Balak—Beware a man who talks to donkeys

Balak—Beware a man who talks to donkeys

That sense of foreboding that grows inside of you at the news of pending doom can issue forth in irrational behaviour.Balak, King of Moab sent Moabite and Midianite princes to Balaam with letters and money. He invited him to come and curse the Israelites who were on their way from Egypt to the promised land. Balak should have taken Balaam at his word when he told them that he could only do and say that which God commanded. Balaam’s arrival in Moab was greeted with a ‘what took you so long?’ from Balak. Again, Balaam told him that he can only speak the words that God puts in his mouth. Balak’s day got worse with every oracle that proceeded out of Balaam’s mouth. Three times in three locations he made animal sacrifices and had Balaam go off to curse Israel. And three times his anger rose as Balaam blessed Israel instead. Furious, Balak told Balaam to leave without payment. Again, Balaam told him that he could only have spoken the words that God had given him. As if offering Balak a favour, Balaam said that he would tell him what the Israelites were going to do to the Moabites—they would be crushed.Balak, along with Balaam, became a byword. Balaam may have prophesied the word of God to Balak concerning Israel, but he later gave the Midianite women advice that lead to the wholesale seduction of the men of Israel (Num.25; 31:16). All, including Balaam, were rounded up and killed. In Revelation 2:14 the church in Pergamum is reminded of this event, and Israel, in the days of Micah, was also told to remember this incident and God’s righteous judgement upon it (Micah 6:5).Sending Balaam was God’s way of saying to Balak, “My word is true, even if it comes through a man who lives a life of wanton pleasure. Believe the words but avoid any advice that emanates from a blacked heart.” And by the way—Beware a man who talks to donkeys!

johnstaiger1@gmail.com

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