“JESSE JACKSON, A MODERN DAY BALAAM”
Second Peter 2.15, Jude 11, Revelation 2.14
1. I want to introduce you, this morning, to a man named Balaam. Balaam lived approximately 3,400 years ago, and is described in the New Testament as a prophet. But though he is described as a prophet, let no one think of him as a man of God, or even as a man who knew God in a saving way. Balaam was nothing more than a pagan soothsayer that God chose to make use of, that God gave a great opportunity to.
2. But he was a pagan soothsayer who figures prominently in Bible history. I am sorry that Balaam figures in far too many passages of Scripture for us to read this morning. But to give you an idea of where I draw my comments from, I would suggest you read all of Numbers chapters 22, 23 and 24, as well as the 12 other verses in which Balaam’s name is found and their contexts that you can look up in your concordance.
3. I give you an extremely abbreviated explanation of how Balaam figures in Israel’s history: Having wandered in the wilderness for almost 40 years as punishment for refusing to trust God and enter in at the first, the children of Israel were approaching the promised land when the Moabite king, desperate in his opposition to the Jews marching through his country as they had conquered the Amorites, made contact with a soothsayer, this magician, named Balaam.
4. He wanted to pay Balaam money to curse the Israelites. We should not be surprised, then, that in Numbers 22.12 we read, “God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” So Balaam at first refused the Moabite offer. But the king of Moab upped the ante and so Balaam went. Numbers 22.22 tells us that “God’s anger was kindled because he went.”
5. But Balaam went anyway, riding along on his donkey, accompanied by two servants. It is at this point in the Biblical narrative that Balaam’s ass spoke to him, saving him from certain death at the hands of the Angel of the LORD.
6. It is important to understand that Balaam was clearly aware that by responding to the Moabite king’s offer he was doing something that God permitted him to do but that God did not want him to do. Once in the company of the Moabite king, Balaam on three occasions was urged to curse the children of Israel. But on four occasions he instead blessed the children of Israel, with the final blessing being a far reaching prophesy.
7. “Falling into a trance, but having his eyes open,” Balaam said, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” After speaking the words God had given to him, “Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place.” But it appears that Balaam gave the disappointed Moabite king one piece of advice before leaving.
8. Turn to Numbers 25:
1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
9. For some reason the Jewish men began to have sex with the Moabite women. What would cause women of one country to willingly have sex with the foreign warriors of another country who were threatening to conquer their country and kill all their men?
10. The answer is found in Numbers 31:
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
11. Please read the passage leading up to these verses when you have opportunity. But the short version is this: The Jewish men were whoring with the Moabite women and now, too, with the Midianite women. Again we ask, Why would these women do this? Moses answers our question in Numbers 31.16: “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD.
12. In other words, “Balaam, failing to turn Jehovah against Israel by divination, turns Israel against Jehovah by” fornication. Balaam told the Moabites that the Jews, who could not be cursed by God, could be enticed to sin against God by the beautiful women of Moab, luring them into sexual sin and then into idolatry. And so, the Moabites took his advice.
13. Many Israelites fell because of this wicked enticement before decisive action by the priest Phineas brought it to a halt. And under Moses’ leadership the Israelites continued their advance into the promised land, defeating anyone who stood in their way.
14. One of the casualties was Balaam. Joshua 13.22 tells us, “Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.” So, this wicked Balaam, this hireling prophet who could not curse Israel but who did cause great harm to come to the Israelites, eventually got what was coming to him and was dispatched to his eternal doom.
15. If you looked back on Balaam’s life and activity, how would you describe him? How would you sum up his life? We don’t have to do that ourselves, because such a summation of his life is already found in the New Testament, and comprises the three main points of this morning’s exposition:
1A. First, IN GOD’S WORD WE FIND SUMMED UP FOR US THE WAY OF BALAAM
Please turn in your Bible to Second Peter chapter 2:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 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;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
1B. It’s quite obvious that the apostle Peter is, in this portion of his second epistle, describing the Christian’s adversaries, chiefly describing, in this passage that I’ve read to, you their spiritual defilement.
2B. Notice, particularly, verse 15: “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.” The wicked men Peter describes have forsaken the right way, have gone astray, and are following the way of Balaam. And how is Balaam described? He is a man “who loved the wages of unrighteousness.”
