Yet they ought to have rejoiced, for the Amorites had been their great enemies, and Israel had put them down: but men who are bent on opposing God’s servants are under such an infatuation that they know not their own mercies.
Moab hated Israel, but did not come to open fighting at first. Many are the underhanded enemies of Israel, but God will defeat their devices.
Probably Balaam was surprised beyond measure that God should actually come to him. He had been a mere magician, but now for awhile the true prophetic spirit filled him.
What an opportunity for Balaam, if he had but been blessed with grace as well as with the prophetic gift. Here the Lord told him of a blessed people; why did he not cast in his lot with them?
Numbers 22:13, 14
So far so good. Under the pressure of fear Balaam is obedient, but will he hold on?
Here are larger bribes—how will the prophet act now?
He wanted to go, for he loved the wages of unrighteousness, and to try him he has a conditional permit to go if the princes come again and press him, but not else. We shall see in our next reading how his evil heart broke this gentle bond. He was a great man, an enlightened man, and for a while a supernaturally endowed man, but a grain of grace would have been of more value to him than all this, and for lack of it he perished miserably. O Lord, give us grace rather than the rarest endowments.