And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.( Numbers 22:15-22)
Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.( 2 Peter 2:15-16)
Balaam , thought that the God of Israel was no different from the other “gods of the nations” which he had previously dealt with, as a Kasem, that is a pad seer.
But in this case the LORD clearly spoke to the pagan prophet, instructing him not to go along with the delegation from the King of Moab, Balak. Furthermore he was not to curse Israel. Why not? Because the LORD pronounced them to be blessed.
But Balaam didn’t tell the delegation everything the LORD had said. He failed to tell them clearly that God had forbidden Him to curse them, and that God had blessed these people,Israel.
All he related was his own reluctant obedience to the LORD’s prohibition upon going with them. He wanted to make the trip back with them, but couldn’t. The LORD wouldn’t allow him to.
This left the door open for further negotiations, higher bids, and perhaps bought some time in case he could change the will of the LORD.
Sure enough another delegation came from Canaan, 400 miles to the Euphrates river, with greater wealth in order to convince Balaam to curse Israel.
It looked like Balaam was resolute when he assured them,
If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
However in the next breath Balaam told them ,
Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.
Praying further about what you already know to be the will of God is the recipe for self-deception. What would there be to pray about? Had God not already spoken clearly? Was the instruction of the LORD open to negotiation?
Yet God allowed Him to do what he wanted to do. This permission is not necessarily a blessing, in some cases it is a judgment. Remember that Jesus told Judas, “What you do, do quickly!”. Was that a Divine sanction? Or was it more akin to the strong delusion God will send to those in the last days who insist on something like an Anti-Christ, until God sends them one!
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thess 2:9-12)
So the Lord allows the willful prophet to do what the LORD had previously and explicitly forbade him to do, “Go with them… but speak only what I tell you to speak…”.
But Balaam is so eager for the money, the honor and the fame, He rushed eagerly to join the delegation on the long trip back to Canaan. It is this willful eagerness that explains the fact that the Lord’s wrath was kindled against the prophet, and that the Lord himself was to be an adversary to Him on the way.
So it is with many these days, who have told themselves that what they have insisted on doing all along, was in fact the will of God, in spite of the fact that it contradicts the Word. As they rush headlong after their own lusts, they tell themselves they have Divine approval for all of it. Like Balaam these are totally oblivious to the wrath that is on them.