3B. But what are the “wages of unrighteousness”? Let me read to you Numbers 22.16-18 and you can answer that question for yourself:
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.
4B. Despite what Balaam said, he did rise up the next morning and accepted the Moabite king’s invitation. So it appears that the wages of unrighteousness is not a house full of silver and gold alone, but includes promotion to very great honor. In other words, prominence.
5B. The Scofield Reference Bible says this in a note about “the way of Balaam”: “Balaam (see Num. 22.5, refs.) was the typical hireling prophet, anxious only to make a market of his gift.”
6B. The MacArthur Study Bible has this to say in a note about “the way of Balaam”: “Balaam served as an illustration and example of such false prophets. He was an OT compromising prophet for sale to whomever paid him, who preferred wealth and popularity over faithfulness and obedience to God (Num. 22-24).”
7B. Let us remember that Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” Matthew 6.24. Balaam clearly served mammon, and ended up misusing the wonderful opportunity God had given him.
2A. Next, WE FIND SUMMED UP FOR US THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM
Turn, now, to Revelation 2.14: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
1B. The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching” or “instruction.” The Lord Jesus Christ, Who dictated this letter to the angel of the Church of Pergamos, has a few things against that Church’s pastor because he was tolerating those who held the doctrine of Balaam. In other words, that pastor, the angel of the Church of Pergamos, was called on the carpet by the Lord Jesus Christ for not running off some people who believed like Balaam taught.
2B. But what did Balaam actually teach? He taught the Moabites that mingling and mixing with the Israelites would bring them down. And for a while it did. We can be sure that what was advocated in here Pergamos was not sexual promiscuity. Rather, it was the mixing and mingling of God’s people with the people of the world, instead of them being a separate and holy people.
3B. The Scofield Reference Bible note for this verse puts it this way: “The “doctrine” of Balaam (cf. 2 Pet. 2.15, note; Jude 11, note) was his teaching Balak to corrupt the people who could not be cursed (Num. 31.15, 16; 22.5; 23.8), by tempting them to marry women of Moab, defile their separation, and abandon their pilgrim character. It is that union of the world and the church which is spiritual unchastity (Jas. 4.4). Pergamos had lost the pilgrim character and was “dwelling” (verse 13) ‘where Satan’s throne is,’ in the world (John 12.31; 14.30; 16.11).”
4B. It’s wonderful to bring in the unsaved of the world to our Church, for them to mix with our people, so we can preach to them and teach them, for us to love them and evangelize them, all the while recognizing their profound need to be converted and our Lord’s prohibition against becoming like them.
5B. But it’s a terrible thing when we go out amongst them and mix with them without preaching to them, without teaching them, without trying to evangelize them, and minimizing their profound need to be converted, all the while ignoring our Lord’s command to be separate from them.
6B. God taught His people to be a holy people, to be separate from the unclean thing, to be somehow different and distinct from the unredeemed. Balaam taught the opposite. He taught mixing and intermingling. God divided His people from those who were not His people. Balaam’s doctrine served to eliminate that distinction, the result being that the children of Israel began to act like the Moabites . . . they fornicated like the Moabites did and they idolized like the Moabites did.
7B. The doctrine of Balaam, then, has the effect of tearing down the walls of separation, blurring the distinctions between saved and lost, promoting worldliness among God’s people, weakening the notion that we are a peculiar people. Someone who promotes or sets an example of Christians looking like, walking like, thinking like, and talking like unsaved people holds the doctrine of Balaam. If you don’t lead people to holiness you are embracing the doctrine of Balaam.
3A. Finally, WE FIND SUMMED UP FOR US THE ERROR OF BALAAM
Turn, now, to Jude:
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
1B. Jude was the half brother of the virgin born Lord Jesus Christ, born after our Savior’s birth, and sired by his father, the carpenter named Joseph. The 25 verses of his short letter are devoted to confronting religious apostasy, which occurs whenever someone turns away from God and His truth.
2B. The passage we have just read, as strong a denunciation of wrongdoers as Peter’s was, again likens those who were troubling Christians in Jude’s day to those who had come long before, namely, Cain, Balaam, and Core.
3B. Cain, of course, murdered his brother Abel. Core, you might remember, rebelled against Moses. But we are concerned at this time with Balaam. Jude accuses the objects of his rebuke of, among other things, running “greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.”
