Read Numbers 22
“Moab was in great dread of the people because there were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel” (v. 3).
It took Israel about forty years to learn exactly whose mercy they were under. But King Balak of Moab and Balaam the prophet did not get the memo. They thought the Lord God served the prophet, not the other way around.
So Balak sent for the Balaam and asked him to speak curses against the people of God. To protect the Moabites from Israel, who was now camping just outside the kingdom.
So when the prophet-for-hire didn’t get God’s approval to go, he sought it again until he got the answer he thought he was looking for. See, Balaam wanted that money from the king. So God sent him on his way with this instruction: “but only do what I tell you” (v. 20).
Little did Balaam know God would actually tell him what to do through the mouth of a donkey. That’s when he got a true picture of the God he was dealing with.
This was God the Lord. The Lord who does not serve any man. Rather, He is the One to be served by all. Man. Beast. Balaam. Balaam’s donkey.
King Balak sent for Balaam because he wanted the power of his words. He thought a man could hold power within his words to curse or to bless. He hadn’t heart the story of God’s plan to provide water with His Word.
The mere stroke of His vocal chords hold the power of life. But God would not use His own voice with Balaam. Rather, He would use the voice of a donkey. Seriously. Balaam spoke with his donkey and gained understanding.
God would speak His Word through Balaam since He knew Balaam was set on doing just the opposite. Since Balaam wouldn’t speak according to God’s command, God made sure his donkey would. “Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me” (v. 32).
You see, Almighty God had the power to stop a man in His plan. And while Balaam had the freedom to go to Balak, God made sure he spoke only blessings on His people not the curses Balak demanded.
We can learn a lot from Balaam and his donkey. Even more than the fact that Mr. Ed was not so far-fetched as we may have originally thought. Most importantly, though, is the fact that God’s Word cannot be thwarted by any man or plan. His Word stands strong and true. And always faithful.