From Reward of Emunah (#207) by Rabbi Avigdor Miller
There is one consolation in life. No matter how many dark days some people have in life (and everybody eventually is disappointed, because you never forget what you want: “Ain adam meis v’chatzi taavaso b’yado — nobody dies having attained even half of his desires”), life is full of fun, full of joy, that’s what life is.
When they die they’re disappointed. It has to come to an end? It’s a great disappointment. But then comes the great consolation. When I am beset by sorrows and by concern, I am worried. “Tanchumecha hayu shaashu nafshi — Your consolations, they are the happiness of my soul."
Now what are the consolations? “Zechor davar l’avdecha al asher yichaltani — remember the word that You spoke to Your servant concerning that which You gave me hope." You, Hashem, remember the word that You promised us, that You gave us hope. You know what that hope is?
Whether you like the idea or not, it can’t be helped
It’s the hope that Bilaam expressed. He said, “Tamus nafshi mos yesharim — Let my soul die the death of the just." He looked at the Jewish people and he envied them. He said oh that my soul should die like they do! “U’sehi acharisi kamohu — And my end should be like his.” What was Bilaam hoping for? To be buried in the Yeraim chapel? He should have a Jewish funeral? What’s so good about it? If that’s the end, there’s nothing to look forward to. You might as well have a dog’s grave.
But Bilaam understood what he was talking about. He knew it was coming, he knew that the great principle was “Kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek l’olam haba”: If you’re a Jew, you have been promised the World to Come. It’s not promised to everybody, it’s promised to Yisrael. Whether you like the idea or not, whether you’re Democratic and you don’t like chauvinism, it can’t be helped. We didn’t manufacture this. Bilaam recognized that truth: Hashem promised the world to come to all the children who came from our father Avraham.
Because of the zechus (merit) of our first father — “Avraham ohavi — Avraham who loved Me” — in return for his great love, I love his children in this world and in the World to Come. Bilaam longed to join them, but of course he couldn’t do it. But that’s the great consolation of life.