The story of Balaam and Israel is the longest single narrative in the book of Numbers. It is the only place in the Bible where a donkey talks and as you read it, wonder how Moses could have known of it unless God told him.
More than that, Balaam himself is a wonder. He lives nearly a thousand miles away to the north and east. And yet, he has a tremendous reputation: Like God, those he blesses are blessed and those he curses are cursed. He is in communication with the LORD, and derives his directions from Him.
Who is this guy?
We are not told. But what we do know is that Israel is greater than Balaam. They are the people of God. As we shall see, power does not reside in the actions of Balaam. It resides in the relationship with God. Those who bless Israel will be blessed. Those who curse Israel will be cursed (Numbers 24:9). They are the people of God, and He is watching over them. Since the events of the Balaam story occur separate from Israel, behind the scenes, a message is that God’s care and protection is not always obvious, but it is always present for His people.