Numbers 24 has the result of the third attempt Balak made at getting Balaam to curse the Israelites. But it doesn’t go his way. “Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel” so he doesn’t go looking for reasons or ways to curse them but rather he “lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping….the Spirit of God came upon him….sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered”. God meets Balaam and shows him the vision of His people. He opens his eyes to see God’s vision. Vision is seeing things from God’s point of view, through His eyes and Balaam experiences that as he walks and talks with God.
And this is what Balaam saw:
- “How lovely are your tents….your encampments
- Like palm groves that stretch afar
- like gardens beside a river
- like aloes that the Lord has planted
- like cedar trees beside the waters
- Water shall flow from his buckets
- seed shall be in many waters
- king shall be higher than Agag
- kingdom shall be exalted”
Bottom line is this: “Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you”.
Balak goes ballistic. His “anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together”. This is not what he wanted or thought he was buying from Balaam. “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times….now flee”. Balak has had enough. He realizes that Balaam did exactly what he told him he would do – ask God and give him the straight answer – but Balak is still furious. But before leaving Balaam makes it clear once again: “If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak….I am going to my people”. Balaam isn’t veering off God’s course again. He still remembers the words of the donkey!
As Balaam leaves he gives Balak a little more than he wanted. He lists all the countries and cities that will be destroyed by the Israelites. Everyone who tries to harm God’s people will fall. Balaam tells Balak straight up that “its end is utter destruction….who shall live when God does this”? There is no way to go against God. Balak gets mad and leaves without getting what he wanted.