Saturday, April 20, 2013

If God Can Use a Talking Donkey, He Can Surely Use You

From time to time, we have to miss church on Sunday morning, and when we do, we have church at home or wherever we are. The kids choose a song they want to sing and their favorite verse. They read their favorite verse and tell why it means so much to them, and then I choose a Bible story. I try not to choose the stories that my children hear over and over again at church and school because I want them to be intrigued and curious about everything in the Word. So on this particular Sunday morning in March, I chose a story that my daddy loves. It’s found in Numbers 22.

Let me set the story up for you.

Moses and the Israelites have been traveling in the desert. As they come to a town, they conquer it and move on. Word gets around, and when the Israelites stop outside of this one kingdom, the king gets nervous…with good reason. So King Balak sends for Balaam, a sorcerer. He wants Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites. King Balak sends some low ranking princes to fetch Balaam. Balaam asks the princes to spend the night while he checks to see if God will speak with him. Balaam is not a follower but is obviously aware of who God is, and God shows up. If you think God can only speak and use Christians or people from a certain denomination, you are sadly mistaken. God tells Balaam not to go with the princes because the Israelites are a blessed people. Balaam sends the princes packing. King Balaak is desperate and sends a second group of high ranking princes along with a promise of a reward. Well, this really peaks Balaam’s interest. He asks the princes to stay the night and goes back before God. God tells him go but only speak what he is told. God hasn’t changed his mind, but sometimes he allows us to learn lessons the hard way, especially for those of us who are hard headed.

Here is where my kids really got into the story. Picture in your mind the these upper level princes in their chariots and horses, very regal. Balaam is riding his donkey and his servants are following. They are traveling down the road, and all of the sudden the donkey make a bead line off the road into the middle of the field. This sorcerer gets off his donkey and whoops the tar out of it. Gets back on his donkey and continues further when they enter a narrow passage and the donkey leans so close to one of the walls, it hurts Balaam’s foot. Balaam gets off and whoops his donkey again. Remember, he has an audience who believes he’s a sorcerer. Shouldn’t a sorcerer be able to control his own donkey with some sort of spell or something? And then the road gets more narrow and the donkey just lays down. Embarrassed Balaam gets off his donkey (the Old KJV uses a different version of this word which makes it a little more funny) and beats it again.

Now here’s the thing. The donkey kept acting peculiar because he could see something Balaam and the others could not. Every time the donkey did something out of line it was because the donkey was seeing an angel holding a sword drawn in their direction. The angel of the Lord was seen by a donkey who responded appropriately. Makes you think doesn’t it?

Anyway, God opens the mouth of the donkey, and the donkey begins speaking to Balaam. Keep in mind the princes and his servants are behind him, and this donkey has just lain down. All these people see is this man talking to the donkey. We don’t know if they could hear the donkey speaking a language or braying. My guess is he was braying because I think it would be funnier that way, and I know that God has a sense of humor. Of course, that is just speculation on my part. At any rate, Balaam and the donkey have an argument. I wonder, did he not find it peculiar that his donkey was talking to him? Or did he think at the end of the conversation, “Dude, that donkey just talked!?” At that point the angel of the Lord is seen by Balaam who tells him that the donkey saved him because had he continued on, the angel would have slain Balaam and let the donkey live.

Have you ever been saved by a donkey? Have you ever been saved by someone you consider a donkey? Does the fact that God used a nonbeliever and an animal to protect his children surprise you? And if God can use a donkey (one of the most stubborn animals on earth) and a sorcerer, who can He use in your life to get you where he wants you to be?

The whole point of this story was the angel wanted to make sure that Balaam understood he was not going to say or do anything without God permitting it, and that he would not be putting a curse on the children of Israel and that he would not be getting the reward. Balaam had an attitude adjustment.

What does God have to do to get your attention? To get you to listen? To get you where you need to be?

And if God can use a donkey, don’t you think he can use you too?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving your comments.