4B. What is the “error of Balaam”? Adam Clarke writes, “The error of Balaam] For the sake of gain they corrupt the word of God and refine away its meaning, and let it down so as to suit the passions of the profligate.” Another writes this comment: “The error of Balaam; loving and coveting money.”
5B. Most commentators say pretty much what I’ve just read to you about the error of Balaam. But I think the error of Balaam is different than the way of Balaam. The way of Balaam is to trade ministry for money, or to trade ministry for prominence or position. The way of Balaam is to make merchandise of the ministry.
6B. But because the error of Balaam is called something else I think it is something else. And though most commentators rather agree that the way of Balaam and the error of Balaam are virtually the same thing, I disagree. Nestled in between Cain and Core, I do not think Jude is referring to money when he writes “the error of Balaam,” but to rebellion. And what is common about Cain, about Balaam, and about Core, is that they didn’t get away with it.
7B. What’s the error of Balaam, then? In my opinion, it’s the erroneous notion that you can stand against God, or scheme against God’s people, and get away with it. My view is that the error of Balaam is failing to recognize that your sin will find you out, failing to recognize that God is the avenger of His people, is being ignorant of the fact that God is not mocked and that whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. That, I think, is the error of Balaam.
1. The way of Balaam, the doctrine of Balaam, and the error of Balaam. What a terrible man he must have been to have his life summed up in that way by the Spirit of God. His was a great opportunity to serve God in a dramatic and effective way, but he just threw it away.
2. Balaam is one of the most spiritually disgusting figures in Bible history. He is a man who was completely without redeeming qualities. He is a man about whom God’s Word has absolutely nothing good to say.
3. Yet Balaam’s name appears no less than 59 times in the Word of God. Whole chapters of the Bible seem to be devoted primarily to his despicable conduct. And in the New Testament he is used by Peter, by Jude, and by the Lord Jesus Christ, to castigate wrongdoers by accusing them of being like him in certain ways.
4. When we read about him we see evidence of a fiendishly clever man, according to the wisdom of the world. He was able to subvert and connive to get what he wanted no matter who was harmed in the process. And he did it all for money and notoriety.
5. I think you will see exactly why my sermon for this morning is titled, “Jesse Jackson, A Modern Day Balaam.” Now, brother Isenberger comes to lead us as we stand to sing.
1. Booker T. Washington, who was born a slave and who rose to national prominence as the president of the renowned Tuskegee Institute, once warned, “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”
2. I think that Booker T. Washington, who I believe to have been a wonderful and insightful Christian man, who was without doubt a great educator and molder of young lives, was prescient. He described decades in advance a race hustler like Jesse Jackson.
3. You might wonder, “Why Jesse Jackson, pastor?” To that I would respond, “Why not?” Should not a man who seeks prominence be scrutinized? Should not a man who claims to be a man of God by the honorific title that he arranged to be bestowed upon him be held to a higher standard? And should not a man who presumed to provide pastoral counseling to our adulterous former president, with his pregnant mistress standing at his side at the White House playing the entire country for fools, be exposed for what he really is?
4. My only regret, this morning, is a lack of time. Having shown you what the way of Balaam is, what the doctrine of Balaam is, and what the error of Balaam is, I can only use a few of the documented facts about Jesse Jackson to show you that he is a thief, a liar, a con, a charlatan, and dangerous to anyone who would naively admire him or agree with him about anything.
5. Allow me to spend a few minutes tying together a few of the historical facts about Jesse Jackson with the summary descriptions of Balaam found in the Bible.
1A. First, THE WAY OF JESSE JACKSON
1B. The way of Balaam was an approach to the ministry that capitalized on fame and fortune, that sought to maximize prominence and profit, that considered gain and ignored grace. And I submit to you that the way of Jesse Jackson is the way of Balaam.
2B. How else do you explain the fact that he pretended that he had personally held the head of Dr. Martin Luther King in his arms when he was shot, when in fact he fabricated a web of lies about the whole thing? He had no special ties to Martin Luther King. He just used Martin Luther King to increase his own personal notoriety, and the only way King’s blood could ever have gotten on his sweater, the sweater that he said was stained with Martin Luther King’s blood, was if he had gone back to the scene of the crime later and smeared the blood on his sweater himself.
