All week I have been thinking about the verse above…well, not just that verse, but the whole chapter. Have you read about Balaam and his donkey? People often wonder if God has a sense of humor and this story really gives you a straight “YES!” God gave us a sense of humor and He gave us so many things to prove that He does too. I wonder what the angel thought when he witnessed the donkey reprimanding Balaam for treating her so terribly? If I were that angel I imagine I’d still be laughing about the situation altogether!
There are so many characteristics in us that make us like God and humor is only one of them. I love to joke around with people and I’ve been known to go up to my co-workers and tell them cheesy “mom jokes” just to see them smile. I know Balaam’s donkey wasn’t trying to be funny, but the fact that she could talk really gets my imagination going and I can’t help but laugh every time I think of her!
Did Balaam think his donkey was funny? No, I’m certain he didn’t. Balaam wanted to get to the king’s house so that he could earn his fortune by cursing the Israelites. We know from reading scripture that the Israelites were God’s chosen people and He is very protective of them. He’s a jealous God and He would do anything for His people, even sending an angel and a talking donkey to keep Balaam from achieving his ultimate goal. Balaam had already been told not to go to the king, but he decided to go anyway. He was blinded by his sin and couldn’t even see that an angel was going to kill him if he rode any further down the path to the king’s house.
Even though I absolutely love the humor in a talking donkey, my favorite part of the story is when Balaam finally got to the king. “The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.” Balaam’s initial intentions were to curse the Israelites, but instead, he decided to put away his greed and submit to the will of God by speaking only what the Lord commanded him.
How many times has God told you to witness to someone but you were too scared to deliver? I can’t even count the number of times this has happened to me, especially in the beginning of my life as a christian. I’d be at a grocery store and I’d hear this voice telling me to speak with someone, but I’d freeze up and I wouldn’t do what the Lord had commanded me to do. It’s scary when we know we might be met with opposition, but Jesus told us we’d be persecuted because He was persecuted.
Friend, let me tell you something…it is so rewarding when we seek the Lord’s will in all we do, including when we feel scared. Maybe Balaam was afraid to tell the king something he might not want to hear? So many of us want to fit in with others and we might go to lengths to sacrifice our beliefs to please them. In my experience, there is nothing fulfilling in sacrificing God for people. There is definitely nothing fulfilling in cursing what God says is good, but we do it all the time. The donkey’s purpose in Balaam’s life was to help Balaam see what the Lord had in store for him. She totally reminds me of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. The Holy Spirit is the urging, the conviction, the voice, the experience, the light that God has given us so we might open our eyes and see His will for our lives, just like Balaam.
I’ve pretty much gotten over the fear of witnessing to others. As a matter of fact, I look forward to it now because God never fails to put His words into my mouth. It’s so awesome when we say things that we never even thought about because God’s words can have such an impact on the person we’re speaking with. Planting seeds of faith doesn’t require a college degree. Every one of us has been told to “go into the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15),” so that’s what we must do to build up the Kingdom of God.
Fear is Satan’s tactic, peace comes from God. Let’s go speak the words that God puts in our mouth with the people He tells us to speak to. Because you have so many different characteristics that reflect God’s personality, use those characteristics to share the good news and “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am Your God (Isaiah 41:10).” His promises are true, friend. Blessings!