#Retrospective — This post originally published July 17, 2018.
Have you ever planned all the details of a trip and then nothing goes as planned the moment you start the trip? First you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the airport; then you get a flat tire; then you miss your flight because you’re late arriving at the airport. Road block after road block seems to stop you at every move. It’s aggravating when things don’t go as we planned, but do we look at these delays as God trying to get our attention?
This is what I thought about when I read Numbers 22:1-35. In this passage Balak, the king of Moab, summoned Balaam to put a curse on Israel to stop them from conquering his country. Balaam refused to go per God’s command. Then Balak tried to summon him a second time and this time God instructed Balaam to go with Balak’s officials. However, on his way to Moab, Balaam’s donkey stopped him from traveling three separate times. Balaam snapped and resorted to beating his donkey for delaying him. In the midst of this the donkey spoke and suddenly Balaam realized the angel of the Lord was in the middle of the road ready to strike him down.
The angel told Balaam, “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.” Suddenly Balaam paid attention to God. Embarrassed by his angry outburst over these simple delays, he admitted his sin and offered to turnaround. But the angel told him, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” Balaam is about to be tempted with many riches to curse Israel so God reinforced to Balaam the importance of not making snap decisions and only speaking the word of God.
How many times do we proceed recklessly with our lives and our own interpretation of what God wants us to do? We saddle up our donkey and press on toward the destination where God is leading us with our own ideas, ill-prepared for trials that await us. Then we get angry when things occur that stop us from moving forward. Instead of recognizing God is trying to get our attention, we lash out until suddenly our eyes are opened so we clearly see God. In those moments we need do as Balaam did and recognize our sinful behavior and our need for full submission to God; to lay down our selfish pride and recognize that we need to wait patiently and only do what God instructs us to do.
© 2018 CGThelen
9 thoughts on “Speaking With the Mind of God”
Your discussion is a blessing to read. All of us have been in a similar place more than a few times. God calls out to remind us to remain humble, patient, and calm when facing even the smallest of challenges.
Good words to remember: “remain humble, patient, and calm when facing even the smallest of challenges.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.
We also need to remember that Balaam’s underlying motive was wrong so he kept trying to find ways to disobey by dancing around with the enemy. Sometimes God just lets us go ahead with our selfish insistence and that is a dangerous thing. Balaam ended up dying on the wrong side of the battle. I may have beaten a few donkeys in my time but I don’t want to end up like that!
Thanks for sharing that. Good point. Balaam flirted with the enemy and it did not end well for him. A cautionary tale for us. Blessings.
Praise God. Blessings.
There have been times in my walk with God when I have been tempted to rush headlong into an apparent solution. Each time God warned me through scripture. Of course, the Kord can get our attention through anything, but the Bible is a great place to stay grounded. Blessings!
I am always amazed at how scripture speaks to me. It is definitely a place to stay grounded. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.
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