I am not sure what stuck out to you in this week’s reading plan, but for me it was Numbers 22. This has always been a fascinating account to me, and I sometimes forget about it. In Numbers 22, we see Balaam have a conversation with his donkey, how fun? It’d be pretty cool to be able to have a conversation with an animal. I would be interested to have one with our dog Beacon, to see why he likes to bark at me when I sit down on the couch or when I lay down to go to sleep, but I can’t. This is one reason why I find this passage fascinating, but the other is to see the awareness of Balaam’s donkey to what was around her.
We see in this passage that Balaam’s donkey actually saves his life. Balaam was going to Balak to give him a message from God, or so we thought. On his way there we see his donkey acting up, and Balaam thinking his donkey was just being disobedient struck her three times. This all seems pretty logical, at least I assume, but then the donkey speaks! Crazy, right? But we see that the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, thus making it less crazy, and more miraculous. From here we see the conversation that ensues. Balaam is mad at his donkey, but then we see the donkey reason with him, and then Boom, Balaam’s eyes are opened! He finally sees what has donkey had seen the whole time, the angel of the LORD.
The encounter between Balaam and the angel is rather perplexing when we first look at it. We are told that Balaam was told by God to go to Balak and do only what he was told by God to do. When reading it would seem Balaam was doing just that. Where we differ from God is knowing the heart of Balaam, and although it seems Balaam was going under the grace of God, he must have had some sort of heart change. It seems reasonable to believe that Balaam was going to fall to the temptation of greed, thus God sent His angel to stand in his way from making it to Balak, and thankfully for Balaam his donkey saved him! From here we see Balaam’s encounter with the angel, and the angel reiterates for Balaam to “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.”
In the next few chapters we see that Balaam is faithful to God’s word, and instead of cursing Israel, as Balak wanted him to, he blessed them three times. I think we can all be like Balaam at times, going into a situation set on giving God the glory and even sharing His word with others, and then our own ambitions or our own thoughts get in the way. We may become distracted or in some instances scared, or perhaps we find we can take advantage of a situation for our own gain, but let us seek God and his will and plan.
The last thing I’ll leave you with is this: if God can use a donkey to bring a message to someone, God can use you to bring His message of Good News to those around you!
Thanks for reading,