3B. How else do you explain the fact that he claimed that the reason he dropped out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a scholarship football player, was because “They told me blacks could not be quarterbacks”? Yet the starting quarterback that year was Mel Meyers, who was, and still is, black. Could the real reason have been that he was on academic probation and faced the possibility of flunking out if he didn’t transfer, as the Los Angeles Times found out when they interviewed Jesse’s coach at the time? Why did he have to slur the coach who gave him the scholarship and who started a black quarterback back in the days when few college coaches did?
4B. How else do you explain the fact that Jesse Jackson claims he grew up in dire poverty in Greenville, South Carolina, writing in his autobiography, Up from the Ghetto, that his step father was a janitor and he had to steal to survive? The truth is, his step dad was a career postal worker and his mom was a beautician. The Jackson household was hard working middle class, and Mr. Jackson is quoted as saying, “We were never poor. We never wanted for anything. We’ve never been on welfare, because I was never without a job. We never begged anybody for a dime. And my family never went hungry a day in their lives.” Why did he have to embarrass his mom and step dad that way?
5B. You could also question Jesse Jackson’s program to “Save The Black Colleges” through PUSH, an organization he started when he quickly resigned from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference when Rev. Ralph Abernathy demanded that he account for hundreds of thousands of dollars. When he put on Black Expo ’73 in Chicago to “Save The Black Colleges” he charged those same colleges $13,400 per booth to participate in his program. One United Negro College Fund board member was so furious with Jesse for his rip off that he wrote him a nasty letter complaining about it and questioned whether Jackson’s nonprofit organization ever filed annual reports. There is no record of Jesse ever responding to the letter.
6B. What about a more recent episode in Jesse’s life to show that his way is the way of Balaam? During Clinton’s tenure as president a number of black farmers in North Carolina and Georgia were suing the United States Department of Agriculture and getting nowhere. Time and time again they tried to enlist Jesse’s support for their class action suit. In frustration they began campaigning for the Bush-Cheney Republican ticket. Here is a quote from Eddie Slaughter, vice president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturists Association: “We’d asked for Jesse’s help but he was demanding $100,000 just to do a press conference. That’s when we labeled him the poverty pimp, because we’ve got to stay in poverty so he can make a living.”
7B. But no one had to pay Jesse to rush to the side of the seven high school thugs in Decatur, Illinois, who got in trouble for fighting. But after seven law suits and being banned from the court room by a judge, and after being accused by local black leaders of becoming an apologist for the reckless behavior of black teens, three of whom were later jailed for beating up a guy they knew and stealing $120 from him, Jesse left town.
8B. I could go on and on and on and on, but it would only be a repetition of the same pattern of behavior. Jesse is a latter day Balaam, and his way is Balaam’s way, to merchandise ministry for prominence and profit. And if there is no profit or prominence to be gained by an appearance, then there will be no appearance. Methinks, if the great Booker T. Washington was alive today and was asked about his famous prediction that there is a “class of colored people who. . . Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles,” would point the finger of accusation toward the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
2A. Next, THE DOCTRINE OF JESSE JACKSON
1B. Is Jesse Jackson a modern day Balaam? There is no doubt that the way of Balaam is Jesse’s way. But what about the doctrine of Balaam? Is Jesse’s doctrine the doctrine of Balaam? Remember, Balaam’s doctrine, Balaam’s teaching, was teaching that proved to be a stumbling block to God’s people. Does Jesse Jackson, by the words that he speaks, and by the example he sets, help his people, or hurt his people?
2B. Does it help his people when Jesse sidles up to Fidel Castro? Does it help his people when Jesse sidles up to Yassar Arafat, the head of the PLO, whose people are suicide bombers in Israel? Did it help his people when Jesse sidled up to the now dead Syrian dictator, Hassad? Whether you identify as Jesse’s people the American people or the black people of America, I cannot for the life of me see how his involvement with those men, or with the butchers of Africa he has befriended, helps either the larger or the smaller group of people. It seems to me that in the short run such behavior has only lined the pockets and boosted the public visibility of Jesse Jackson. Maybe that’s why Jesse’s self-promotion earned him a nickname early on in the black community of Chicago. They called him “Just Me” Jackson.
