Balaam (whose name may mean “foreigner”) is hired by the King of Moab to curse the Isrealites. God tells Balaam not to curse them. Balaam goes anyway.
Numbers 22: 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick.28 And 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?”29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.”30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”
The most curious part of this interaction is Balaam’s response to the donkey. Instead of stopping and saying (what I would have said) “Woah, donkey, you can talk?” Balaam just answers him matter-of-factly. He attempts to justify beating the donkey to the donkey. That just makes me laugh.
Back to today’s lesson…
The donkey was God’s vessel to bring truth and awareness to Balaam. It doesn’t seem like a worthy vessel, does it? Yet sometimes, we judge the vessel God sends and not what is being shared. I’m guilty of it too, noticed I said “we.” The truth is, that truth is truth no matter who speaks it: a pastor, an enemy, a child, a stay at home mom, a non-believer… the list goes on and on.
We need to recognize the truth when we hear it and no put so much emphasis on the vessel. Yep. That’s all I have to say about that today. 😉
Here’s the late great Rich Mullins with a song about this story. Sorry, no flannel graph available. 😉