Numbers chapter 22 opens a series of bizarre or strange happenings associated with Israelites. A notable event outlined in this particular portion of scripture is the speaking donkey. Balaam, who is the character at the center of this story, seems to lack the wherewithal to pronounce a curse upon the chosen people. Hailing from a nomadic clan, Balaam was not their usual magician. His fame, which grew from his impressive reputation, summed up the reason why Balak sought his services.
After securing the Transjordan, the children of Israel had an easy time matching on wards to plains in Moab. The nature of this victory was so huge that it caught Balak, the son of Zippor’s attention. Seeing what they had to the Amorites, this knew that he had no chance against them. As such, driven by fear, the king of Moab saw the need to come up with an alternative approach to counter the Israelites. The fear was so great that he sought the help of Midianites, who were living south of Balak’s border.
In life, there are times that you will face threatening circumstances, which will drive you to seek help, as the case was with Balak. Unknown to the Israelites, was a king who was seeking a way to bring them down. Similarly, as we go through the motions of life, the enemy is always looking for ways to bring us down. The question that comes to the fore is on the person whom you put your trust. Whereas others put their trust in what they know, as the case was with Balak, those who stick to following the course defined by God turnout victorious.
As the story unfolds, it is quite clear that no one is in total control of the affairs of life. For this reason, the Moabite king sought the services of a pagan prophet to curse the children of Israel. No matter how hard he tried, the curse would not work because the one who covered them was far greater than the curse he was proclaiming.
God, who is omniscient, knows everything that goes on around the world. When Balaam and Balak went about planning how they would bring down the Israelites, what they failed to note was that God was still in control. At that point that He appeared to Balaam, which is the verse in question, and asked who were with him. It is easy to dispel this question, how come God, who is omniscient could ask a question? At times, the Lord of the universe asks questions; not because He does not know what is happening, but to remind us that He is in control.
By asking Balaam this question, the creator of this universe was expressing His position regarding what they were planning. More to that, now that Balaam was a pagan magician did not diminish God’s ability to interact with Him. It reinforced His ability to use even what the society terms as unwanted or evil to proclaim His purpose.