I was reading my bible last night when I found myself flipping through the pages of Numbers.
That was the first time that I read the story about Balak and Balaam.
Please allow me to share this story with you.
Balak is the King of a land called Moab.
Balaam is a “prophet” in Pethro.
Now, I do not have any idea where those places are. Haha! Let’s just say it’s somewhere we’ve never been before.
Balak saw the Israelites invading his land. Because of his fear of the Israelites, he wants them to be cursed by Balaam, the prophet.
So he sent his messengers to get Balaam, but because he obeys God’s instructions, Balaam did not go with the men.
Makulit talaga si Balak so nag-try siya ulit na i-“hire” si Balaam. Sabi nya sa mga tauhan nya, “Tell Balaam that bibiyan ko sya ng maraming reward pag pumunta siya sa akin para isumpa ang mga israelites”.
But Balaam’s answer is amazing. He said, “If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I wouldn’t be able to do anything, small or great, to break the command of the Lord my God.”
Oh toroy ni Koya. Parang sinabi niya, “bigyan man ako ng maraming ginto, hindi ko pa rin susuwayin ang utos ni Lord”.
Nakulitan siguro si Lord so sabi niya kay Bally (nickname ni Balaam haha), “Sige na. Sumama ka na. Basta, don’t say anything that I did not tell you to say”.
Since obedient naman itong si Bally kay Lord, he went with the men. He rode his donkey.
Pero the Lord became angry kasi sumama siya. Pero pinayagan na sya di ba? Tapos ngayon magagalit si Lord? Ano ba talaga, Big Brother?
While they were on the road, God’s angel who carries a sword blocked Bally’s way.
The donkey turned from the road and went into the field. Pinalo ni Bally yung donkey para bumalik ito sa road. Strike one.
Nag-appear ulit yung angel. Natakot na naman yung donkey so it leaned against the wall and squeezed Bally’s feet. Of course nagalit si Bally so pinalo nya ulit si donkey. Strike two.
The angel of the Lord persisted on stopping Bally from going. He led the donkey ito a place where it can’t turn anywhere. Bally became angry and hit the donkey again. Strike three.
Eto yung medyo weird: the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth. Sabi ng donkey, “what i have done to you that you’ve beaten me three times?!
Bally answered, “Because you’ve tormented me. If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you now”.
Then the Lord uncovered Bally’s eyes, and Bally saw the Lord’s angel standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand.
Then he bowed low and worshipped.
The Lord’s angel said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I’ve come out here as an adversary, because you took the road recklessly in front of me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it hadn’t turned away from me, I would just now have killed you and let it live.”
Bally said to the Lord’s angel, “I’ve sinned, because I didn’t know that you were standing against me in the road. Now, if you think it’s wrong, I’ll go back.”
The Lord’s angel said to Bally, “Go with the men. But don’t say anything. Say only that which I tell you.”
The Arrival at Balak’s Kingdom
When Balak heard that Bally was coming, he went out to meet him. Balak said to Bally, “Didn’t I send urgently and summon you? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”
Bally said to Balak, “I’ve now come to you. But I’m only able to speak whatever word God gives me to say. That is what I will speak.”
Instead of cursing the israelites, he blessed them because that is what God wants him to do.
We are like Bally sometimes.
When we encounter challenges along our journey, we sometimes think that God is against us, when in fact, God is against where we are heading. In the story, God sent his angel to block Balaam’s way because he’s taking the road recklessly… Parang sabi ni Lord, “Anak, hindi yan ang tamang daan. Sundin mo ako.”
Then at the end of the day, we’ll just realize that the obstacle we face is actually a hint for us not to go on for our own good.
Balaam made a mistake by hitting his donkey. Have we thought about who we are hurting when things get tough? when disappointment and frustration start to embrace us? Maybe they are our family members, friends, officemates or even strangers?
But do you know what is good about Balaam?
He had a repentant heart when he realized that he sinned.
He also obeyed the Lord to not curse the Israelites but bless them instead.
Father, thank You for speaking to us today. Thank You for always for grabbing us when we are taking the wrong way.
May we always seek You and follow Your voice when things around us get overwhelming.
Help us Lord not to be blinded by what this world offers, but teach us to be rooted in Your love and in Your word.
Teach us to do what you want us to do…. to say what You want us to say, in Jesus’ name. Amen.