11 And Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them."
12 And he answered and said, "Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"
Balak, king of Moab, a nation nearby the path Moses was leading the Israelites, has seen Israel achieve victory over a neighbouring nation. Balak is afraid for his nation and calls on Balaam, also a Moabite, but one who apparently knows God and is a prophet of God. Balak wants Balaam to curse Israel so that they will perish and not be a threat to Moab.
Unfortunately for Balak, he has got things around the wrong way. He thinks that Balaam can cause events to occur because of some power within Balaam. Balaam has spoken things which have come to pass since he is a prophet of God, but this does not mean that he is the cause of the events. God is the cause and is the one who is telling Balaam what will happen.
Balaam goes to see King Balak, but keeps stating to Balak that God will tell him what to speak and he cannot pronounce a curse on Israel if God will not curse them first.
The lesson to us is to realise that God has his plan and we do not have control over that. It is our role to seek God's will in everything and to make sure we are on his side during events. We cannot manipulate God to do our will as that is a perverse and dishonouring reversal.