King Balak wouldn't listen. Twice he took me to the top of mountain peaks to look at the Israelites below. Twice we offered sacrifices to the Lord on those mountains. And twice the Lord told me to bless the Israelites.
King Balak wouldn't listen either time. "Didn't I tell you, King Balak, 'All the Lord says, I must do?'"
He told me to go with him to the top of a third peak. This time we had to climb Mount Peor. King Balak pointed to the wilderness. "See the Israelites, Balaam? Maybe God will be pleased and let you curse the Israelites from here."
Really? Doesn't he realize God's power? I told him on the last mountain, "God keeps His word. If he chooses to bless the Israelites, He will tell me to bless them."
It didn't matter. He made me climb Mount Peor anyway. Once again I asked for seven altars to be built for sacrifices. He had his soldiers make them. When we finished the sacrifices, King Balak expected me to go off by myself to speak with the Lord like I did the other two times.
I'm not sure why I decided to obey God that third time, but I chose to stay and do the job God asked me to do. I mean, God made His message easy enough to understand: bless the Israelites. I have no idea why I didn't do it sooner. I turned toward the wilderness, raised my eyes, and saw the people of Israel camped in twelve groups.
My heart pounded faster. I knew I had please the Lord this time by not asking Him if the Israelites should be cursed. He sent His Spirit to me and gave me these words to say right in front of King Balak:
Israel your tents are lovely like wide valleys,
like gardens near the riverside,
like healing aloe plants,
and strong cedar trees.
Your kingdom will be exalted.
God brought you out of Egypt.
The Lord has strength like a wild ox,
He will fight the enemies and win.
Blessed are those who bless you
and cursed are those who curse you.
King Balak's face turn bright red. He slapped his hands together and shouted, "I called you to curse my enemies and you--you brought blessings on them three times."
He raised his fist in the air then pointed away from the Israelites. "Go home. Run before I let my anger win. I said I would give you great honors, but now I see the Lord kept you from honor."
I didn't think the Lord kept me from honor. After seeing King Balak's anger, I think the Lord gave me a great honor by allowing me to bless the Israelites.
"King Balak, I told the messengers you sent to my home of my commitment to do what the Lord said. Even if You gave me your house full of silver and gold I would not go against the word of the Lord. Whatever He tells me to say or do, I will obey.
Before I left for home, I told Balak what the Israelites would do to his people. "A great leader will come from Israel who will destroy your country."
When I finished my message, I left. I didn't take any gold, or silver, or treasures--only my faithful donkey. And do you know how I felt on the inside? HAPPY.
1. Where did King Balak take Balaam this time?
2. What did he want Balaam to do?
3. Balaam did something different this time, what did or didn't he do?
4. What honor did Balaam receive?
5. Why was Balaam happy?
6. What did you learn from this story?