Lessons from Balaam's Ass
2 Peter 2:15-16
Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor…

Balaam's madness had turned him into a beast, and why might not one beast teach another? In some things the ass excelled her master.

1. She saw the judgment, he was blind: instinct better instructed her than reason and religion had enlightened him.

2. The ass had a tongue of equity; the prophet a tongue, hand, and heart of iniquity.

3. The ass was not capable of sin, and did therefore justify herself; the master was so mad upon sin that he would needs ruin himself.Observations:

1. The weaker vessel may hold the better liquor. The uncleansed lay hold on heaven, whereas men of knowledge often wallow in the lusts of flesh and blood. We are ordained to judge the angels; but if we degenerate from our prerogative, angels, men, infidels, harlots, yea, even beasts and stones, shall be our judges.

2. As Balaam proceeds in forwardness, so doth the ass in reprehension. At every turn she answered him, in every passage she was quit with him. We cannot run so fast but God can overtake us, nor be so cunning but He can teach even a beast to overreach us.

3. The sensual creatures are set to condemn our sins and to reflect our evils upon us. Peter hath a cock to tell him his cowardice, and Balaam an ass to reprove his avarice. There is no creature dumb when God bids it to speak. If there were no preachers to declaim, no conscience to accuse, the very creatures themselves would cry. The beds, boards, walls, windows, markets, closets should have tongues to condemn us.

(T. Adams.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

WEB: forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;

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