ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 255

N u mbers
people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I
will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know
that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people
you curse.”
Balak’s messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with
money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel. They went to Balaam
and delivered Balak’s message to him. “Stay here overnight,” Balaam said.
“In the morning I will tell you whatever the Lord directs me to say.” So
the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.
That night God came to Balaam and asked him, “Who are these men
visiting you?”
Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me
this message: ‘Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt, and
they cover the face of the earth. Come and curse these people for me. Then
perhaps I will be able to stand up to them and drive them from the land.’”
But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these
people, for they have been blessed!”
The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on
home! The Lord will not let me go with you.”
So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, “Balaam
refused to come with us.” Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger
number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the
first time. They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him:
“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop
you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever
you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!”
But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give
me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night,
and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”
That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have
come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.”
So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off
with the Moabite officials. But God was angry that Balaam was going, so
he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As
Balaam and two servants were riding along, Balaam’s donkey saw the angel
of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back
onto the road. Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road

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