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 pretending 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,