I’m not sure when that age was for me, but I know it was definitely before the age of eight. I knew what was good. I knew what was evil, I chose the evil path. Of course there were times I considered sticking to the good side, but those moments never lasted for too long and this was one of such moments. This was the second time the king had sent his delegation to me, and my response was the same. My response was a “no”. This was my second attempt trying to stick to the good side. However this second response was not as firm as the first response. Allow me start from the beginning.
My name is Bilam and I am a “seer of the gods”. Some of you would refer to me as a juju priest. This is my calling, this is my trade. It had been handed down to me by my father and his father before him. My name actually means “devourer”, given to me by my father, and this was how I was truly perceived. My reputation had gone ahead of me and I have reached a stage where only kings and people of influence have dealings with me.
On this particular occasion, there was a threat of war and the king had sent a group of ministers within his kingdom, with a huge sum of money and with this message;” A vast army from the north east have camped near my boundary and have become a threat to me. I have seen what they are capable of, so please come and place a curse on them because they are too powerful for me.
Do this one thing for me then perhaps I will be able to conquer them”. This was his very first message to me. Considering they had journeyed through several states to see me, I asked them to stay the night, to allow me consult the oracle. The truth was I already knew what my answer would be because the great army they talked of where a people whose reputation had also preceded them and it was clear to all, including me, that they served a powerful God known as Nalsa and He was firmly on their side.
And it would be in my best interest not to interfere. So while they retired for the night, I went back to my room thinking of how best to deliver this message to the king. I already knew I would not carry out his orders of placing a curse on these people; however it had to be conveyed in a way that would still keep my “devourer” reputation intact.
As I sat and pondered, I suddenly felt a very strong presence in the room, so strong, it was almost choking the life out of me, and instinctively I knew it was Nalsa. That I feared for my life was an understatement, surely my end had come. However he had decided that my time was not yet up. He only had a message for me, and the message was clear and simple; “Do not go with them.
You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed”. If I was truly wise, I should have seen this as an opportunity to get on His good books, but I chose not to. I sat and pondered over what had just happened and somehow came to the very strange conclusion that probably Nalsa also considered me a powerful priest and has allowed me the right to continue in my chosen venture.
This was the erroneous thought that eventually brought about my downfall. Early the next morning, I sent the ministers on their way, saying, “go on home and tell the king that their God will not let me go with you”.
However I knew the king would not be content with my response and would surely send his men to me again. I didn’t have to wait long because a few days later, he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time saying, “Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me”.