3B. Or more importantly, does it help the inner city black kids when Jesse creates a bogus nonprofit organization and syphons off money better spent elsewhere to finance his programs and line his pockets? Jesse typically stands in front of a high school assembly of kids and start his characteristic rhythmic chanting:
“My mind is a pearl, I can learn anything in the world.”
“We’ve got to get the dope out of our veins and hope into our brains.”
then there is his most famous, “I am somebody.” But what good does it do anyone? Black educators criticize Jesse’s approach by saying that his whole program is “a public relations stunt based on rhetoric and nothing more.” In most schools where Jackson’s program was implemented auditors who examined the results found that things did not improve. “After three years of study they concluded: ‘PUSH-Excel’s presence in these schools had little impact on the atmosphere or opportunity dimensions.’ In most areas studied - absenteeism, motivation, suspensions, in-class behavior, homework, and drop out levels, the very things Jackson proposed to ‘fix’ - the study found ‘no pattern of change, positive or negative.” In other words, for a lot of money, money better spent elsewhere, Jesse provides false hope and unrealistic expectations.
4B. But even worse than the lies, even worse than the scams and the sham concern for others, there is the pitiful moral example Jesse Jackson provides. What is arguably the single most destructive pattern of behavior in the black community engaged in by young men and women? Is it not the promiscuity that results in unwed mothers and irresponsible and absentee fathers? Yet what has this man, this ordained Baptist preacher, the reverend Jesse Jackson, done?
5B. For years Jesse Jackson has had the reputation of carrying on with women. But it was on December 3, 1998 that he got caught. The Enquirer published a picture of Jesse standing next to his pregnant mistress Karin Stanford and President Clinton in the oval office of the White House! And this was during the time when Jesse was providing “counseling” for president Clinton for his involvement with Monica Lewinsky! What callus mockery by both Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson. What credibility can such a man have anymore?
6B. Now, how does this exemplify the doctrine of Balaam? Simple. Balaam’s doctrine was a stumbling block to God’s people, it led to the downfall of many, it resulted in their seduction. I think every mother and father in America, and not just black parents, should be filled with outrage and indignation by his behavior. Isn’t Jim Bakker enough? Isn’t Jimmy Swaggert enough? But no.
7B. Following this revelation of wrongdoing Jesse Jackson arranged for statutory rapist and former Illinois Congressman Mel Reynolds, who was convicted for having sex with a minor staff worker, to be pardoned by President Clinton before he left office. Then Jackson hired Reynolds as a highly paid consultant on prison reform! Syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock said about this, “This is a first in American politics. An ex-congressman who had sex with a subordinate won clemency from a president who had sex with a subordinate, then was hired by a clergyman who had sex with a subordinate. How more insulting to the nation’s intelligence can you be?”
8B. And how much like the doctrine of Balaam is this? It contributes to the downfall of many of our nation’s young.
3A. Finally, THE ERROR OF JESSE JACKSON
1B. What he does he does for profit and prominence. How he does it contributes to the downward spiral and destruction of many who look up to him and admire him, and he doesn’t care. But it’s this last characteristic that shows Jesse Jackson to be a modern day Balaam in every way. He thinks he’s going to get away with it. He thinks he is invulnerable. He thinks he is immune.
2B. And this goes back to his days as a young man in seminary. Folks have always known that Jesse only attended seminary in Chicago for 6 months before dropping out. He claims he dropped out because Dr. Martin Luther King called him to work full time, but that’s not true. He just stopped attending class, failing to turn in even a single sermon preparation assignment and delivering it. “When one professor confronted him with his scholarly failings, Jackson reportedly said he didn’t need to go to class or complete course requirements. ‘I’m special,’ he said.”
3B. Jesse has always thought he was special, so special that the consequences of his deeds would never catch up to him. He can insist that poor black kids go to poorly performing inner city schools while opposing school vouchers that might enable them to enroll in better private schools, but he gets away with his own children attending expensive private schools.
4B. What causes a guy to think he will get away with sin, like Balaam did, like Jesse does, perhaps like you do? On one side it’s a pride problem. On the other side it’s the result of an inadequate and improper understanding of the very nature of God. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption,” Galatians 6.7-8. And Jesse has certainly sown to the flesh.
