“And the Angel of the LORD said to him,…
‘Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.’ ” Numbers 22:32b
What would cause God to stand in the way?
What was this person’s path leading to?
What does God consider perverse?
In this case the path was leading to follow the dictates of an idolater who was trying to bribe Balaam to pronounce a curse on God’s people.
The path was leading to the harm of the innocent.
And what caused Balaam to desire to step on to it was personal gain.
God makes His heart very clear.
He loves the weak, the fatherless, the widow, the broken, the lowly.
At no time are we allowed to gain by another’s misfortune.
Nor to seek to take that which belongs to another.
God gives to each one and the blessings of contentment is gained by the realization that all the provision of each moment is a gift from our Father.
To desire gain of money or things or even status can lead to a path of all kinds of evil.
Balaam did not curse Israel, yet it wasn’t because he didn’t continue on the path.
He ends up dieing at the hands of the Israelites as they fight to cleanse their own way back to following God and His commands.
The Moabities success in harming Israel was to lead their people into idolatry.
The outcome of that was terrible loss of life.
At no time should desires or ambitions harm the innocent as a way to gratify ourselves.
God knows what each path leads to.
He understood what Balaam was getting into and the motivation used to get him on the path in the first place.
The Lord doesn’t mean for us to be fulfilled by the temporary pleasures of this life but by His daily relationship with each one of us.
Careful steps are required.
If the motivation for stepping onto a particular path is contrary to God’s Word, it will be at odds will for one’s relationship with the Lord.
Jesus himself warned us of the snares of the flesh.
“No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches.” Matt. 6 : 24
Yet ever where one looks the pull for pleasure is screaming for attention.
If it’s not a new better shinier fancier something than it is the “you deserve to…”.
All around each of us the call to please the eye or the flesh or the pride throws out tempting reasons for stepping onto the path.
Yet the price of fun or fulfillment is so often things one never intended to sacrifice.
No wonder the Angel of the LORD was standing in the path.
God knew exactly what Balaam was choosing and he spoke clearly to Balaam before hand not to walk there.
The lesson is two fold.
Be certain of the path, that the motivation to step in any direction isn’t contrary to God.
If one finds themselves already treading the path which harms both the traveler and the innocent make a change.
The healing hand of the Lord can lead those who find themselves astray.
For we serve a merciful God,
one who is quick to hear and quick to respond.