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by Maurice Hamel, ©2020

OpenClipart-Vectors, Pixabay, License

(Oct. 18, 2020) — Online news outlets, be it Fox News or World Net Daily, make money by selling advertising space, rather than subscriber fees.  Apparently, the more clicks, the more they are paid.  So, you will see eye catching ads hoping to get people to click on them and help fund the enterprise.  One of the ways to get someone to open these ads is to have pictures of attractive women, even if the story or product is completely unrelated to the enticing picture.  The idea is to capture the imagination, even the most base part of a man’s imagination.

Growing up I would occasionally hear the statement, “Young lady, you are not going to leave the house dressed like that.”  I don’t recall if it was directed at my sisters, or just lines on a TV sitcom, but the point was that dressing a certain way would get the attention of young men and that the attention would not be bringing out the virtuous characteristics of those young men.  Essentially, the young woman may not be aware that they were looking for trouble, since they were not likely to understand how male hormones can override the good moral character of a person.

Which brings us to the story of Balaam’s donkey.  In Numbers chapter 22 through 25 is an account from the 40 years which Israel spent in the wilderness prior to entering the Promised Land.  The nations around them considered them to be a threat and wanted to drive them away, so they tried to cause Israel to lose God’s favor.  Balaam was a prophet in the land of Moab.  The king of Moab offered to pay him if he would pronounce a curse on the Israelites.  Now Balaam really did want the money and so was riding his donkey on his way to see the king when the donkey suddenly refused to walk any further, and despite Balaam’s urging would not budge.  Finally, in his frustration, Balaam began to beat the stubborn animal, at which point the miracle in the story occurred and the donkey spoke in a human voice telling the prophet that an angel stood before him and was ready to kill Balaam to stop him from his “reckless path” of going to the king who had requested he put a curse on Israel.

What most people miss in that story is the following passage in chapter 25.  God did curse Israel with a plague that killed 24,000 of its young men, because of their immorality with the Moabite women in the cities around them.

Now leaving aside the question of whether the donkey spoke or the story is an allegory, the point that is being made is that God’s blessing on a person or on a nation can be affected by how a man deals with his sexual urges and his thought life.  In this case, it is attributed as being the cause of a plague that killed tens of thousands.

So, let’s revisit the advertisements that these generally Christian-leaning conservative news outlets are giving their readers.  For the sake of money, these online web pages are enticing Christian men to give in to their base urges, urging them to go to websites to look lustfully at inappropriately dressed women, and so go places in their thought life that are destructive to their character and their relationship to God.  Essentially, they are repeating the error of Balaam.

How long will they continue before God sends something to put an end to the reckless path they are taking?

As you pray for God’s mercy on America and the world during these troubled times, consider whether this is one of the things that 2 Chronicles 7:14 refers to when it calls God’s people to “seek His face and turn from their wicked ways?”

Maurice Hamel is a retired environmental scientist living on a small New England farm. He is author of “NATURE – GOD’S GROANING CREATION:  Biblical Perspectives for the Environmentally Concerned” available through his website, healingtheland.org.  He continues to write on the intersection of faith and world events, counseling husbands, devotional Bible study and “the need for people to grow in their relationship with God who loves them.”

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