Num 24:12 And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
Num 24:13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
Have you ever run across passages that made no sense to you in the scripture? The story of Balaam has been one of those for me. You see, there are three references to Balaam in the New Testament and all are very derogatory, take for example this one from 2nd Peter 2:15; 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;.
In the Story in Numbers we find a soothsayer by yhe name of Balaam, who after his king had tried to hire him to curse the people of God he refused to do so. Not once, but twice from his home and four times in the field, and actually blessing the people of God whom his King wanted cursed because his King wanted to war with Israel and knew he could not win with out a supernatural advantage.
In the story I found one very confusing part and that is when, after God had told Balaam he could go, God sends an angel to stand in the trail and attempt to stop Balaam. Why that almost makes it seem as if God is a bit schizoid. Go and a few hours later don't go, make up your mind will ya God!
Then I discovered something I hadn't seen before - God was trying to get Balaam to see and confess to his motives for wanting to go and do the Kings bidding. Balaam said all the right things, Balaam did what God told him to do but in Balaams heart he was still coveting all that gold that Balak had promised him.
I honestly believe that part of the reason Balaam had gotten so mad at his donkey when his donkey was trying to avoid the angel was that Balaam was deep in thought trying to figure out how he could obey both God and his King Balak so he could receive the bounty but not incur the wrath of God. If we are honest with ourselves how many times have we found our self in the same boat, trying to please both God and man.
It Doesn't work, you can not please both God and man. Seriously folks is it going to take a talking ass for you to see that pleasing God must come first or are you going to be as stubborn as Balaam. You see the story does not end well for Balaam;
Jos 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.
You see Moses had gone to war with Sihon and the Princess of Midean and utterly destroyed those kingdoms which included Balak's kingdom.
But before I leave this topic Balaam had indeed figured out a way to please both God and man (at least he thought so) he devised a plan that he most likely sold to Balak to get God to curse Israel and to a point it worked.
See it was Balaam's idea to have the young women of Midean t0 morally corrupt the young men of Isreal:
Num 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
In Numbers 25: 1-18 we learn that Balaams plan cost Isreal 24000 people. FB Meyers commentary says ,"Unable to curse Israel directly, Balaam suggested to Balak the device of destroying the union between Israel and their divine Protector by enticing them into sin. Once bring license and passion into play, and let the seductions of evil prevail, and surely the holiness of God would compel Him to withdraw His protection! This was a diabolical suggestion to gain his wage."
In the end Balaam failed, Phinehas stopped the plague by spearing and killing an Israelite man having sex with a Midianite woman which brought an end to Balaam's plan.
Now I can plainly see why the Jews hated this man. He talked out of both sides of his mouth. He obeyed God in the matter concerning cursing Israel directly but he devised a plan for Balak that would cause God to cause plague among Gods people and had it been allowed to continue would have caused God to turn His back on the Israelis all because Balaam "...loved the wages of unrighteousness"
The question of the day then is do I love the wages of sin or do I Love my God?
Self examination is an ongoing principle that helps us to identify areas of our life were we may be throwing up roadblocks to relationship with God. This as well as my own profit motive is why I wrote "The Ten Commandments a Guide To Holiness". Please consider purchasing a copy I know it will help you in your walk with the Lord to grow closer to Him. You may purchase it here; Les's Books on Amazon