READ: NUMBERS 22:21-31
21Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lordstood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23When the donkey saw the angel of the Lordstanding in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.
24Then the angel of the Lordstood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaamʼs foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
26Then the angel of the Lordmoved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28Then the Lordopened the donkeyʼs mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
29Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”
30The 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.
31Then the Lordopened Balaamʼs eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lordstanding in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
You gotta love talking donkeys. From Francis the talking mule, who starred in several movies in the 1950s, to Winnie the Pooh’s pessimistic pal, Eeyore, to Quick Draw McGraw’s cartoon sidekick, Baba Looey—they make us smile.
The donkey in the movie, Shrek, was positive, sensitive, talkative, his favorite food is waffles, and he even flew for a brief moment with the help of some pixie dust. He stole the show.
Of course, animals can’t really talk. Or can they? A strange man named Balaam once heard a donkey talk. And what his faithful animal had to say was directly from God.
Personally, I find it comforting that God could use a donkey in that way. It means that he can use any of us, no matter how dumb or stubborn we are. In fact, there are times when we need to “BE THE DONKEY.”
It really happened, and it really matters. A simple donkey can teach all of us some vital lessons about what it means to do God’s will. Balaam’s donkey was dependable, she feared the Lord, she didn’t let getting hurt keep her from serving God, and she found her best voice.
What is the difference between sinful and sanctified stubbornness?
Why do we tend to get hurt when we try to do what is right?
When should I speak up and rebuke someone who is on the wrong path?
Pastor Stokes' Sermon notes
Series: “STRANGER THINGS”
Today: “BE THE DONKEY”
See: Numbers 22:21-31 (NIV)
Balaam’s Donkey was Dependable.
“Am I not your donkey which you have always ridden, to this day?”
See: Luke 16:10 (New Living Translation)
Balaam’s Donkey Feared the Lord. (See: Proverbs 14:27 NIV)
“...the donkey saw...”
Balaam’s Donkey Stayed Faithful When Mistreated.
See: Romans 8:31-39 (NIV)
Balaam’s Donkey Found His Voice. (See: II Peter 2:15-16 NIV)
- A Voice of REASON
- A Voice of REBUKE