Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you right now!” But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?” And he said, “No.”
Sometimes we just don’t get it, we can’t see it! The signs are all around us, others can see it a mile away, yet we are so focused on what we want to do, on our desires, and our way that we just don’t get it. One of these days my computer, or my messenger bag, or my car might talk to me.
It would be easy to dismiss this little story in Numbers as irrelevant. Here’s a fable in the middle of much counting, sacrificing, and God talking. Balaam is like many other biblical characters who easily ignore God’s requests. So many we convince ourselves that if only God would speak to us, audibly we would respond. Here is yet another story that proves otherwise. Even when God is audible, human beings have the strong tendency to do what we want to do, to not change our way, to ignore God’s direction.
Would we listen if our donkey spoke to us? Balaam did not, I would like to think that I would. He did not even seem surpirsed that his donkey talked to him, he actually has a conversation. In the end God has to reveal the Angel of the Lord for Balaam to get what the donky was talking about.
Sometimes we are led into the unknown. It seems like we are just riding along, minding our own business with God so far away, doing our “thing.” Out of nowhere a change of plans, a distraction, a donkey who will not go where we want. Are we going to plow through? or Should we slow down, pay attention, hear the voices of those that we normally ignore?
Listen to the donkey’s of your life, a messenger of the Lord might be trying to get our attention . . .