5B. Now that Janet Reno is no longer the Attorney General of the United States and in a position to block any attempts to investigate his business dealings and audit his so-called non-political and nonprofit organizations, the money is drying up for Jesse. He is down to fewer than 50 employees, with many donors backing away because of his “anti-American” posturing after the September 11th attacks. “He’s basically washed up,” said one Wall Street banker. “His money is drying up.” Walter Williams, a black economics professor at George Mason University and syndicated columnist, accuses Jesse Jackson of demoralizing young blacks with his rhetoric of victimization.
6B. So, there you have it. Jesse Jackson is a modern day Balaam. He has gone the way of Balaam. He has embraced and espoused the doctrine of Balaam. And he is committing the error of Balaam. He has sold himself and his people out for prominence and profit. He has cunningly figured out how to make others stumble and to deceive them to achieve his own ends, even those he claims to represent. And he thinks he is going to get away with it.
1. You and I have not the tools or the prominence of Jesse Jackson. His personality and ability to captivate audiences with his oratorical skills are gifts that you and I do not possess. So, you are not in a position, perhaps, to be like Balaam and to be like Jesse Jackson in every way. But perhaps you are like both men in one way.
2. What way is that? The error of Balaam. The error of Jesse. You think you’re going to get away with it. Maybe, like Jesse, you’ll get caught. But you think that, like Jesse, you’ll figure out a way to survive and get by. You’ll talk your way out of it. You will just move on and people will forget. But God doesn’t forget.
3. I used to think like you do. I used to be convinced by my own cleverness that I would figure out a way to avoid the last judgment, that I would somehow escape the final accounting for my sins. But one day I realized that I would not get away with it.
4. The Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” The Bible tells us that God is the judge of the quick and the dead. The Bible tells us that when the small and great try their best, they will still find no place to hide, no place to escape, from the judgment of the great day.
5. My friend, Balaam didn’t get away with it. Jesse won’t get away with it. Neither will you. You will be captured and made to give an accounting for your sins some day. If I were you I would follow the advice of Amos 4.12. He said, “Prepare to meet thy God.”
6. I sincerely hope that Jesse Jackson comes to grips with the Virgin Birth of Christ. Before his very unusual ordination he was asked if he accepted the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. He said, “I’m wrestling with it.” He later said he accepted the doctrine as true and was quickly ordained, but he may have said that to hasten his ordination. Who knows?
7. At any rate, it’s the Virgin born Savior Who died on the cross to save sinners from their sins. And if Jesse Jackson ever seeks forgiveness for his sins he’ll find it only in the Virgin born Son of God. And the same is true of you.
8. It’s the Virgin Born Son of God Who gave His life a ransom for all. He paid the sin debt to God on the cross of Calvary. He shed His precious blood to wash away our sins. Then He rose the third day and ascended to God’s right hand on high, where He waits until the time of His second coming.
9. This One Balaam spoke of, this One Jesse might have served to minister to the spiritual needs of his community, is the only One Who saves sinners from their sins. Balaam thought he could get away with his sinning, but he was wrong. Jesse seems to think he can get away with his sinning, but he is wrong. And you’re wrong, too, if you think you’re going to get away with it.
Second Peter 2.16
Alfred Edersheim, Bible History Old Testament, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1995), page 283.
B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation Of The English Bible, Volume I, (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2001), vol 3, page 7.
The First Scofield Reference Bible, (Iowa Falls, Iowa: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1986), page 1319.
John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1956.
The First Scofield Reference Bible, (Iowa Falls, Iowa: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1986), pages 1332-33.
Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), email@example.com.
Family Bible Notes (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenneth R. Timmerman, Shakedown, Exposing The Real Jesse Jackson, (Washington, D. C: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2002), page viii.
Ibid., page 6-8.
Ibid., page 7.
Ibid., page 13.
Ibid., page 11.
Ibid., page 43.
Ibid., page 58.
Ibid, page 380.
Ibid., page 378.
Ibid., page 57.
Ibid., pages 71-72.
Ibid., page 72.
Ibid., page 69.
Ibid., page 389.
Ibid., page 392.
Ibid, page 21.
Ibid., pages 74-75.
Kenneth R. Timmerman, Shakedown, Exposing The Real Jesse Jackson, (Washington, D. C: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2002), page 33.