March 5, 2012 – Bless you!

Before Shrek had his sidekick, Donkey, there was Balaam and his. We saw yesterday how God used an animal to reprimand the prophet Balaam. Can you imagine how that scene unfolded? It is kind of sad that the donkey had more spiritual discernment than the prophet. The donkey knew better than to cross the Angel of the Lord.  After taking abuse from Balaam “…the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” (Numbers 22:28 ESV)”  Wow. a donkey that can talk and do Math. Balaam almost seemed so silly arguing back. Reading this account always makes me laugh.

 

So today we follow Balaam on his mission covered in Numbers 23-25.

 

To sum it up, Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, yet Balaam ended up heaping blessing upon blessing on them. Can you picture Balak’s anger? Again, I love how God has a sense of humor. Anyway, what transpired in this account It brought to mind the passage in Isaiah 54:17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken! Doesn’t that just give you comfort? That as long as you are under God’s protection, nothing can harm you? Again and again we see God is in control. Yes, he lets us exercise our own willpower but when it comes to His plan for His Kingdom – Thy will be done.

 

Unfortunately, we have not heard the last of Balaam. As my ESV Study Bible notes that even though he went back to his place and was unsuccessful in cursing Israel, it is later discovered that he advised Balak to send women to seduce Israel and lead them away from allegiance to God (31:16; cf. Rev. 2:14). Maybe this is what prompted the events in Numbers 25 with that sordid episode between Zimri and the Midianite woman. God judged them pretty quickly. God’s judgment also came on Balaam in the war against Midian in Num. 31:8. I don’t know how long he enjoyed the riches he acquired from Balak because he died a few chapters later.

 

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19 ESV)  God is faithful. He says what He means and He means what He says. 

 

[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan

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One thought on “March 5, 2012 – Bless you!

  1. Exactly what I read for today too, T…..I always enjoy this story of the talking donkey…..I wonder if he sounded like Eddie Murphey? JK!God can use anyone for any purpose. Balaam’s greed ended up getting the better of him….isn’t it amazing that even after he witnessed God’s power and glory firsthand, he still went after the quick payoff? But once again, that sounds like me. There is something to learn from every character I encounter in this wonderful book called The Bible.Morgen

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