by Sparta Live | March 5, 2018 6:47 am
By Steve Qualls -Christpoint Church
In the book of Numbers, there is an interesting story concerning a reckless driving incident – well, more of a reckless driving of a donkey.
A guy named Balaam saddled his donkey in chapter 22 to be on his way to visit the Moabite king to be paid to curse Moses and the Israelites. In verse 23, the Lord stood in the way, and the donkey veered into a field. Balaam beat the donkey and forced him back into his own path.
Then again in verses 24-25, God took him to a narrow place and stood in his way again. The donkey tried to veer but was hemmed in on both sides. This time he crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. Balaam beat him again and forced him again onto his own personal path.
Again, in verse 26, God took him into a narrow place, which became so tight that the little donkey couldn’t be turned. The angel again stood with his sword drawn, and this time the donkey simply sat down. Again, for a third time, Balaam beat the animal for seeing what he couldn’t see himself. This time the donkey spoke and asked Balaam why he had beaten him these three times.
Now, here’s where it gets weird. It’s never as strange that an animal would speak as much as it is when we carry on a conversation with that animal. Balaam responded with pure selfishness. He wasn’t in wonderment that his donkey had spoken; he was furious that he had embarrassed him. Then, in his selfish anger, he proceeds to tell him that if he had a sword he would have killed him with it. But what follows is my favorite part. Ole Balaam gets shut down and put in his place by a beast of burden. He gets out-witted, out-analyzed, and out-talked. The donkey pretty much reminded him that he has always been with him and asked him, “Have I ever done anything like this before? Is this common for me to act like this?” And my man Balaam just responds with one word, “No.” He had nothing to say. Shut down by a talking donkey. Then, God opened his eyes, and he saw what the donkey had seen all along – the angel of the lord standing in the road with his sword drawn – and fell to his face before the presence of the lord.
Now, first of all, we are designed by God with a shepherd and sheep mentality. We function in correct order when we are being led. But when we refuse to allow the Lord to lead us, then God may just result to a herding approach to get our attention like he did with Balaam. And herding is always confusing to the animal. He corralled Balaam from an open road to a narrow vineyard to such a tight place that he couldn’t turn and run away.
Secondly, God opposes recklessness of spirit. When we become reckless with the Lord, we endanger everything around us. God told Balaam in verse 33 that his recklessness would have led to his death if it hadn’t been for that stubborn donkey. In the book of 1 Samuel, we are shown that rebellion is as witchcraft and stubbornness of spirit like idolatry.
Sometimes I think we are surprised by our hardships, like we didn’t expect hard times or ignored the signs all together. However, we should learn from Balaam and realize that when God wants, he will get our attention. Even if he has to crush a leg or cause a donkey to talk smack.
Third, He will funnel our attention if he has to. We should be thankful that he breaks in and disrupts our recklessness. It just may save our lives.
I could talk all day about a donkey that talks, but what I would really like is for each of us to spend some time together at Christpoint Church at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., each Sunday morning. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.