Question: In Numbers 22:20 God told him (Balaam) to go with them and say only what God tells him. Numbers 22:22 says God was angry when he went and he sent an angel, why? I don’t understand it? Answer: I think the answer can be seen in Numbers 22:9-12, when Balaam first seeks the Lord for an answer about whether or not God would curse the children of Israel. In these verses, God plainly says “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Then after the princes of Balak came back to basically entice Balaam to curse God’s people (Numbers 22:16-17). Balaam once again goes and asks the Lord if he could curse His people. God now (in Numbers 22:20) tells Balaam to go with them. Is God changing His mind now? (rhetorical question) I do not think so.
God knows the heart of Balaam, and knows that Balaam is not seeking the Lord to do HIS will, but seeking the LORD to see if the Lord would do Balaam’s will. Ultimately God is saying… “Okay Balaam, you know My answer, and obviously you don’t want to hear that, so I will let you do what you want”… and when Balaam did what he wanted rather then what God wanted. God was giving Balaam over to his own sin. And in the end Balaam would leave empty. -JH