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  The Great Bible Story #42
Moab tries tricks

Jacob Ninan
When the people of Israel came near Moab, Balak the king got worried, because he had heard all about what the God of Israel had done to all the kings of the nations. He didn't want to go and fight with them. He thought that a better way to attack Israel would be to curse them. He thought of a prophet called Balaam to do it for him. This Balaam knew the true God, but he seems to have been making a living out of prophecy rather serving God. When men came from Balak and told him that they wanted him to go with them to curse Israel, he told them he would check with God first. God told him in the night that he was not to go because Israel was a blessed people. Balaam told his guests in the morning that God refused to let him go with them.

When Balak heard this, he sent more important dignitaries carrying greater rewards with them to try and persuade Balaam. When Balaam saw all this, he hoped that perhaps God would change his mind! God was not pleased with him when he went to Him to seek His will. He told him to go, but only to speak the words He would give him.

As Balaam went towards Moab on his donkey God was angry, and sent an angel with a sword against him. He could not see the angel, but his donkey saw him and refused to go further. Now Balaam was angry with the donkey and started beating her. Now the angel went and stood in a narrow place where he was completely blocking their way. Seeing this, the donkey sat down under Balaam. Balaam beat her harder! Now God supernaturally made the donkey to speak, and she asked Balaam why he was beating her like this. He said he was so mad at her he wanted to kill her!

At this point God 'opened' Balaam's eyes and he saw the angel with the sword, and he bowed all the way down to the ground. He told God he had sinned, and was now prepared to turn back. But God told him to go ahead but to speak only what He told him.

Balak took Balaam to different mountains to look down from there on Israel and to curse them. But instead, he only blessed Israel more and more. He said no one could curse them because they were blessed of God. No witchcraft, black magic or sorcery would work against God's people. Balak was so disgusted he sent him away.

But greedy man that Balaam was, he suggested that the best way to curse Israel was to seduce them with Moabite women and then God's blessings would go away! That is what Balak did, and these women managed to turn many men of Israel to other gods.

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