Num 23-25 We have heard of ‘Wrong Way Corrigan,” the man who filed a flight plan for a flight from NY to Ireland but was denied. After liftoff, he turned his plane and flew to Ireland anyway. In some ways, Balaam, the soothsayer hired by King Balak of Moab, is like Corrigan. He was hired to curse Israel but blessed them instead. All was well until the fourth time when he, like Corrigan, decided on his own plan instead of obeying God. How often do we follow God’s plans until the money train runs out or we have what we consider to be a better idea? In this humorous but sad tale, complete with a talking donkey, we see a man hired to curse, claiming he was following God’s orders. King Balak continued to offer a prize for his cursing, but God controlled Balaam’s tongue until we enter Chapter 24 and see him setting his face toward the wilderness and not listening to God.
The rest of Wrong Way Balaam’s story is told many times over as a man whose heart was greedy and self-serving. The result was that in the end, Moab cursed Israel through sexual immorality, and thousands died as a result. There is always a cost and a consequence to our sins, and Balaam is proof of that.