“They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.”
(Numbers 31:16 NIV)
I was once at a movie theatre where a family from church had also come to watch the same movie as me. At the end of the movie, the father turned to me and said, “If we were at church, many would be praising and glorifying God!”
As I read the story of the prophet Balaam and King Balak in Numbers chapters 23-24, I, too, want to erupt in praise as God prevents Balaam from cursing His people Israel. After several failed attempts of trying to curse God’s chosen people, Balaam ends up blessing them instead! What a glorious end! I wish the story could have ended right there, as stories often do in movies, but that’s not the case. In the next chapter, we find out that even though Balaam couldn’t curse Israel, he enticed them to sin against the Lord. Of course, this is not clear until few chapters later in the book where we know for a fact that it was Balaam who advised the Midianite women to entice the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord (Numbers 31:16).
But in the midst of this tragic ending, I learned something very valuable. Although Satan may not always be successful in stealing our blessings, he’ll still find a way to try to draw us away from God and His purpose for our lives. So “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Just because you can’t see Satan’s trap, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.