Have you ever watched a cat as he plays with a mouse? Balaam, a diviner, played that game. Wonder who won, the cat or the mouse?
Numbers 22 and 23 “The Cat and Mouse Game of Balaam”
The story of Balaam brings the question to mind; did he “know” God; that is, did he have a personal relationship with God or he just “knew” God but not personally. We struggle with those who spout that they “know” God but their lives don’t match up with their words. Take for example Simon in the city of Samaria that heard the gospel preached and Luke records that he believed and he followed Philip constantly. However, later on, Peter rebuked him because Simon thought he could acquire the Holy Spirit’s power by money. Peter said you are bitterly envious and in bondage to sin. Did he “know” God or just know of God? That is the perplexing problem of Balaam especially when we see him talking to God and God responding to him. Balaam seemed to like the cat and mouse game of testing Balak. And then there is God responding “if the men have come to call you, get up and go with them.” However, Balaam didn’t wait but got up and saddled his donkey and set off with the princes of Moab. And then God gives us the humorous story of the talking donkey!
These are the kind of stories that leave us scratching our heads for answers.
So what is our takeaway? There are probably more lessons than we can write about here. One of the most prominent lessons is that Satan will use the glitter of money to test men’s resolve to obedience to God. Peter said to be aware of his tools for he seeks to find us and destroy us as he did Balaam in the end.
Stay tuned tomorrow as Paul Harvey said for the rest of the story.