“What the Lord says, that I must speak” (Numbers 24:13)
Balak was a leader who had gods of his own making. When men make gods they make them in the likeness of men which means that it appears that they can be manipulated by pride, greed, power or an emotion such as jealousy.
In the face of the living God through a threat from Israel Balak imagined Israel’s God to be like his own and therefore believed that Israel’s God could be manipulated. He sought out Balaam, a prophet of Israel’s God, to act on his behalf since he had no relationship with the one true God.
Balak offered wealth to Balaam to manipulate God into placing a curse on Israel. However, Balaam knew that God could not be manipulated though he himself, a man, was vulnerable and eventually was seduced by the lure of wealth.
Before dealing with Balak the Lord first dealt with Balaam’s sin of greed and disobedience. It seems extraordinary that Balaam did not notice that he was having a conversation with a donkey but it was God’s means of rebuking and correcting him. After that Balaam said to Balak, “The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak” (Numbers 22:38). It would be good if we prayed that our preachers did likewise and for those of us who do speak we should have this same mind that Balaam now had.
Balak’s problem was that he did not understand the nature of the true and living God. Unfortunately it is so easy for us to fall into the same trap as Balak and think we can manipulate God. This is the pagan way and has no sway with God. God does not exist to provide us with wealth, health and pleasure like a genie from a bottle, Father Christmas or any other similar imaginative being from the minds of men. On the contrary, He has created us for His own pleasure.
The first step for us in bringing pleasure to Him is that we come to Him through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The second step is to keep on coming to Him always.