As surprising as it might be for you and I to hear a donkey speak, Balaam seems to have taken it in his stride, for he answered his donkey, as though this were a perfectly ordinary part of his day. It is actually more astonishing that Balaam should have answered in the way he did!
Jesus said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. But Balaam’s pride was in his way, his confidence that he could manipulate Almighty God into cooperating with Balaam’s greed. Balaam could not see God.
These were newish Christians, still in the early stages of having their faith anchored in truth. What a precarious time it was for the first century church.
It complicates things, does it not? When scripture specifically describes Lot and Noah as righteous, then carefully records their drunkenness and sexual deviance.
All of us are shaped by the culture we grow up in, and Lot’s wife and family were no different. Though Lot knew God, it seems he had little influence on his family or the society he kept.
Now, Peter would present his second and third examples, God’s cleansing the whole earth of abject wickedness, yet rescuing the tiny remnant of righteous ones.
There would be a time of corruption and villainy, but then would come God’s decisive judgment in ways that would summarily dispense with the wicked and would rescue the innocent.
the wolves will not be sheep. They will only seem to be sheep, that is the fundamental underlying truth of what Jesus was saying. They will be wolves -appearing as- sheep.
What is fascinating about this particular code word is that it originally queued Satan, as depicted by the prophet Isaiah.
Prophets—and notably Peter—did not write their private opinions, they wrote what they were given by the Spirit of God.