“…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.” 2Peter 2:15
When Christ addresses the church at Pergamos, He charges them with the sin of Balaam: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”1 Numbers 22-24 records the incident where Balak, the king of Moab, requested God’s prophet Balaam to curse Israel on the Exodus. God refused to allow Balaam to curse His people, and so Balaam counseled Balak to engage in sexual promiscuity with Israel, thereby ensuring God’s curse. Jude and Peter tell us Balaam did this because he lusted after the wealth promised by Moab.
Lust and covetousness are essentially the same; when you lust you covet, and vice versa. The object of your coveting determines what you call it. For the football player it may be being inducted into the pro hall of fame; for another it may be becoming the richest man in the world; for those in academia it may be becoming president of an Ivy League school; and so forth. Although it may be difficult on occasion to distinguish between a legitimate desire and coveting, whenever you break the commandment of God to attain your goal, you know you have committed the sin of Balaam.
Balaam was endowed with a marvelous gift; God made him His prophet, which meant that he could accurately predict the future. Obviously, this was inadequate. He wanted something more. It seems that the greater the blessing of God the greater the sense of independence. The more a person has the more he covets. As a follower of Christ, this is a trap you must avoid
1 Revelation 2:14