February 26 (Numbers 22:18)
But Balaam answered and said to the
servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and
gold, I could not go beyond the command of the my God to do less or more.
I love things that are bold and in your face. It’s why I like aggressive music by bands like Stryper, King James, and Chaotic Resemblance. It’s why I like the strong rhythm and rhymes of Alexander Pope’s poetry and a basketball game with run-and-gun action that goes down to the buzzer. It’s why I have always admired people like Balaam.
Messengers from Balak, the king of Moab, approached Balaam to ask him to curse the Israelites, and this was his answer. I love his quick, uncompromising response. Notice, however, that he does not say, “I will not go beyond what God says,” but rather, “I cannot do it.” For Balaam it is no longer a matter of choice. He stood on the command of God and could do no other.
I don’t know about you, but I think too much sometimes. Should I do this? Should I do that? Would it better if I went one way or another? How wonderful it would be to walk so closely with God, to feel the slightest impulse of His will, to love Him so deeply that it was simply not possible to do one thing more or less than what He wanted.
Lord, I pray no less sincerely by using the words of another, but your servant and poet John Donne simply said best how I feel.
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.