like his, we must live the life of the righteous first.
2. It is true that to die the death of the righteous should be the desire of us all.
A. In fact, we are told that such would be a blessed death. Rev. 14:13.
B. The righteous that die, are those that are faithful until death. Rev. 2:10.
C. The righteous that die, are those that die in the Lord.
3. As you sit under the sound of my voice at this time, I truly believe that you too desire to die the death of the righteous and that your latter end be as his.
A. But, what are you doing about making such possible?
B. Are you living the life of the righteous?
C. Are you in the Lord, that your death might be blessed?
D. If not, what are you waiting for?
By Jim Sasser
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