June 12 – Wait, who? – Balaam

Read Numbers 22:1-41

King Balak and Balaam, the prophet, had it backwards. They thought they could get God to serve them.

But that’s not how it works.

Balak was afraid of God’s people so he sent for Balaam, thinking Balaam’s words could protect the Moabites from Israel. But when the prophet-for-hire didn’t get the answer he wanted, he tried again, and then again, until he got the answer he thought he was looking for. Then God sent him on his way. That’s when God gave words to a donkey so Balaam could understand what he refused to believe.

And Balaam came face-to-face with the truth that God does not serve man. He is the Almighty Creator, Lord of all. Man. Beast. Balaam. Balaam’s donkey.

Balaam tried three times to get God to change His mind and let him say what he wanted to say. Three tries before he would find the fear of God inside the truth that he was 100% incapable of speaking his own words rather than God’s. Balaam had let Balak convince him that he was the power behind his own words, whether blessings or curses. But God set him straight and finally Balaam saw clearly the truth that only He is the one to be feared, revered.

As you read this story, which character do you most relate to? Are you like King Balak, believing a certain person holds the power to make or break your life with their words? Are you looking to other people for salvation and safety? 

Maybe you relate more to Balaam, convinced that you can tell God how to run things. Trusting yourself, seeking your own thing, thinking you have the power to resist God’s plan and go your own way, do your own thing.

Or is it the donkey you relate most to? Sadly, the donkey in the story is the only one who actually obeyed God from the first. He spoke His words, delivered His message, let God be the Lord.

If only Balaam had let God be his personal Lord rather than seeking his own way, running after the money King Balak had promised, chasing the favor of the Moabites. But he did not. And that is what leads us to conclude right here that, sometimes, we should be like the donkey.

Bria Wasson

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