Numbers 24:1-4 (NLT)
1 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, 2 where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, 3 and this is the message he delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, 4 the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open:
King Balak had summoned Balaam, known for his ability to conjure curses. Balaam used divination which is a process of looking for omens and signs. But Balaam had been told by God twice to bless Israel and he had done so against the orders of King Balak. Balaam had seen God’s power at work and he knew there was no need to refuse. So Balaam is asked a third time to curse Israel. Realizing God was determined to bless Israel, Balaam didn’t even try to seek out omens or turn to demons for curses. Instead he walked out to the people of Israel and in boastful vanity magnified himself as the one delivering the blessing from God.
There is a commercial with business men sitting around a table with their boss. One of the men makes a statement to the effect, “maybe we should use this company to handle our shipping!” The boss repeats back the same phrase and immediately gets applause from all the other men. The man who first made the comment looks shocked and says, “I just said that.” The boss looks at him and says, “No, you didn’t move your hand like this.” The other man just sits there frustrated knowing he gave the idea, but his boss took the credit for his thoughts. Balaam tried to take the credit for God’s words by saying he was the one who could clearly see God’s desires; he was the one who could hear God; he was the one who got the vision; and he was the one who bowed down. People are often ready to take credit for God’s work. But there will be a time when there is no denying who God is. In the book of Revelation John writes the following, “They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"” Are you giving God the credit he deserves or are you trying to take credit for yourself? Heavenly Father we humble ourselves before you acknowledging you are Lord and Savior. Lord you alone are worthy of our praise. Keep us away from the temptation to praise ourselves for the works of your hands.