Stubborn as a Donkey

Scott Stevenson

"So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him."  Numbers 22:21-22

During my reading time in the morning, the Lord reminded me how stubborn I could be when it comes to my sin. I find the story of Balaam an interesting account to say the least. I always thought he was a silly guy for arguing with a donkey, but God showed me how silly I could be in my private sin.

I gave you the verses where the Lord became angry with Balaam and that caused me to ask why the Lord was angry with him when He gave him permission to go. Well, there is more to the story than meets the eye. God is not interested in lip service, He is interested in obedience.

Balaam had a heart problem and God sees his heart is full of greed and his intent to curse Israel and receive money. In Numbers 22: 7-21, God told Balaam once not to go with Balack and he will not curse the Israel. Balaam, in v. 19, wanted to inquire of the Lord again as if God changed his mind. The sin becomes stupidity at this point. Peter made reference to Balaam’s madness when it came to his obsession with his sin:

"Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness."  2 Peter 2:15-16

Back to the story; in God’s confrontation with Balaam, God states the reason He is about to kill him:

"And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”  Numbers 22:32-33

In that day, a donkey was known for stupidity and stubborness, and I’m not sure if donkeys have changed from that day to today. The donkey was more spiritually perceptive than Balaam, the renowned pagan prophet of that day. Now, before I get on my high horse and start throwing rocks in my glass house, this story reminds me just how stubborn and stupid I can be in my sin, until the Lord opens my eyes. Yes, Balaam had a conversation with his donkey, but how many times do we make up our minds to oppose God and go after our sin? Is God angry with you because you are feeding him lip service and pursuing the desires of your heart? Is God the desire of your heart? I thank the Lord for His Word and for the conviction of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I know that we all can be stubborn as a donkey when it comes to our sin. I pray that God opens our eyes when we do become blind and stubborn, and that He brings us back to Himself. Be sure to spend time with the Lord daily in prayer and study of His Word. Don’t be stubborn.  Seek the Lord and He will open your eyes to problems of your heart.


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