But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” Numbers 22:12 (NLT)
As I've read the story of Balaam in the past, I always focused on the talking donkey. The morale of the story was how God could get a message across to us any way he chooses. Recently, in reading this again, new questions popped up.
One is that God told Balaam, "No, you cannot go curse them." Balaam sent the committee home only to have them return with more money and more prestige. Balaam, seeing all this, said "Let me check again." Did he think God was going to change his mind because there was more money at stake? Did he think because there were more important people in the group God would say "Well, OK."? On the outside Balaam was saying the right things (sort of) but his heart wasn't where it should be.
How often do we do this? We go to God with something we want, he says no but we keep asking? And then, we try to justify what we want by making up reasons that God said it was OK.
In the end God allowed Balaam to go and along the way he had a fight with a donkey, encountered an angel who was going to kill him, spent days and days on a hot dusty road and his reputation was damaged because Balek was really angry that so much time was wasted for nothing. And guess what? It ended up the way God wanted it anyway.
Maybe we should save ourselves and just listen when God says "I have something better for you."