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Numbers 22:21-39 When Donkey's Fly

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Numbers 22:21-39

INTRODUCTION
An adynaton is a way of saying that something will never happen.
The phrase is often used for humorous effect, to scoff at over-ambition.
There are numerous variations on the theme;
-"And pigs will fly"
-"when hell freezes over"
-Latin expression, "and monkeys might fly out of my butt"
-In Finnish, the expression is “when cows fly”
-In French, the most common expression is, “when hens will have teeth”
-In medieval Hebrew manuscripts, the expression "until the donkey ascends the ladder" is attested
One might even respond by saying, “when a donkey speaks to me” categorizing it as an impossibility.
Yet in the book of Numbers Chapter 22, a man by the name of Balaam finds himself in a conversation with his donkey.
The name Balaam means “Destroyer of People”.
King Balak, who wanted to hire Balaam to curse the Israelite people, hoped he would live up to his name.
The problem was that God intended to bless the Israelites- they were His chosen people.
So even as Balaam sets out to meet with Balak God sets in motion a most memorable event that involves Balaam, an Angel and a talking donkey.
We get a peek into Balaam’s personality and temperament.
We see his lack of:
Good judgement
Strength of character
Compassion
Patience
All of this in contrast to his donkey’s common sense and care for his owner.
God speaks to Balaam in a most unusual and unexpected manner.
Although God allows Balaam to participate in an unholy, ungodly activity this activity does not please God.
He reminds Balaam as he begins this journey of the central idea of this text:
(CIT) Speaking against God is reckless
We too must be reminded of this truth in our lives.
God will NOT be silenced.
In the absence of Godly men and women seeking direction He will communicate using any means He chooses- Even a donkey.
That a donkey should be the most spiritually observant character in this section stands in sharp contradistinction to the nations and the individual leaders.
It is a literary slap-in-the-face toward any humanly originated means of conceiving of God and his ways.
In our lives and in our country, our actions, our behaviors, our support of ungodly organizations have spoken against God and His ways far too long.
We have cursed the very One who has blessed us, blessed our lives, blessed our families and blessed our nation.
We live recklessly when we do not mind the meditations of our heart and the words of our mouths.
(CIT) Speaking against God is a reckless activity.
Balaam was engaged with a King who would stop at nothing to destroy the people of Israel.
In this section of text, I am intrigued by the actions and spotlight on, of all characters, the donkey and what God is communicating to Balaam.
I would like us to think about the three instances in this portion of reading whereas Balaam beats his donkey.
They are instances where Balaam got:
Delayed
2. Hurt
3. Embarrased
This is what drove Balaam to such anger as to beat a poor innocent animal who was trying to protect his master.
HIS master, who was so spiritually insensitive, he did not even see the peril he was heading towards.
He did not understand that even coming close to (CIT) speaking against God is a reckless activity
But the donkey didwe could all use a donkey like that in our life.
READ NUMBERS 22:21-38
BACKGROUND & PURPOSE
Delayed
“...the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him...23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
2. Hurt
“24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.
3. Embarrassed
“26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff.
THE CONVERSATION
28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
“29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”
“30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.
“31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
CENTRAL IDEA OF THE TEXT
32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.
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