Balak and Balaam – unless you’ve read through the book of Numbers you may have never heard their names. Balak was the king of Moab, one of Israel’s enemies. Balaam was a prophet of God.
One day, Balak got the bright idea of having Balaam curse Israel so that Moab could defeat them. Only problem…Balaam wouldn’t do it. Despite the promise of a rich reward, Balaam refused to say anything contrary to the message God gave him. This sounds pretty simple and straightforward until we consider the price Balaam paid for his obedience.
You see, Balak promised to pay Balaam handsomely if he would just say the words the king longed to hear. Just bend the truth. Just please the king. Just suppress God’s Word to please men. Pressure…pressure to bend…pressure to compromise in order to please men and receive their rewards.
The Teachable Heart has no building to keep open and maintain; there are no staff members to pay, etc. Even still, I’ve occasionally felt the pressure to compromise God’s Word to attract some people, while not offending others. I can only imagine the pressure on pastors who have to give some attention to “nickels and noses.”
Perhaps even in your personal life, you’ve felt the pressure to water down truth so as to not offend a friend or coworker. If so, let’s take courage in Balaam’s response to the pressing king:
Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord—and I must say only what the Lord says. (Numbers 24:13)
In the face of pressure to compromise, leave the nickels and noses to God, and speak His truth in love. –Dave
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