THE MAN WHO COULD NOT MAKE UP HIS MIND
As Israel pitched their tents, one of their enemies was watching them.
It was Balak, the king of Moab. Balak was afraid of Israel because he knew God
fought for their army. He sent money to a man named Balaam to persuade him to
curse Israel. Balaam had a very greedy heart but he tried to hide it by acting
religious. Balaam also had heard about God fighting for his people. He knew
that Israel was blessed by God.
When the men brought the money to Balaam to persuade him to curse
Israel, Balaam said he would have to talk to God about it. This was wrong
because there are things that we know are against God’s will and it is foolish
to pray about doing something wrong. God answered Balaam’s prayer anyway. He
told Balaam not to curse the people and not to go with the men. Balak didn’t
give up, instead he sent more messengers and more money to try to convince
Balaam to do what he knew was wrong. This was a test that God allowed to come
to Balaam. Balaam knew that God had already told him no but he wanted to try
any way he could to get the money.
First Balaam said, “I can’t do anything against the command of the
Lord.” When Balaam said this he was making a promise to obey God’s will.
However, Balaam failed the test. That night he prayed again asking the Lord
what he should do. As if he didn’t know what to do already! God was angry and
allowed Balaam to go with the men.
God had set a trap along the way to punish Balaam for his disobedience.
He sent a strong angel with a sword but Balaam’s donkey saved his life. After
the trip into the hills Balaam still asked the Lord what he should do pretend-
ing he didn’t know. God would only let him bless Israel so Balak the king was
very angry and Balaam had to run for his life. He did not receive the money or
honor he was hoping to get. In fact, his name goes down in history as a man who
tried to make money by ruining the spiritual life of others. Balaam could have
had the respect of men if he would have really lived for the Lord, instead he
was killed along with God’s other enemies when Israel took over the land.
Taken from Numbers 23, 24