And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. ~Numbers 22:20-22
Often I have wondered at the seeming inconsistency of the Lord’s response to Balaam in Numbers 22. Why would He burn with anger when Balaam was only doing what He told him to do?
The Lord was very specific with His instructions. If the men come to call… Why would He say that when the men had already come? Balaam had already given them a definite “no” twice, and yet he went with the officials the next morning without any record of them pressing him again.
Balaam fell guilty to the flaw of many of us–of wanting something so badly that we force God’s hand to gain it. This is the terror of Romans 1:
…although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Rom. 1:21
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, ~Rom. 1:24
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. ~Rom. 1:26
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind ~Rom. 1:28
How terrible it is to think of God “giving us over” to all of the things we think we want. We must learn to trust that He knows what is best for us, and His plans are for our good.