Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Balaam and the Donkey – Numbers 22:22-40 – By: Bill Lamie
As we reach the mid-point of our summer Bible Study, we continue to see that God makes his direct will be known in the most unbelievable ways.
In the case of Balaam, he not only is commanded by God via a nocturnal dream, but is “preached” to by his donkey, and then confronted by the Angel of the Lord with sword drawn. I think that most of us, when confronted in the same ways, would have sworn never to violate God’s commands ever again. Sign me up for Team GOD!
Balaam, on the other hand (who was considered the most influential soothsayer of his day), is the classic example of a person who knew the right way, but choose to reject it to pursue worldly lusts. God “used” Balaam for the good of Israel, saving the nation from extermination, even though He knew that Balaam was evil. Peter wrote in his New Testament letter about the “character of false teachers”, and uses the account of Balaam as an example. So did Balaam just not understand the meaning of God’s grace? Were the temptations too much for him to follow God’s will? Didn’t God give him every opportunity to follow?
How often are we tempted, distracted and misdirected in our lives, stepping off the path that God intends for us to follow? Do we need for God to send us a shocking sign that He is calling us? I believe that God is always there to lead us back on the right path if we stray, but we have to follow His lead.
Our summer Bible study is a gift that I am very thankful for. It is a wonderful way to learn of God’s calling within our own Sunnyside Church learning community.