I love this! Right on the heels of yesterday’s blog, God is not a manipulator, comes today’s message: Neither can He be manipulated by others! Both of these are important, right? We don’t want God to be someone who pulls puppet strings and manipulates us. But neither do we want Him to be someone that we can push around.
Balaam and Balak discovered this truth about God after they climbed up Bamoth Baal with the intention of cursing the Israelites. Balaam already knew that God didn’t look on his mission with a favorable eye. Nonetheless, the two built seven altars and "offered a bull and a ram on each altar." (vs 2) Why did they do that? Because somewhere along the way, one or both of them had come to believe that you can get what you want out of God if you say or do the "right" things. As if God’s a cosmic vending machine — put in the right change and out falls your desired treat.
Three times they offered the sacrifices, apparently trying to "butter God up." And three times, the Israelites received outrageous blessings straight from the mouth of Balaam. Balak was mad, but as Balaam explained, "Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?" (vs 12) The sacrifices had done nothing to change God’s mind about the mission.
God cannot be bribed. He cannot be bought off. He doesn’t "have a price." He doesn’t manipulate us to do what He wants. And, in the same way, we are not able to manipulate Him into doing what we want. He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb 13:8) What a foundation on which to build our faith and trust in Him! He is steady and unchanging. We can truly count on Him to always do what’s right, no matter what the situation.