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November 5, 2019, 10:59 AM

What Does the Donkey Say?


 

Hollywood is the source of much of the liberal culture in our nation. It’s a place where a person is ostracized and their career effectively ended if they speak out for conservatism or Christianity. This has long been the case but it seems to be growing more obvious in recent years. However, Hollywood did get something sort of right. In 2001, Dreamworks introduced the world to the story of a good-hearted ogre trying to get his swamp back. He enlisted the help of some fairytale creatures to accomplish this. One of those animals, however, wasn’t necessarily of the fairytale type. The character known only as Donkey resembles an actual account of a Biblical donkey. In Numbers 22, Balaam is on his way to visit with Balak, the King of Moab. Balak had requested Balaam to curse the Israelites after they had camped out in the plains of Moab. Balaam consulted God, and the Lord told Balaam not to curse the Israelites. Balak was not happy with Balaam’s rejection and sent a second group of people, more distinguished than the first. In essence, the king sweetened the offer a bit in order to persuade Balaam. Subsequently, Balaam consulted God again and the Lord told him he could go but not to say anything except what he was instructed.

The Lord told Balaam what he was to do but when the pot got sweetened, he went to God again. There have been times when an opportunity has presented itself to me or our family and the Lord clearly showed us His will. Rather than being obedient and standing firm, I have allowed myself to be persuaded by what appeared to be a sweeter offer. Instead of my answer being consistent with God’s instruction, I rationalized accepting the offer. Like Balaam, the Lord let me go but I believe, “God was very angry” 22:22, when I ignored His instruction and persisted in my own desire.

Even in Balaam’s going against God’s initial instruction, God’s mercy and grace would abound. Balaam’s donkey, who would have been more than just a militant beast of burden, was going to be used in a supernatural way. This donkey that Balaam would have grown to trust and depend on would prove to be one of the best friends Balaam would have. Numbers 22: 23-27 provides the account of the three times Balaam’s donkey attempted to protect its owner. Like Balaam’s donkey, the Lord sends people into our lives to help us when we are dead set in going our own way rather than following God’s instruction. It usually starts with a gentle word of caution, progressing to words of truth that may hurt, and culminates with a refusal of the friend to continue down the path with us.

Our response may be similar to that of Balaam to his donkey. One of rejection and opposition. God puts people in our lives to be a donkey in a good way. One way I determine the intention of a person is by asking two questions; does this person love and follow God, and does this person love me? If the answer to these questions is yes, then I may need to consider their advice as potentially being from the Lord. Not just that, but I might need to consider my actions and intentions and evaluate the path I’m headed down. A real friend is someone who speaks the truth in love, even when it hurts. Next time you think someone is being a donkey to you, stop and consider what the donkey is saying. It might be worth listening to.

Robert


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