Posted tagged ‘Numbers 22. The Book of Numbers’

Talking To An Ass

March 10, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        March 10, 2016


This morning I read the story of Balaam in Numbers 22-24. Let’s be honest! It’s a weird story!  Balaam had a reputation. Those he blessed were blessed, and those he cursed were cursed. As this story goes, Balak, king of Moab, wants Balaam to come and curse the Israelites.

Balaam inquires of the Lord, who tells him “No go!”

But then Balak sends a more distinguished group of emissaries to ask Balaam once again to come and curse the Israelites. This time God says “Okay!”

Balaam saddles up his donkey to head on the journey to where Balak is, but God gets angry (Numbers 22:21) and his angel appears in the road with a sword ready to kill Balaam. The donkey veers to the side, and, in so doing, saves Balaam’s life.

This happens three times, and each time Balaam beat his ass! What he can’t see, his donkey sees clearly.

After the third time, and the third beating, the scripture says that God gave speech to the donkey (Numbers 22:28).

And then Balaam starts talking to the ass!

Over the years I’ve talked on a daily basis to the cats we’ve had as pets. I’m also prone to talk to the drivers of cars that cut in front of me even though my windows are closed. In each of those situations, however, I don’t expect dialogue with the one I’m talking to.

With Balaam the story never hints that he is surprised that his trusted means of transportation is having a heated conversation with him. It’s a story with two asses, one by nature, and the other as a result of actions and bone-headed decisions.

It’s Mr. Ed before his time!

And then God opens Balaam’s eyes to see what his trusted donkey had been seeing, and Balaam realizes, pardon the phrase, that his ass had saved his ass!

Like I said, it’s a weird story, but there are a lot of things that each one of us do that also don’t make sense!