One of the earliest lessons most of us learned was to be careful about the company we kept. At the time, that lesson may have not have hit home as well as it should have, but along life’s way it became more and more apparent that because we get so many of our cues in life from others, we’re always wise to make sure we have people in our lives who can show us right from wrong.
That’s the point of the story of Baalam in the book of Numbers. We know Baalam from his famous donkey (Numbers 22:21-41). The donkey recognized the angel of God long before Baalam, which made for this awkward and embarrassing realization that Baalam was not as attuned to God’s presence as he should have been. It’s a great story to be sure. But the story prior to it is equally important, as Baalam finds himself being called upon by messengers from Moab who have cash in hand to entice Baalam to journey to the Transjordan and work his black magic on this band of people who have left Egypt and are on their way to Canaan. What transpires in that encounter is another great lesson to us on making sure we have good and faithful influences in our lives, not ones who will lead us astray.
One of the places we are able to enjoy faithful company is of course in worship. There, we come together to encourage and support one another and to share an experience with God that will inspire us to go out into the world to enjoy God’s favor. Join us this Sunday as we lift one another up to God. Someone there will need you, and you will need them. The tie that binds us will no doubt be strong enough to enable us to reject any influence that would cause us to stray from the straight and narrow path that alone can lead us to the Promised Land God has for us to know.