This sparkling picture reminds me of something from many years past. I remember the sparkle in Linda's eye the day she told me that we were going to have our first child. That look will stay with me forever! It was as if it she was having her first birthday party and had been given the best gift she could ever have! The love I saw must in some way be like the way God felt about Israel because HE did everything he could to protect them. This passage from the book of Numbers tells the tale.
Num 22:1 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
Num 22:2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
Num 22:3 Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
Num 22:4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
Num 22:5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they abide over against me.
Num 22:6 Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
Num 22:7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
Num 22:8 He said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
Num 22:9 God came to Balaam, and said, What men are these with you?
Num 22:10 Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,
Num 22:11 Behold, the people that is come out of Egypt, it covers the surface of the earth: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
Num 22:12 God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.
Num 22:13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Go to your land; for Yahweh refuses to permit me to go with you.
Num 22:14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
Num 22:15 Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.
Num 22:16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me:
Num 22:17 for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.
Num 22:18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can't go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more. WEB
God loved Israel and blessed them. No one could stand before them and their enemies knew it. So Balak tried to bribe Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam realized something I wish we all could; that some things are worth more than silver and gold. If the shimmer on the water and the twinkle in my wife's eye can mean so much, then how much more blessed will I be if I listen to the words of God and do them. Besides, Habakkuk teaches us that God owns all the silver and gold anyway (2:8).