The tension in the story of Balaam continues to build. Today Balaam has been tempted by the riches brought to him. He capitulates, at least in part, and decides he can, in fact, go to the Moabites and see what he will say. He still says he will only say what the Lord tells him. Yet there seems to be some doubt. Notice that Balaam has blinded himself to the appearance of the Lord. His donkey sees the Lord's angel ready to kill him. Yet Balaam himself does not see this vision until after the Lord opens his eyes. The Lord then uses Balaam's donkey to rebuke him. Balaam, moved to repentance, says he will not go. But the Lord sends him to speak to the king of Moab, but only to say what the Lord will tell him.
As we think about our relationship to this passage we see that we also blind ourselves to the truth. We decide to do things our own way and to do it claiming the name and authority of our Lord. We do it in little ways every day. Sometimes people do it in bigger ways (may the Lord protect us from ourselves). Yet whether it is a little thing or a big thing, our sin is the same. We assume the Lord put us in the situation we are in so we use that situation to gratify our sinful desires. In every instance it is offensive to the Lord and it reflects badly on him and on us in our society.
Lord, protect us from ourselves. Keep us faithful to you and your callings.