But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. Now stay here tonight as the others did, and I will find out what else the LORD will tell me.” That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. –Numbers 22:18-22
C.S. Lewis once said that there are only two types of people in the world: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, thy will be done.”
The difference is whether or not we submit to God. I don’t just mean begrudgingly doing what we think He wants. I mean surrendering our hearts completely, choosing Him over EVERYTHING else in our lives. The difference is how we view God. Is God the desire of your heart? Is He the desire of mine?
Lately, I have been asking God to bless my will rather than seeking His will for me. Like Balaam, I went over and over to the Lord asking, “God show me Your will. I’ll do what You say, just lead me.” Then He would prompt me, answer me in a small way, and I would continue to ask for another sign and another.
Once Balaam arrived at his destination, he made three different altars in three different places and sacrificed fourteen animals on each, then went and prayed to God for answers, knowing the answer he wanted, and then reluctantly coming back and delivering the answer he didn’t want. This was after a warrior angel had tried to stop his journey three times, a donkey had opened her mouth and spoken to him, and the same angel had spoken to him saying that he would have killed Balaam if his donkey hadn’t had more spiritual vision than he did! What more of a sign do you need?
Again, Balaam pulls out the old, “If you want, I’ll do it….”
Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.” The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. –vs. 34-35
I don’t know if your parents or spouse or friend ever gave you a choice, hoping you would choose what they knew was best, but you chose “option B” anyway. They let you do what you wanted, but they were still hurt, still angry. God is desperately desirous that we would choose Him, not out of compulsion, but out of love for Him. Why else would He have put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden?
Love must be a choice. Do you love God’s pleasure, or your own?
Yeah, in the end, Balaam only spoke what he was commanded, but later when the Israelites attacked the Midianites and God’s command….
They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.*
Why? Even though the Bible doesn’t list what the advice was, it does say that all the non-virgin Midianite women had to die, because…
“They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people.*
It’s interesting the things the Bible leaves out. Like what happened to Jonah after the Ninevites repented. Some things we’ll never know, like what would have happened if I had continued in my own will rather than God’s.
Do yourself a favor: Stop asking God for signs. Just choose Him. Even if He never lets you see the map, you’ll eventually see the trail from the vista He leads you to.
*Numbers 31:8, 16