The First Voice (Numbers 22)

            “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people…”

            Balaam was a prophet that sold his soul for money and disconnected himself from God.  Some of us choose also to distance ourselves from God and ignore his perfect will for our lives sometimes. This is a very dangerous practice, because it leaves us exposed to unnecessary attacks from our enemy.

            God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh and proclaim his vengeance, and Jonah did not obey.  On the other hand, God prohibited Balaam from cursing Israel and he did go, although he couldn’t curse (because God changed his curses into blessings). God commands us to follow Him every day and we tend to go astray, following “our hearts” instead.

            Why is it so difficult for us to maintain ourselves inside the center of God’s will?  Why can’t we be like Daniel in the lion’s den?  There he was… surrounded by hungry beasts…a tough situation indeed! He could have avoided all this, simply by compromising a little bit, but he chose to be faithful to God regardless the consequences.

            Balaam’s error was not listening to God’s “first voice.”  God only has one word, and if he says “do not go” that is exactly what he means.  Didn’t Balaam know that?  Of course he did! But he was more interested in acquiring money, fame and recognition, than in remaining faithful to God.

            Later on he offered to return home after the incident with the “talking” donkey.  This was not the solution to his sinful problem.  The right thing to do is to obey God the first time.  The best thing to do is to never depart from the center of his will.

            A. G.

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