Today’s reading: Numbers 21:8 – Numbers 32:19
Most of us know the story of Balaam and his donkey, but how many have noticed the follow-up tale? Upon seeing the Israelites enter his land, Balak, king of Moab, was terrified by the enormous numbers. Remember, that the Hebrews numbered over a million people with livestock. Such a huge group could strip the land bare! It’s not hard to understand why Balak wanted to curse Moses and his flock, but Balaam blessed them three times, and cursed Balak!
So, we arrive at the ‘followup’ told in Numbers 25:
While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. (Num 25:1, 2)
Since he couldn’t curse the ‘invaders’, Balak decided to ‘welcome’ them–with the open arms of his temple prostitutes. It didn’t take much for the Hebrew men to abandon Jehovah for other gods and soft embraces. This is often the tactic used by the enemy–if open cursing doesn’t work, then subtle kisses might. We have to be diligent and keep our eyes open and our ears tuned to the LORD.