Numbers 22 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Then the L_rd opened the donkey’s mouth, and she asked Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?’ Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You made me look like a fool. If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you now.’ But the donkey said, ‘Am I not the donkey you’ve ridden all your life until today? Have I ever treated you this way before?’ ‘No,’ he replied. Then the L_rd opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the L_rd standing in the path with a sword drawn in His hand.” Numbers 22:28: 31
What is a donkey? It is simply a beast of burden. It carries your load, and even you, wherever and whenever you want. A donkey, although stubborn by nature, exists solely to serve men.
For Balaam, his donkey was a metaphor of his relationship with G_d. Balaam wanted the benefits of G_d’s power and wisdom, without having to be accountable to Him. In that sense, Balaam was a bit of a braying donkey, himself!
What I find interesting in Balaam’s conversation with his donkey, and the subsequent dialogue with the Angel of the L_rd, is how merciful G_d was towards Balaam (at that moment). The L_rd is basically saying, “What have I done to you, that you would mistreat me, mistrust my leading, and attempt to assert your will, where you know it is impossible to change mine?”
I believe Balaam…a non-Jew, had a real shot at a relationship with G_d at that moment. In the end, he chose an affiliation over a relationship. Balaam knew “about” G_d, but he never really “knew” Him. In the same way, there are many who affiliate with the greater community of believers, know of Yeshua and perhaps claim to follow Him. Yet they don’t know Yeshua in a saving way. They wish to reap the benefits of associating with the L_rd, but never surrender to His deity and His authority therewith.
Perhaps, we should ask ourselves how G_d has loved us (while we were yet sinners- Romans 5:8), the next time we are tempted to choose our personal gain over the L_rd’s promises. Could it be that we have merely affiliated with G_d (as opposed to surrendering to His Lordship), and in doing so, have denied ourselves a true (and completely obtainable) relationship with Him? How we choose follow Him and His Word, regardless of the circumstances, is perhaps our truest indicator of the genuiness of our faith.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, May 29, 2014