Balak, the king of Moab, heard how the Jewish people miraculously overcame the Amorite kings Sichon and Og. Even though it was common knowledge that G‑d had not promised the Jews the territory of Moab, Balak feared that these victories would embolden them to exact revenge from the Moabites for not having allowed them to pass through their country.
Responsible Leadership
וַיָּגָר מוֹאָב מִפְּנֵי הָעָם מְאֹד וגו': (במדבר כב:ג)
[Due to Balak’s predictions,] Moab became terrified of the [Jewish] people. Numbers 22:3

Balak had no reason to make the Moabites afraid of the Jewish people. He did not ask them to do anything to counter the supposed threat posed by the Jews. But he could not contain himself, and needlessly spread fear among his people.

In contrast, although Moses was afraid of King Og, he did not disclose his fear to the Jewish people. Moses realized that he must refrain from doing anything that would weaken the people’s morale, and instead bolstered his own inner morale. Because of his positive attitude and steadfast trust in G‑d, he successfully preserved the Jewish people’s self-image and pride in their Divine mission. Moses knew that we earn G‑d’s helpful intervention in our lives by trusting Him to provide it. Moses set the standard of fearless behavior for all Jewish leaders who would succeed him.

We are all leaders, to one degree or another, whether in the context of our jobs, our families, or our circle of friends. We should therefore learn from Moses’ example, taking care to foster others’ optimism and confidence in their Divine mission, rather than the opposite, as did Balak.1