Balaam was riding along on his donkey, going where God had told him not to go. God’s anger was kindled, (think of fire) because Balaam went, and the Angel of the Lord stood in the road to be an adversary against him. The donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand and the donkey turned aside of the road and went into the field. Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back to the road. But the Angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on each side.
When the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, it thrust itself to the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall, and Balaam struck the donkey again. Then the angel of the Lord went further ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam and his anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you hit me three times?”
(At this point, I would have said, “Hey, a talking donkey, how cool.” But Balaam was so angry, he started to argue with the donkey instead.)
Balaam replied, “Because you have mocked me I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you.” (Balaam felt humiliated. Why won’t my donkey obey me?)
The donkey replied, “Am I not your donkey, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours. Did I ever attempt to do so to you?” (I’ve been your loyal servant all this time, I have never mocked you.)
Balaam realizes, “No, you never mocked me.” Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand, and Balaam bowed down and fell on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you hit your donkey these three times? Look, I purposely came out to stop you because your way is perverse before me. And the donkey saw me, and turned from me these three times: if it had not turned from me, surely now I would have slain you, but saved the donkey.” (The donkey did you a HUGE favor. You didn’t see me, but the donkey did. I would have killed you for disobeying, but the donkey saved you.”)
Sometimes God puts donkeys, or asses, in our lives to stop us from doing something. They see something that we do not see. Maybe it’s just not the right time yet. Maybe it’s a door that needs to stay permanently closed. But there is a reason that they stop us in our tracks and keep us from moving forward. Sometimes we need to stop and think about the situation instead of banging on the wall, trying to force it to move. A conversation with the Lord can reveal to us the truth.
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Happy Monday to All.