Jesus is a wonderful example for us of intercession. Isaiah 53:12 says, “…because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Ezekiel 22:30 helps us understand what intercession is. It says, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”
Let’s go back to Balaam. He was enticed by Balak to curse the children of Israel. When we read the whole narrative, in hindsight, we can wonder at why he didn’t just take God at His word. Take note for your own life. That would have been the end of the enticement. Apparently Balak’s enticement lured Balaam’s hidden flesh to the surface. I say that because of the verses in the New Testament about him.
In my Bible Numbers 25 is entitled: Israel’s Harlotry in Moab. Verse 3 says, “So Israel joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.” The Lord told Moses to hang the offending leaders. Then the Lord sent a plague. In verse 6 one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman and had sex with her in the tabernacle. In verse 7 Phinehas rose up and took a javelin in his hand. Verse 8 says, “And he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through…So the plague was stopped…” Verse 9 says that 24,000 died in the plague.
Psalm 106:30-31 says, “Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stopped. And that was accounted to him for righteousness for all generations forevermore.” When we believe, and take God at His word, that is accounted to us as righteousness. Believing and acting on what God has written is faith. As we go through our trials, satan will use enticements to get us to do things in our own strength.
Intervene, intercept, and intercession are all actions of stepping in on someone’s behalf. Jesus made intercession for us. Phinehas intervened for the children of Israel. God intercepted Saul of Tarsus. Our intercession is believing God’s word, and bringing our requests to Him on behalf of others. We see a gap, we make a wall through intercession.
There are huge gaps in our nation. How can we effectively intercede? We can use Scripture as part of our prayer. That is what Paul did for the churches. Ephesians 1:15-19. Colossians 1:9-19. Philippians 1:3-11. These are just a few examples. We pull principles, promises, and power from His word and add them into our prayer.
Let’s go back to Balaam. Hopefully we can pick up key understanding to apply to our own lives. We will always be enticed with deception. That is how the enemy of our soul operates. 2 Peter 2:15 says of false teachers, “They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” Let me slip in Romans 1:18 which says that we suppress truth in unrighteousness.”
Jude verse 3 was an exhortation to contend earnestly for the faith. Why? There are deceptive enticements set up to destroy our faith. Verse 11 says, “Woe to them! For they have…run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit…” Balaam was not allowed to curse Israel, but he was the one responsible for leading them into sin through his greed.
Proverbs 15:27 says, “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live.” One last verse about Balaam. This was an indictment against the church at Pergamos. Revelation 2:14 says, “…those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” Let us heed the Lord’s warnings, and use them as our tools for effective intercession that will stop this plague.