- Num. 22:1-24:25
Balak was the king of Moab. When Balak heard of all the Israelites had done in conquering the Amorites he was afraid. Balak sent messengers to Balaam who was some form of spiritualist who knew about Jehovah, the one true GOD. Balak offered Balaam money to pronounce a curse upon the Israelites. That night GOD told Balaam not to go with the men who had come from Balak but to refuse his request.
The princes returned to Balak and Balak then sent more princes to Balaam, more numerous and distinguished than the first group. Balaam told these princes that he could not deviate from what GOD had instructed him to say, but he would see what else GOD had to say about the king’s request. That night GOD told Balaam to go ahead and travel to the king but only say what GOD told him to speak.
Balaam journeyed to meet Balak and proceeded to obey GOD by speaking what GOD told him, but on the way GOD became angry that Balaam went. GOD sent an angel to block Balaam’s path but Balaam could not see the angel. GOD opened the mouth of Balaam’s donkey and then He opened Balaam’s eyes so he could see the angel.
We don’t know exactly why GOD would have told Balaam to go meet Balak and then sent the angel to oppose him, but one thing is clear: Balaam should have accepted GOD’s instructions on the matter in the first place. The Bible doesn’t give us Balaam’s motivation for going back to GOD a second time to hear His instruction on the matter, but these events highlight an important principle:
We must make sure that our motivation is to please GOD and not to do what we want to do. When GOD says something in His word we need to accept it the first time. He only has to say something once in order for it to be important. It is very easy for us to allow our personal desires to influence our beliefs and actions as opposed to honestly seeking to understand what GOD says about the matter. This is a most dangerous and foolish approach to life that must be avoided.