Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. (Numbers 22:2-3)
As Israel continued to journey, they engaged two kings that refused to allow them passage — Sihon of the Amorites and Og the king of Bashan. In fact, these two kings decided to engage Israel in battle and, as a result, lost their kingdoms and their lives. When Balak, the king of Moab, saw this he became very afraid. Perhaps it was due to the fact that he was unwilling to allow them free passage but didn’t want to suffer the same fate. Whatever the reason for it, his fear and dread — and hate — provoked him to take measures that pitted him against the God of Israel.
You might remember that when Israel was in Egyptian bondage, the Egyptians came to dread the people of Israel (Exodus 1:12) and connived to make the Hebrews “serve the rigor.” It would seem those who come to dread Israel want Israel dead. Many times we see that these people, like the king of Moab, conspire with others who share a hatred for God’s people in order to plot Israel’s destruction. In this case, Balak went to the elders of Midian to seek their assistance in confronting Israel even before he sent messengers to Balaam (more about him later).
Throughout history, the enemies of Israel see God’s people as a threat, most often based on causeless hatred. Perhaps the “threat” is not so much to their kingdoms as much as God’s people are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. In other words, it is the Adversary working in and through kings and kingdoms in an effort to annihilate God’s people because he knows that God’s Kingdom, in and through His people, will be established. He knows that, through the Messiah and His Body, his power and influence will be crushed underfoot once and for all. So, we shouldn’t shudder to think that the world doesn’t like us; to the contrary, we rejoice in the fact that we serve a conquering King who will, in His time, put all His enemies under His feet.
Blessings and Shalom,