So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.” Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. They came to Balaam and said: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.” But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the LORD will tell me.” Numbers 22:14-19
King Balak of Moab saw the Israelite nation approaching his country was filled with dread over them. He knew Israel had already defeated the Amorites and King Balak feared having to war against Israel on their way to the Promised Land. King Balak sends princes as messengers to Balaam, asking him to pronounce a curse on the Israelites, knowing that those he blesses are blessed and those he curses are cursed. This first request is denied by Balaam saying, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” As our scripture today covers, King Balak sends another set of more distinguished princes and a clear message to Balaam that he will be rewarded handsomely if he will come and put a curse on Israel. Even though Balaam’s words seem to indicate siding with God’s ways, his heart is intrigued by the possible riches offered him. He entreats God on behalf of King Balak. Here is the rub, Balaam’s heart was to use God for his own personal gain. Can he serve both God and money? The Bible teaches us no. The love of money is the root of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Keep God first in your life, don’t be fooled, examine yourself often, be for God, not against God.