Numbers 22:27-28 “And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”
God does all things well. He even does some pretty miraculous things that you and I would never have thought possible. A world-wide flood. The first boat that would hold all things living. The ten plagues of Egypt. The Red Sea to part. Peter walking on water. Healing the leper. Causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk and the dead to rise again. Yes, God truly does all things well.
As I have read this account over and over, there is a bit of humor in it. Balaam, a prophet used by God, was approached to do something God had strictly forbidden. God said to obey; Balaam disobeyed. He rose up early in the morning to go with wicked men God said to reject.
So, God sent the Angel of the Lord to correct His child. The Angel stood in the way of Balaam on his donkey and the donkey saw and turned from the way. When you and I are in the throes of our sin, we do not see very well, nor, do we hear clearly what it is God is saying to us. In Balaam’s case, God used a donkey to reveal to His prophet that he was going the wrong way and should have listened to the donkey when he had the chance.
In the text, we see the donkey, submissive and obedient – both to his master Balaam, and to the Angel of the Lord. That is, until Balaam rose up against the donkey; who was trying to follow his Supreme authority. It wasn’t until God opened the eyes of His prophet, that he finally understood just what it was that God was doing.
So often, you and I find ourselves either in a place of rebellion to what it is that God desires to do in our life or we fail to hear the very one who God places to admonish us; correct us or turn our path from danger and destruction. In Balaam’s case, God opened the mouth of the donkey to speak audible words.
God can use anyone or anything to do His will. He is Supreme and Sovereign over all. Jesus rebuked the pharisees when they told Jesus He should silence the disciples from praising Him.
Luke 19:40 “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
A wise man once said:
“All men are my teachers.” – Dr. Jack Hyles
I have taken that wonderfully wise statement to heart and many a time God has taken me to task on that very principle. Often, God will use some of the most unlikely people and things to teach us; to warn us; to scold us or correct us. Using that statement in humility, I can listen to those whom God places in my life and be corrected easily.
Think of it, had Balaam gone on in his disobedience, we would read of his death at the hands of the Angel of God.
Numbers 22:32-33 “And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.”
If you and I were to culture a spirit of humility and obedience – like the donkey – we could possibly avoid some of the pitfalls and dangers we seemingly rush into. I have been corrected by my wife, my children, by a student; even an unsaved woman who showed me I was wrong and pointed it out to me.
God can and will use whatever is at His disposal to fulfill His will. We must be willing to listen to whomever or whatever it is that He chooses to speak to our hearts. The key is being moldable and humble enough to identify, listen and obey that which God uses to speak to our heart.
Put yourself under the authority of God’s Word. Would we, before we read our Bibles today, be able to pray, “Father, whatever you say in your Word to do, I yield my will to Yours to obey.”
Many think it a scary challenge. “What if Go asks me to do something I cannot do; go somewhere I cannot go or what if He wants me to be something I’m not?” And the ‘what ifs’ that come with every excuse begin to preclude our disobedience trying to justify why we can’t.
Child of God, if our Heavenly Father took the time to come to you personally and ask you to do something for Him, shouldn’t we take as a privileged position to be asked instead feeling put out that we might be pushed out of our comfort zone? Take heed:
Hebrews 3:15 “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
We must take heed – God may very well use some of the most unlikely people to rebuke us or correct us. We must culture a heart humble enough to hear; no matter who it is that is doing the speaking.