“Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.”
Numbers 22:34 ESV
Verse 34 is where Balaam confesses sin. But I think he is confused about what sin he has committed. Balaam seems to think the sin is beating his donkey three times, not realizing that the angel of the Lord was standing in the way to kill Balaam.
But I think verse 19 is where Balaam blows it. God has already said no. In 22:12, God says to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Balaam should have taken this as God’s final word on the subject. God determined to bless Abraham’s descendants way back in Genesis 11, and He hasn’t changed His mind since.
“But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.”” Numbers 22:18-19 ESV
So why would Balaam even invite the messengers of Balak, the enemy of God’s people, to stay the night? What more is Balaam looking to hear from God? If God had already spoken, the thing for Balaam to do was to send them on their way.
Maybe it was money. Maybe it was the pride of being a sought after consultant. But for whatever reason, Balaam decides to go to God for a second opinion. Time after time, Scripture testifies that when God speaks, it is His final word on the subject. Here are just a few examples:
- In Him there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17).
- “I am the Lord, I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)
- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
- “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].” Romans 11:29 AMP.
We can trust God’s Word. And we can trust that even when we ignore God’s Word, He will still seek His glory. In tomorrow’s reading, we will see how God spoke through Balaam to deliver one of the clearest prophecies in the Torah about the coming Messiah.