2 Peter 2:16-17 (NET) By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, yet was rebuked for his transgression (a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice, restrained the prophet’s madness)
The corrupting influence of mammon is so profound that Jesus and the apostles had to give several warnings about it. It is important to note that if Satan fails to get a man to not obey the gospel, the next thing he tries to accomplish is to corrupt the man and make him an enemy of God by so doing.
The man Balaam was one who obviously had known the Lord, Apostle Peter described him as a prophet, and as one who had forsaken the right path. However, he was someone who got corrupted by his love of money. He so loved it that it wasn’t long that he was willing to take a wage, a reward, that accrues from activities of unrighteousness. He became a soothsayer (See Joshua 13:22), a diviner, and a prophet-for-hire (See Nehemiah 13:2) as a result.
When Apostle Paul was speaking to Timothy, he charged him that godliness with contentment is great gain (See I Timothy 6:6). That charge holds true for every true believer who seeks to walk accurately with the Lord and not be infected by the madness of Balaam. When one disdains the great gain that accrues from the mixture of godliness and contentment, he will ultimately begin to gain affection for the wages of unrighteousness.
When Apostle Jude was to speak on the subject matter he said, “Woe to them! For they have traveled down Cain’s path, and because of greed have abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error; hence, they will certainly perish in Korah’s rebellion.” (Jude 1:11 NET).
Contentment is not a small matter in the Kingdom. You must guard your heart against greed and an inordinate desire for gain. Greed has the capacity to corrupt a man beyond recognition, such that a man who began walking with the Lord can now become a willing and gifted tool in the agenda of darkness to frustrate the work and people of God. This is what has powered a lot of false teachers who began well, but now by their falsehood have maligned the name of Jesus to the degree that it now serves as a stumbling block to others who should have believed the gospel.
Know this, godliness is not a means of making profit, ministry is not a tool for personal aggrandizement, and the gift of the spirit is not for lining your pockets.
Go into today holding fast to the counsel of God, renounce greed, hold fast to godliness and contentment, guard your heart, and watch your appetites.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalms 143-145 (In Devotional Audio)
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