In this blog post, I thought it was important that we take a summary of what we have learned so far and what God is trying to teach us through the story of Balaam and Balak, which is a theological feast all in itself. Some of the critical biblical principles that will be counted upon as foundational material in the remainder of the Holy Scriptures are set out before us.
And, not the least of which is that a false prophet can at times be correct. That God Himself may use this false prophet for His purposes, even having direct contact with him.
Balaam was a false prophet in every sense of the word: he was a diviner, a seer, and a magician and he knew the God of Israel was to be expected because he ran in the circle of gods.
We are reminded of this story that the Evil One can counterfeit and mimic and make things look just as though what was occurring was a blessing from God, instead of what it is: DECEPTION.
In my previous blog posts, we discussed the incident with Balaam and his donkey; a talking donkey that could see the Angel of the Lord standing in his path. But Balaam could not see the Angel of the Lord because although he was familiar and close to the spiritual world, he was spiritually blind.
Great lessons were laid out here including the reality that when the path of our desires sometimes seems blocked, there might well be a divine reason for it. And, the wise man will pause and look for the Lord, and not consider the one who only seems to be the roadblock as necessarily the problem.
We also saw that the Lord is only willing to go so far in intruding into our free will. Over and over God told Balaam that He did not want him to go to King Balak of Moab and do the work of cursing Israel for the King.
But, Balaam kept going back to God, hoping each time that he could persuade God into changing His mind; Balaam was just not going to take “no” for an answer.
Understand: a magician negotiating with a god was just the standard method of divining. And Balaam would have had no concept of what to do and how to communicate with the Lord if it wasn’t in the only manner in which he was familiar.
And, so, God allowed Balaam to follow his free will even though it put him at odds with the divine will. And, yet, through all of this God accomplished that which He had intended; that Israel would NOT be cursed. That in fact the blessing that God had long ago pronounced upon Israel would be affirmed.
Therefore, we see another foundational God-principle established: the Lord will miraculously accomplish His plan working through men’s free will. And this is a mystery perhaps as great as Creation or Salvation.
How is it possible that the Lord can bring about His will through another’s free will, and more often than not that person’s free will is against the plan of God? However, not only do we see it in the Bible but also as Believers we have seen it in our lives, almost daily.
As we look around us, in our incredibly short life spans, we saw the world marching inexorably toward an end that the Lord determined in advance and told us would be. And yet He uses the free will and plans of both the evil and the righteous to achieve it all, only forcefully intervening on rare occasions.
In my next blog post, we will continue with Numbers 23 on Balaam’s second and third prophecies.