Q. I have a question bout Balaam in the book of Numbers. He was obviously a legitimate prophet in the sense that he spoke with God. But I am wondering why it is God gave him that gift, why He gave him permission to go then got mad (though I do understand that there is God’s perfect will and permissive will). And lastly if God was in a relationship with Balaam shouldn’t it have been to further His plan in which case wouldn’t it make sense that God would have been already trying to get Balaam to join Moses or aid in that effort in some way? I was just curious about these things and I know none of them are explicitly answered in scripture, but wondered if maybe there were any traditions associated with them. Thanks for your help.
A. All my understanding of Balaam comes from the Book of Numbers. I think the Angel of the Lord was making sure that Balaam understood he was not supposed to curse Israel. I have never bought into the concept of perfect vs. permissive will. To me it’s a man made construction. I think we’re either in His will or we’re not.
But in Balaam’s case, God’s will was accomplished. An important Messianic prophecy was placed in the record, no curse was pronounced on Israel, and the King of Moab understood that Israel would one day defeat his people.
Balaam apparently advised the King of Moab to send women to seduce the Jewish soldiers during their pagan worship rituals. This caused the Lord’s anger to burn against them and He had 24,000 Israelites killed for sleeping with Moabite women. In a later battle against the Midianites Balaam was killed for doing this. (Numbers 31:8, 15-16)