bless or suppress?
devotions by Jefferson Vann # 2331
Num 22:1 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
Num 22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
Num 22:3 And Moab was very afraid the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel.
Num 22:4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This collected assembly will now chew up all that is around us, as the ox chews up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,
Num 22:5 sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, and this is what he said “notice, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the land, and they are staying just opposite me.
Num 22:6 Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Maybe I will be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, because I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
Num 22:7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak’s message.
Num 22:8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as Yahveh speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.
Num 22:9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”
Num 22:10 And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, and this is what he said,
Num 22:11 ‘notice, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the land. Now come, curse them for me. Maybe I will be able to fight against them and drive them out.'”
Num 22:12 God said to Balaam, “You will not go with them. You will not curse the people, because they are blessed.”
Num 22:13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, because Yahveh has refused to let me go with you.”
bless or suppress?
Barnes comments that Balaam had learned “some elements of pure and true religion,” but that prophesying was to him only a “mere business.” That business awareness of Yahveh had led Balaam to pray to Yahveh before considering whether to curse the Israelites. Yahveh answers his prayer, telling him not to make the fatal mistake of attempting to curse those whom he has chosen to bless. No good can come with collaborating with God’s enemies.
LORD, give us the wisdom to know who to bless, and who to suppress.