Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Blessed Curse

By Mary Vee
Numbers 22:38-23:12


King Balak's Thoughts


Balaam's finally here.  He has no respect for a king's command. Any other person would have dropped everything and ran to my palace after high ranking officials visited his home.  


Could he feel honored like any other normal person? Noooo. If his reputation hadn't been so great I would have never wasted my time sending anyone else.  


Since he refused to come to palace, I thought he wanted more money.  Fine. I thought. I sent the highest princes from Moab to his home with a bag full of money.  This time Balaam agreed. Just as I'd thought. Everyone has their price.


He arrived last night looking ragged from the journey, so I gave him food and a place to rest. This morning I took him to one of the highest peaks overlooking the Israelite camp.  I knew he'd understand my concern when he saw their huge numbers camped in the valley.


Balaam looked far to the left then far to the right. "The Israelites are too great to number! I want you to build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams."


I felt he made a reasonable request. "Captain, see to his request. Do so quickly."


"Yes, my Lord."


The altars, bulls, and rams didn't take long to prepare. Balaam and I stood by each other to offer one bull and one ram on each of the seven altars. I brushed my hands together. "Is that it? Will you curse the Israelites, now?"


Balaam stroke his beard then looked down at the Israelites. "Stay by the altars. I'll go to a place alone. Maybe the Lord will visit me with a message."


At last! Action would be taken against the Israelites. Balaam's God must be pleased with the sacrifices we made. He'll come back with the curse for sure. "I'll wait."  


I'm not sure how far he went, but he was gone for more than an hour. I didn't care. To have the Israelites cursed would be worth the wait. He finally returrned. "Did your God give you a message, perhaps a curse for the Israelites?"


"Yes, King Balak."  He turned toward the Israelites in the valley. "King Balak of Moab brought me from the mountains of the east to curse the Israelites. How can I curse what God hasn't cursed? How can I condemn whom the Lord hasn't condemn? I see the Israelites from the top of the rocks and from the hills. They live by themselves, not putting themselves with any other country.  Who can count all the Israelites or even number a part of them? Let my end be like the Israelites."


That was no curse.  I ran my hands through my hair. "That was no curse, Balaam. What do you mean by those words? You have blessed them completely!"


Balaam sighed. "I can only say what the Lord tells me to say."


Maybe he misunderstood. "Let's me take you to another place."


Balaam bowed. "As you wish, my Lord."


Come back next time to see what Balaam did next.


King Balak


*********************************
1.  Who came to visit King Balak?
2.  What did King Balak want him to do?
3.  What did Balaam ask King Balak to get ready?
4.  What message did God give?

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