Daily D – Numbers 22:31-33

by | Feb 16, 2024 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Numbers 22:31-33 
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the path with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam knelt low and bowed in worship on his face. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because I consider what you are doing to be evil. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away from me, I would have killed you by now and let her live.” (CSB) 

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him. “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.” (NLT)

God’s angel said to him: “Why have you beaten your poor donkey these three times? I have come here to block your way because you’re getting way ahead of yourself. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she hadn’t, I would have killed you by this time, but not the donkey. I would have let her off.” (MSG)

Balaam was a prophet for profit. His kindred have multiplied on television and the internet. Wherever you find stacks of cash, you will likewise find profiteering preachers prepared to prevail over those who possess it. No wonder so many people push away from anything presented as the power or purpose of God. (Pardon me while I practice profiteering preaching prompts.)

You and I are not profiteering preachers. That is not a safe space. Balaam had direct encounters with God, but they were not of the pleasant, “I am well-pleased with you” kinds of encounters. God, in his grace and mercy, stopped Balaam from making a profit and from making a most certain mistake. 

The Christian Standard Bible says, “Look, I came out to oppose you, because I consider what you are doing to be evil.”

The New Living Translation says, “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.”

The Message paraphrases God’s warning clearly and delightfully: “I have come here to block your way because you’re getting way ahead of yourself.”

Even those of us who are not profiteering prophets often exhibit the tendency to get ahead of ourselves and, all too often, God. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good ol’ donkey who sees God better than we do to spare us from unnecessary disasters?

We don’t need a talking donkey to know God’s will and ways. We need to seek him simply and intentionally day by day, moment by moment. God is more willing to be heard than people are to listen. God is more willing to be seen than people are to see. God is more willing to direct our steps than we are to step out. 

Jesus often said, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear.” Your coach said it this way: “Listen up!” The Message paraphrases Jesus’ words this way: “Are you listening, really listening?”

Listen to God’s words of truth and life in your daily Bible reading plan. Listen to what he says with the intention of putting his directions into practice. Watch for his guiding hand as you go about your way. Go when God says, “Go.” Stop when God says, “Stop.” If donkeys can learn this, so can we. 

I will be neither a profiteering preacher nor a talking donkey. 

Our Father, when you say “No,” I will not go. When you say “Yes,” I will proceed. Life becomes a daring adventure when I follow where you lead. Amen.

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