Summary: What an amazing and terrifying thought! To deliberately and purposefully oppose the will of God is to make God your adversary.
21 So Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 Then God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the way to oppose him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside from the way and went into the field. And Balaam beat the donkey, to turn her back to the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a path among the vineyards, where there was a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey
saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself into the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall, and so he beat her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went farther, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 So when the donkey saw the angel
of the LORD, she crouched down under Balaam. Then Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he beat his donkey with a staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made me look stupid; I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours unto this day? Have I ever attempted to treat you this way?” And he said,
“No.” 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; so he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because what you are doing is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me, and turned from me these three times. If she had not turned from me, I would have slain you, but saved her alive.” 34 And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know
that you stood against me in the way. So now, if it is evil in your sight, I will go back home.” 35 But the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you may only speak the word that I will speak to you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and set out with the princes of Moab. This must have been quite a scene to behold.
Accompanying Balaam were the dignitaries who had been sent to persuade Balaam to come and curse the
people of God. Each of them must have had their own servants and bodyguards. Balaam himself was accompanied by two of his own servants. I can imagine that those who happened to witness this entourage of Moab’s elite must have been duly impressed. Balaam was probably soaking all this up, basking in the glory of it all. After all, this whole caravan was on his account. He was the honored member of a very distinguished group.
What Balaam could not see was that by his choice to accompany this delegation, he had set himself in opposition to God. The words of verse 22 are chilling: “Then God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the way to oppose him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.”
Balaam had angered God.
More than this, by his actions, Balaam made God his adversary and he God’s adversary! The Hebrew word translated "adversary" is literally the word "satan."
What an amazing and terrifying thought! To deliberately and purposefully oppose the will of God is to make God your adversary. This truth is taught elsewhere:
He who would oppose the people of God and the will of God has made God his adversary.
As they make their way toward Moab, the Angel of the LORD stands in thepath of Balaam and his donkey.
The “Angel of the LORD” is a most fascinating person.
He appears with some frequency in the Old and New Testaments. There are different views as to who this is, but at the very least we can say that he is an angel who represents God, speaking and acting on His behalf. If Balak sent his most noble princes to entice Balaam to come to him, God sent His most awesome emissary to oppose his coming.