Saturday, March 19, 2011

Balaam's Temptation

By Mary Vee
Numbers 22:14-21

Balaam's Thoughts

More than a week had passed since the officials from Moab came.  I sat down to eat my dinner in my favorite chair, put my feet up then heard a knock on the door. Why must visitors come at dinner time?

This time a larger group of men stood outside my door. They had clothes like important princes from some kingdom.  I opened the door further, "Yes? May I help you?"

One standing in front bowed. "You're Balaam the priest, correct?"

"Yes, I am."

He pointed to the other men. "We are princes from Moab. We've come to ask your help."

I was surprised. I didn't help the official who came the last time. Why would King Balak send more people to me? And why did he choose to send princes? He must be desperate.  I waved them inside. "How may I assist you?"

The men came in. "Our business is urgent. We don't wish to sit until you agree to help." 

"Very well. What do you need?"

The man pulled out a bag of money and held it close to me. "King Balak needs you to curse the people camped near our country. They have travelled from Egypt and are powerful. He doesn't want anything to keep you from coming back to Moab with us. He promises to honor you greatly, and will do whatever you say. He asks that you please come to curse the people who have settled in the land next to us."

Their eyes showed their fear.  I realized the people who came from Egypt must truly be great. 

I shook my head. "It doesn't matter how many times you ask. Even if Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold I simply couldn't do any more or less than the word given to me from the Lord my God."

They sighed and held the bag of money closer. "Please?"

It would have be rude of me to throw them out at such a late hour. "Here. Stay the night and rest. I'll ask the Lord again to see if he has anything else to say."

The princes bowed. "Thank you. Thank you."

I went to my usual meeting place with the Lord and asked if there was anything else He wanted to me to do for the men from Moab. 

The Lord said, "If the men come to call you, rise up and go with them, but only do what I tell you to do."

I knew God was angry by the way He spoke. He gave me clear instructions the first time. I shouldn't have asked him a second time, but I couldn't resist. The princes came all the way from Moab and they had money.

So I left with the princes the next morning.

1.  Why did King Balak send princes to Balaam's home?
2.  What did King Balak promise to give Balaam if he came?
3.  Why was God angry?
4.  What did Balaam decide to do?
5.  Did God want him to do that?

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