A Right Way to Die

November 27, 2018

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Numbers 23:1-23

“…Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Numbers 23:10

What did Balaam see in the death of the righteous that made him respond as he did? Balaam had been hired by an ungodly king to curse the people of God. We wonder why he took the job, because the Lord had told him that he could only say the words that He would give him to say, and he consented to that requirement (Numbers 22:10-21, 22:35). He repeatedly blessed Israel.

The statement of our text was made in the context of blessing. As Balaam considered righteous Israel, he longed to die as they died in righteousness with the blessing of God on them. What did he see in the death of the righteous that he desired?

He recognized the assurance and comfort they had in God’s presence, even in death. Psalm 23 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”

Balaam possibly saw their confidence in an eternal home prepared for them. In John 14:12, Christ promised that blessed place.

He also saw that the people of God were blessed and it could not be reversed (verse 8). They were not appointed to judgement and wrath, but rather, to favour (I Thessalonians 5:9).

Balaam must have recognized that because of all the above, they had no fear of death, and that death for them was an entrance into the presence of God Himself. The perilous journey was over.

In spite of all of this blessing, and the knowledge Balaam most surely acquired through giving it, he died on the battlefield with Israel’s enemies, and is recorded as having loved the wages of unrighteousness (II Peter 2:15-16). This was not an accident, but rather the result of choice.

– James Baer