Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Bible Challenge: Numbers EXCLUSIVE!

What can God give to earn your attention? Shh... it might even speak back.

This challenge is about Balaam and his donkey. This is about how his donkey spares his life, how he learns to listen, and how the donkey leaves a surprise... (but not a feces-surprise!)

Balaam's Donkey
Numbers 22: 21-38
Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again.
Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."
The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"
"No," he said.
Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."
Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?"
"Well, I have come to you now," Balaam replied. "But can I say just anything? I must speak only what God puts in my mouth."

Nice story, huh? Now, I know some of you. I KNOW that if you're any of the people I suspect, (but I still love you anyway!) you totally skipped the whole scripture to see what I said. READ IT! If you read it all, check it again. Now, just think.

Isn't it amazing--- the angel could've KILLED Balaam, and it was going to. But no, Balaam's donkey remained faithful. This is not a parable, this is real. This really happened. If the donkey hadn't moved those three times, Balaam would've been long gone.

Now, here's the thing. THE DONKEY SPOKE! Ever thought he might've been like... hmm... "I'm speaking to a DONKEY, doesn't that seem a little odd? Am I hallucinating?" Well, no. Balaam saw it for real. He was not schizophrenic, (dillusional) and he wasn't pretending. Now, if you're not a Christian, you're probably like, "Okay... I'm gonna avoid these Jesus Freaks... I'm afraid some of them think donkeys talk."

I, honestly, don't think that donkey spoke ever again. And I don't think any OTHER donkeys have spoken since then. (read the post "Hey..." it's a story of when my dog spoke... IN A DREAM! www.blogatmyfingertips.blogspot.com/2010/03/hey.html )
But, it shows what God can do.

Balaam was going with the princes because they wanted him to curse some people. God did not want that. The angel of the LORD was SO gonna kill Balaam, but opened his eyes and then, Balaam saw, and offered to go home. But he stayed. The angel let him go with, if he said the right things. ("They got all the right friends in all the right places, say 'yeah, we're going down'...-OnE RePuBliC!) So Balaam had a happy ending, and I think the donkey got treated pretty well, also.

I heard about this through my mom, who's pastor in Okinawa ministered about how God can earn your attention, even by making your donkey speak. Charity volunteers at the local farm, and just imagine one of those horses talking to her! Weird! Just remember, God hears, God gives, God takes, God spares.

It says not to spare the rod, but don't abuse it!

Well, it's time to get some beauty sleep and maybe I'll be back tomorrow!

(I was doing German studies on my iPod today--- reminded me of my sister's really good friend, Vanessa. www.blogatmyfingertips.blogspot.com/2010/06/interviewing-vanessa-siegel.html )

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