“So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel.” Numbers 22:3
Fear is an emotion that can grip anyone. Fear can be positive when we respect and honor the Lord by revering or fearing Him. Fear can also be negative when we are afraid and worry about our circumstances or people that appear to be intimidating. In Numbers 22, we read of the Moabite King Balak who feared an anticipated encounter with the Israelite multitude that encamped near Moab.
Balak was aware of the defeat of the Amorites for refusing to let the Israelites pass through their land while journeying to the Promised Land. As a result, Balak feared the Israelites who were camped in the plains of Moab. He saw that the Israelites were numerous and because of this, dread overtook him. He was in such great fear that he sent messengers to summon Balaam the diviner to curse the Israelites so that he could in turn defeat them. Balaam, on the other hand and after his encounter with the angel of the Lord (Numbers 22:22-35), feared God and sought the Lord’s counsel on what to speak.
When Balaam arrived to meet Balak, he took Balaam up to the high places of Baal so that Balaam could see what caused him great fear and dread. Although not all of the Israelites were visible at the high place, Balaam would still be able to see a portion of the Israelite population. King Balak was willing and eager to do all that Balaam instructed so that what he feared the most, would be conquered and eliminated. At Balaam’s instructions, Balak’s fear drove him to prepare and make multiple sacrifices to prepare for the curse that he thought the Israelites would receive. However, Balaam’s fear of speaking only what God instructed, led him to only speak blessings over the Israelites in spite of Balak’s insistent pleas and angry outbursts to curse the people of Israel.
As you read the account of King Balak and Balaam, which type of fear drives you? Do you positively fear and honor God and will only speak and do His will, or are you driven by the fear of a person or people, your circumstances, and subsequently make decisions because of dread and intimidation? Although both men did not have a relationship with God, Balaam feared and acknowledged God in spite of King Balak who summoned him for evil intentions and who also could have also physically harmed him if he did not comply with his request. Decide today, that when you are faced with fear to turn to God, pray, and make decisions based upon your love, respectful fear, and honor for God, as opposed to the fear that leads to sinful choices, greater fear, and dread.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,