Which One Are You?
We have seen a rapid decline and erosion of society and culture at all levels in America in the last couple of decades. Sadly, many followers of Christ have sat silently and done nothing, while others have openly embraced the changes. The church has let the government remove prayer and Biblical values from our schools, government buildings, and public avenues. It is no longer safe to call yourself a Christian and espouse a ‘true’ Biblical worldview.
We each have a choice; silence or just going along for not wanting to rock the boat is still a choice. Many in the body of Christ speak out only to be canceled. Sometimes the canceling comes from within the Church. This is nothing new, but it is certainly not the right answer. Some say we shouldn’t be involved in politics, while others believe we should overtake every area of society.
I believe we should be involved and strongly influence, but we are not to take over. Instead, we preach the gospel, which will ultimately prepare the way for the return of the King of Kings to rule from Jerusalem. In the meantime, three men in the Bible embody all three levels of attitude Christians have toward society and culture.
An Ancient Crisis: Slaughter of the Innocent
The recent overturning of the Roe v. Wade Court case by the US Supreme Court has caused every state to scramble to get laws in place regarding legal abortion and a woman’s right to have one. The Bible may be clear that taking a life is wrong, but many still find arguments that support their cause. We can all twist any verse to make it sound like what we want.
Child sacrifice and taking children’s lives for a ‘cause’ is as ancient as the world religions. It is nothing new, but it doesn’t make it right. There were several instances in the Bible where infants and toddlers were killed by order of a king.
There was the incident shortly after Jesus’ birth where Herod ordered the death of all males two years and younger. Then, there is the order by Pharaoh to slaughter Hebrew baby boys in the book of Exodus. Later we see the king of Judah, Ahaz putting his own children through the fire as a sacrifice to the false god Molech.
In the book of Amos, chapter five details how this ritual entered Israeli society early on as they passed through the wilderness. They even carried false gods with them while they sacrificed to YHWH. This was in direct violation of the commands given to Moses at Sinai. Further, YHWH is not into child sacrifice, despite what some say regarding the potential sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham or even the sacrifice by God’s own Son, Jesus.
The text repeatedly tells us that sacrifice and offering children is the practice of pagan worshippers. We live in a post-modern, post-Christian world, where the Biblical worldview is not accepted or credible. Further, abortion has resulted in the loss of millions of babies that only God knew their destiny and their assignment.
I am not here to condemn those that have had abortions, no matter the scenario. But, because of the ease of obtaining an abortion, it has resulted in many ruined lives. God is more than able to heal wounds and scars as a result of these actions.
However, I want to look at an unfamiliar situation from the Old Testament era and see how three men acted when confronted with the idea of killing Hebrew baby boys to stave off a threat to Pharoah’s throne.
Three That Advised Pharoah
Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of Moses and how he was rescued from the Nile River and raised in the house of Pharoah. You may recall that the order went out for the midwives to put to death any sons that were being born. However, the midwives feared God and did not do as Pharoah commanded.
That is a key phrase missing from most Christians today: they feared God. That thought will transition us to these three counselors, Balaam, Job, and Yitro, or Jethro. The Talmud and other early sources tell us that Pharoah had various counselors from time to time. When prophecies about one being born who would help the Hebrews gain freedom and potentially threaten Pharoah’s throne, he consulted the three men mentioned above.
The book of Jasher gives much insight into these dealing, but because there are no original texts and there were previous forgeries, it is not a viable source for our discussion. However, you can check out one book on the subject here.
We are all familiar with these three men and their accounts in the Bible, but you probably didn’t know that they were counselors to Pharoah, and he didn’t devise the scheme to kill the Hebrew boys on his own. In fact, it was Balaam, the prophet, who initially proposed the idea. So there may have been two Balaams; if that is true, this would be the great-grandfather of the Balaam from the book of Numbers.
Regardless, a man named Balaam, who was the father of the two sorcerers, Yannes and Yambres, from Paul’s letter to Timothy, proposed the idea and encouraged it. There was an agenda in suggesting such a thing by Balaam, but that will be the subject of future writing.
Then there is the prophet Yob, or Job. Yes, Job and Balaam are two of seven men known as gentile prophets by the Jews. We know the Bible tells us that Job was righteous and that he was later tested severely. As an adviser to Pharoah, Job was in a very important position. Yet, tradition tells us from Jewish sources, such as the Talmud, that he remained silent or told Pharoah to do what seemed best.
Some sources said that Job had previously had the idea to enslave the Hebrews, but most say that he remained silent. Further, many state that this was the source of his suffering. We can’t say for certainty, but we know he was there and most likely remained silent.
Then there is the man of seven names we know as Yitro or Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. He had other names like Reuel, Putiel, Chobav, Heber, Keni and Jeter. Yitro was a title meaning excellency, so that was most likely the title used at Pharoah’s court or by those subservient to him.
The Talmud records that Jethro opposed the killing of Hebrew infants and had to retreat to the desert. That seems plausible as we find him there when Moses comes upon the scene later as a man fleeing justice. Some sources relate that Jethro encouraged Pharoah to kill the infants and after that repented and had to flee. Regardless, Yitro or Reuel was sincerely repentant of the actions of the king of Egypt, while Balaam encouraged it, and yet another, Job, stood in silence.
Time To Decide
It’s time to decide where you will stand. We can join in the debate or remain silent. Whether it is abortion, racism, children and sexual identity, or human trafficking, we have a choice, and being silent is still a choice.
It’s time to repent for the silence of the past or allowing the voice of Balaam to silence ours. Even if we are forced to retreat and lose homes, friends, or businesses, we must be a voice to a generation that is searching for answers. Like the three counselors, we are not perfect and may be prone to make bad choices periodically.
However, we are the voice of the Lord. We have the living Word inside of us, and we know the truth. So, we must be willing to be canceled. But, are we really canceled? Society may boycott our businesses or not purchase our goods and services, but that does not cancel us. The internet does not belong to one entity, and as Christians, we are responsible for being active and engaged in the day’s issues.
What is your decision? Will you let Balaam pull you away from speaking out? Will you repent for your silence? If we remain silent or remain fearful, what will be the result? Perhaps I shall end by saying, like Uncle Mordecai told Esther, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise (for the Jews) from another place, but your house shall perish.” Esther 4:14