Balaam Sent for, to Curse Israel
These chapters present a surprising contrast between the covetous prophet and his sublime prophecies. It is clearly possible to be the mouthpiece of truth and yet have neither part nor lot in it.
Balak, as had been predicted, was sore afraid. Compare Num 22:3 with Exo 15:15 . The elders of Midian were his friends and allies. It was very important for them to stand together. The journey across the desert to Mesopotamia, where Balaam lived, was long and tedious, but he was a famous magician, who could marshal unseen forces into the battle by his incantations. He knew the only true God, but loved the wages of unrighteousness and erred for reward. See 2Pe 2:14-16 ; Jud 1:11 .
He made up his mind to win Balak’s promised gifts, and sought to persuade God to become his accomplice, first, by letting him go, and, secondly, by letting him say what Balak wished said. But God demands our loyalty and unison with Him, and will not swerve from the path of truth and righteousness by a hair’s-breadth to help our desires and ambitions.