Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.” – Numbers 22:38
Israel had defeated two kings and was now on the doorstep of Balak, another king in the land of Canaan. Balak came to the prophet, Balaam, and offered to hire him to come and curse Israel in hope that his army would be able to defeat Israel. The L-rd came to Balaam and said not to curse Israel because He’d blessed them. Balaam told Balak more than once that despite his offer, he could not and would not curse Israel and go against the Word of the L-rd. In fact, he told Balak that he could speak only that which the L-rd gave him as a message.
We now that later on Balaam would succumb to greed and cause Israel to sin against the L-rd by getting the men of the nation to sleep with the pagan women of Peor. However, before that point in time, Balaam was a prophet who spoke to and knew the L-rd Most High. He’s recorded in various versions of Scripture as calling the L-rd by his full name, YHWH. Thus, Balaam had to know the L-rd. As such, there was a point in time where the prophet would do nothing against the will of Adonai.
We need to emulate the resolve of the prophet prior to his disobedient rebellion against Yahweh. This man absolutely refused to give in to the temptation of wealth just to speak a curse against another man’s enemy. How often do we hold true to such determination? Are we ever guilty of cursing our neighbors or friends or family with our words? You might not think so, but we’ve, all, wished that what goes around would come around to the offender. We might have even said that we wish we could exact revenge ourselves. However, we have to remember the word of the L-rd, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Law of Moses is fulfilled in one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We need to make a habit, practice, and mantra that we will only say what the L-rd tells us to say. When we speak out of anger or jealousy or other emotion, we will sin. If we adhere to the practice of speaking only what G-d says about others, we cannot go wrong. His word is truth! It brings life, not death! We can bring about death from G-d’s word when we twist it or use it as a hammer to belittle others or be judgmental in our approach to others. In such instances, we are actually cursing our family, friends, and neighbors rather than encouraging, equipping, and exhorting them, as we are directed by Scripture to do. There is power of life and death in the tongue. To speak life is to be aligned with G-d’s word (written or spoken) while speaking death is to be misaligned to G-d’s word. We hold such power in a tiny member that is set on fire by hell. Think about it!
Let us draw near to the Father, learn to hear and listen to his voice, and then do only what He tells us to do and say!
Father, oh most holy one, you are to be honored above all because you are supreme! There is none like you in the entire universe! You’re Creator and Magnificent One! Thank you for giving us examples in the ancient writings from which to learn how to live our lives as you’ve designed and willed. Teach us to hear the still, small voice of the Spirit of the L-rd, who teaches us all we need to know and guides us into all truth! Many times, Balaam gets bad-mouthed and suffers a bad rap because of his fall from grace, but at one time, he walked and talked with you. He would do only what you told him to do and say only what you told him to say. Stir up within me the desire and drive to do and say only that which you’ve given me to do and say. Spirit of the Most High, build up in me a resolve to stand strong and not waiver as Balaam eventually did. I rely upon you to provide me the power (grace) to live this life as you’ve designed. May your will be done, not mine. In the name of Yashua HaMashiach, Amen.