I'd had a long day and was looking forward to putting my feet up while eating my supper. Yes siree, a good day's work felt good. I cooked my food then enjoyed the meal in my favorite chair.
It seemed like the perfect night to go to bed early, until a knock at the door changed my mind.
A group of men, dressed like officials stood outside my home. I opened the door further. "Yes? May I help you?"
One of the officials stroke his beard. "You're Balaam the priest, right?"
"Yes. I am."
"We've traveled all the way from Moab with an important matter to discuss and are willing to pay for your help. May we come in?"
I waved them inside. "Yes, of course. You've journeyed hundreds of miles. Come in."
The officials found places to sit and looked at me. Their eyebrows showed their concern. "We need your help. Our king has heard those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed."
"What are you asking me to do?"
"There's a people who've traveled from Egypt to our border. Our king looked from one of our mountain peaks and saw the people covered the land below like bees in a hive. They've settled next to our land. King Balak asks you to come at once to curse these people."
He held his hands out and leaned forward. "Balaam, their army is too might for us. They'll conquer us in a short time. but, with your curse, we might be able to defeat them and drive them away."
Well, I couldn't answer a question like that on my own. The giving of curses or blessings only came from the Lord. "You must be tired after the long journey. Stay here for the night and restore your energy. I'll go before the Lord and ask Him what should be done."
They agreed. While they slept I meet with the Lord. He spoke first, "Who are these men with you?"
I had to admit I didn't know much about them. "Balak the king of Moab sent these men to me. They want me to go to Moab to curse a people camping on their border."
God said, "You will not go with them. You are not to curse the people because I have blessed them."
Well, that was simple. I got up early the next morning to give the men the Lord's answer. "God has not given me permission to go with you to Moab. He said I should not curse the people camping on your border. You'll have to return to King Balak without me."
The officials left right away, but they weren't happy. Did they really expect me to disobey the Lord?
This is not the end of the story. King Balak won't give up.
Come back next time to see what happens next.
1. Who was the king of Moab?
2. Why was the king upset?
3. To solve the problem he sent officials to get _________________. Why?
4. What did God say?