what the donkey saw
devotions from Jefferson Vann #2333
Num 22:22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of Yahveh took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.
Num 22:23 And the donkey saw the angel of Yahveh standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road.
Num 22:24 Then the angel of Yahveh stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side.
Num 22:25 And when the donkey saw the angel of Yahveh, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again.
Num 22:26 Then the angel of Yahveh went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.
Num 22:27 When the donkey saw the angel of Yahveh, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Num 22:28 Then Yahveh opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
Num 22:29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, because then I would kill you.”
Num 22:30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
Num 22:31 Then Yahveh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahveh standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.
Num 22:32 And the angel of Yahveh said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? notice, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse in the sight of me.
Num 22:33 The donkey saw me and turned aside in the sight of me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”
what the donkey saw
The story of Balaam and his donkey is one of those that easily makes its way into Sunday School lessons. Who can resist a biblical story that features a talking animal? But the irony of the story does not stop at that point. Balaam is supposed to be a seer, but he does not see the avenging angel — his donkey does. Balaam thinks that God’s permission is God’s will –it is not. God permitted him to go to Balak, but God did not want it.
Likewise,many of the things that happen to you and me today will be permitted, but God still opposes them.
LORD, give us the vision to see what direction you really want us to go, and the wisdom not to stubbornly oppose your will.