Ok…so where were we? … Ah yes!
Jehovah’s anger blazed against Balaam causing the donkey to speak. Balaam had still intended on cursing Israel. We know this because if Balaam did Not curse them he would get no reward. Somehow he thought he might evade the divine restriction imposed upon him, curse Israel and gain honor and riches.
But Jehovah shocked Balaam into fear of tampering with his messages.
Proof that Balaam went with reward in mind, hence with a curse in mind–since he couldn’t get that without performing the curses, is shown by Peter’s words concerning covetous ones:
“Abandoning the straight path, they have been led astray. They have followed the path of Balaam the son of Be’or, who loved the reward of wrongdoing, but was reproved for his own violation of what was right. A voiceless beast of burden speaking with a human voice hindered the prophet’s mad course.” 2 Peter 2:15, 16.
Also, Jude validated this thought:
“Too bad for them, for they have followed the path of Cain (of Cain/Abel) and have rushed into the erroneous course of Balaam for reward.” Jude 11.
The speaking donkey and the threat of the angel was the only thing to bring Balaam around.
Do we need the same to prevent us from taking a wrong course? … Of course not! We have Balaam’s donkey story to remind us.
So now the Moab King Balak must have been happy with Balaam’s arrival. But it was short-lived. After the sacrificial partying, Balak took Balaam to an elevated site, so that he could get a good look at these people causing his nation fear.
Balaam requested Balak to erect seven altars and offer seven bulls and seven rams. Then, Balaam withdrew alone to a bare hill, to evidently perform some ritual.
Anyway…it didn’t work. Jehovah caused Balaam to bless Israel three different times! Numbers 23:1-24:9.
Balak was hot!
In Numbers 24:10, 11, he told Balaam to:
“Go home immediately. I intended to honor you greatly, but look! Jehovah has deprived you of honor.”
What! … Jehovah has “deprived him of honor” from a man afraid of his enemies?
(Not that he shouldn’t have been afraid. We’ll discuss that another time.)
Should not Balak’s words been like an ice bucket douse?
Jehovah has just prevented you, three times, mind you, from your usually successful rites.
Now who is stronger?
And to make matters worst, Jehovah motivated Balaam to utter prophetic pronouncements that included a message of doom for Balak’s own people–Moab!
Did Balaam finally learn that resisting God’s will was useless? … Did he go back to his home in Pethor?
Or was honor and glory from a fearful King more important?
To Be Continued…