Numbers 23:12-13 So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you may see them; you shall see only the outer part of them, and shall not see them all; curse them for me from there.”
In the full story found starting in Numbers 22, Balaam is blessing Israel when Balak is asking for the nation of Israel to be cursed. Balaam, after realizing his misstep earlier, is speaking what God is telling him to speak. I was drawn to the words of Balak. Balak is trying to get the answer he wants by asking Balaam to change his viewpoint. He says – “you will see only the outer part of them, and shall not see them all.”
Many times, we fail to see all of a person. We fail to see the good when they’ve done wrong. We fail to see the love they’ve demonstrated when we glimpse a moment of hate. We fail to honor their basic human needs when it conflicts with an opinion. We take a viewpoint that is limited. We see the nationality, socio-economic class, or other “outer” characteristics. Like Balak, if we take a certain perspective, it becomes easy to criticize, judge, and even hate others. If we can only get enough people to take our viewpoint, it becomes easier to dismiss those in situations foreign to our own.
God would have us see all of a person. God tells us that we are all created in His image. Viewing those we disagree with from the perspective that, first and foremost, “this person bears the image of the God that I love and adore” makes it impossible to feel anything but love. This doesn’t excuse sin or change the consequences of sin. It simply allows us to come at every issue from a starting place of love. We know that we cannot say we hate our brother and claim to love God.
Changing our view doesn’t change the Holy Spirit’s instruction. Walking “In Spirit”, love will rule our thoughts and guide our actions. The Holy Spirit will give the same instruction no matter what hill we’re on, no matter what valley we’re in, no matter what country we’re traveling, no matter the wilderness wandering we’re enduring. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Love.