When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” Numbers 22:36-38 ESV
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. I Peter 1:17-21 ESV
David Rockefeller is an extremely rich American man. He has billions of dollars to run his businesses and also to do good things that help others. There’s another thing he’s done with his money, and that is to collect art. He has the original paintings by many modern artists, such as Picasso, Manet, and Gauguin, displayed around all the rooms of his office. When people are very rich, they can use their money to get the things they want. There’s a saying that very rich people sometimes use when they are trying to get something: “Money is no object.” That means that no matter how much something costs, they can afford to pay for it.
King Balak was also a very rich man. He could afford to pay Balaam whatever he needed to in order to get him to do what he wished. Balak couldn’t understand why Balaam didn’t come right away when he sent for him. Balak had riches and power and he was used to getting whatever he wanted. He didn’t realize that there are some things that money can’t buy. God’s help and favor isn’t for sale. Balak could never pay God or someone who spoke for God to curse the people that God had blessed.
Sometimes we make an idol of money because in fact having money opens the door to many good things. Money is a gift from God, and if he gives us money we can enjoy it. God also wants us to enjoy helping other people with the blessings he gives us. But we can never trust money to solve all our problems. Money can’t make God love us and help us. Most of all, money will never pay for God to forgive our sins. There isn’t enough money in the world for that, but Jesus paid the full price for our forgiveness. Giving his life on the cross is the only payment that would cover our sins, and Jesus paid it in full, because he loves us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for paying the price for my sins on the cross. Amen.