Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Beginning of the End, Page 224

How Balaam Led Israel into Sin

This chapter is based on Numbers 25.

With renewed faith in God the victorious armies of Israel returned from Bashan and were confident of conquering Canaan immediately. Only the Jordan river stood between them and the Promised Land. Just across the river was a rich plain watered with streams and shaded by fruitful palm trees. On the western border rose the towers and palaces of Jericho, “the city of palm trees.”

On the eastern side of Jordan was a plain several miles wide and extending some distance along the river. This sheltered valley had a tropical climate. The Israelites camped here and found a good resting place in the acacia groves.

But in the middle of these beautiful surroundings they were to encounter an evil more deadly than hosts of armed men or wild beasts of the wilderness. That country, rich in nature’s beauty, had been spoiled by its inhabitants. In the public worship of Baal, the most shameful scenes were acted out. All around them were places known for idolatry and sexual immorality. Even the names suggested corruption.

The Israelites’ minds became familiar with the degrading thoughts constantly suggested. Their life of ease produced its demoralizing effect, and almost unconsciously they were departing from God into a condition where they would easily fall to temptation.

During the time of their camping beside the Jordan river, Moses was preparing for the occupation of Canaan. The great leader was fully employed in this work, but this time of suspense was very difficult for the people. Before many weeks had passed their history was marred by frightful departures from virtue and integrity.

Midianite women began quietly entering the camp. These women planned to seduce the Hebrews into violating the law of God and to lead them into idolatry. They hid these motives very carefully under the cloak of friendship.

At Balaam’s suggestion, the king of Moab declared a grand festival in honor of their gods. It was secretly arranged that Balaam should persuade the Israelites to attend. They regarded him as a prophet of God, and it was easy for him to accomplish

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»