The Five Donkeys
I. The Delivered Donkey
II. The Disturbed (Speaking) Donkey
- The Children of Israel had been in the wilderness surviving what most would consider an unattainable trek.
- Israel is now camped out on the plains of Moab preparing for an attack on Canaan.
- Moab was attainable to Israel and Israel could wipe them out easily.
- Moab was afraid of Israel as they had heard of their strength against the Amorites. Now Israel is camped on Moab’s plains and it has them worried.
- Moab had a king named Balak.
- The Moabites were descendants of Lot.
- King Balak then decides to build an alliance with Midian to attack Israel.
- The Medianites were descendants of Abraham.
- Moab had no idea that God had told Israel “NOT to touch Moab.”
- A REMINDER; Many times we are like Moab, not trust God with His protection towards us we panic and do what we feel is necessary to keep ourselves protected. Then God will help us to realize that the threat is not a threat.
- Now we come to the key player in this chess match. Balaam.
- Balaam is what you would call a “pagan (idol worshipping) prophet.”
- Balaam struggled with his faithful service to God as a prophet.
- There are many prophets and pastors who struggle with the flesh more than others. Some struggle with belief. Some struggle with faith.
- Pastors/prophets are human just like everybody else.
- Balaam was a product of the city of Pethor who was a harbor for cults. These men in the cults practiced magic and divination (fortune telling).
- Balaam is later identified as a false prophet by scripture (Deut. 23:3-6;Josh. 13:22; Neh. 13:1-3; Mic. 6:5; II Pet. 2:15, 16; Jude 11; Rev.2:14)
- The king of Moab (Balak), now asks Balaam to come and place a curse upon Israel.
- Realize this…Balaam like many people today, are not devoted to the One True God. They dabble with many
- Balaam refused several of the requests of the king of Moab to curse Israel.
- We as American Christians serving God in this country must realize that God has blessed the nation Israel no matter what they have done or will do.
- For ANYONE (including America), we must always stand on the side of Israel if we want God’s blessings upon our nation.
- God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:3 (KJV) …And I (God) will bless them that bless thee (Israel), and curse him (any nation) that curseth (opposes) thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
- Balaam knew this. This is why he refused several offers to go against Israel.
- But like many…GREED sets in and Balaam gave into the temptation of an offer he couldn’t refuse.
C) A stupid request
- Look into Numbers 22:9… And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?
- God knew who they were, God knew the reason they were with Balaam. God was trying to get Balaam to realize the company he was keeping was not good, not godly at all.
- What kind of people do you call “friends?” Do you not realize that you are known by the company you keep?
- Verse 10) And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, 11) Behold, there is a people (Israel) come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth (they have an innumerable amount of warriors who are taking up properties all over): come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
- If you know God at all, worship God at all in a true spirit, or even have any conviction at all, you would not ask God such a stupid question.
- This question goes to show us how stupid we can be. It shows how carnal Balaam had become. It shows how Balaam is not led by the Spirit of God.
- The question shows us the heart of Balaam and a lack of “knowing (having a personal/intimate relationship) God.”
- Balaam is asking God to grant him power to curse what He has blessed, and to bless those whom He has cursed.
- Why would God do that? Why would Balaam ask such a stupid question?
- Why do we act like Balaam? Why do we ask God to make us happy while we continually indulge ourselves in a sin that He abhors?
- Why would God do that? God’s promise is a promise that comes from being holy not from being carnal.
- How can we as a nation ask God to bless our nation when we really do not worship Him, serve Him, or even recognize Him as being our ONE true God?
- How can we as a nation ask God to bless us when we serve and worship other gods, when we continue to encourage homosexuality, when we endorse the killing of the unborn babies, and glorify all that is unholy?
- And how can we ask God to give us power to rule the world with unholy alliances with other countries that God has cursed?
D) God’s answer
- Now we must look at God’s answer to such a stupid question in verse 12) And God said unto Balaam,
- “Thou shalt not go with them;” Do not keep up this friendship with those who seek to do evil against all that is holy. Do not be friends with those who choose to do harm to innocent people.
- “…thou shalt not curse the people:” Don’t even think of attacking Israel. Don’t bring any harm whatsoever to Israel. Do not do something that I have forbidden you and everyone else to “NOT DO.”
- Now we must know the reason “WHY” God reminded Balaam not to curse Israel…“…for they are blessed.”
- God is reminding Balaam of His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.
E) Headstrong people
- Now look at Numbers 22:22…And God’s anger was kindled because he went:
- God told Balaam to go… but in the right spirit, being obedient to what God tells him to do.
- Since God told Balaam to go, why is God angry because “he went?” Because Balaam was going for the wrong reason. Balaam’s heart was not in the right place. Balaam’s heart was desperately wicked (who can know it?).
- Balaam is like many of us today…headstrong into getting what we want.
- God has to stp in and redirect our paths as He did here with Balaam in verse 22b… and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
F) The Disturbed Donkey
- Numbers 22:23…And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
- The donkey was smart enough to be disturbed by what he saw!
- Balaam was so blind that he couldn’t see the danger of continuing on with his plans.
- Sometimes God puts people (or donkeys) in our path to get us to realize our condition, or realize that our path is leading us to trouble, or realize that God is not in whatever we are planning.
- Many times it takes a donkey, someone as stubborn or as headstrong as we are to help us to see God’s directions.
- Now look at attempt number two in Numbers 22:25…And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
- We must note the actions of this “female” donkey.
- God does speak to women and many times uses them to get stubborn men to realize that their ways are wrong.
- Now please do not misunderstand me in that statement. Not all ways of men directed by God are wrong. Men sometimes are trying too hard to do what is right that they do become disoriented in God’s leading.
- Sometimes men can become like Balaam, seeking a big reward and notoriety in what is not Godly at all.
- Numbers 22:26…And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27) And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
- Sometimes our stubbornness can cause those who intend on helping us… to fall under the pressure of our strong will.
- Donkeys (asses) are mentioned 150 times in the Bible.
- Almost every time, they are mentioned as a beast of burden.
- This particular donkey is considered to be a “disturbed donkey” in that it is disturbed by three things…
- What it saw – God’s direction being shown
- What it felt – The Holy Spirit guiding
- What it was carrying – a rebellious carnal nature
- Let me ask you this morning… “Are you a disturbed donkey?” Do you see God’s direction for your life? Do you feel the Spirit’s conviction and obey it?
- Are you carrying a rebellious attitude or carnal nature?
G) Time to speak up against sin
- Numbers 22:28…And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
- This Donkey had had enough of Balaam‘s stubbornness.
- When an animal speaks, it causes people to pay attention. In this case a donkey.
- The donkey here I believe that we can use it to mean “anything.” What I mean by that is the donkey can be “anything/anyone” that acts out of the ordinary that brings us to recognize the truth, recognize our fault, recognize the need of salvation.
- I believe that Balaam was so headstrong that he did not even take into consideration as to whom he was talking to in verses 28-30.
- Then God had to step in and speak to Balaam through an angel in verse 31…Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
- It took a disturbed Donkey to open the eyes of Balaam.
- It took a disturbed donkey to get Balaam to repent…verse 34…And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
- Looking at this donkey in a different perspective, we should all want to be a disturbed donkey by…
- Upset at what we see in the world today.
- Be led by the Spirit of God in our convictions and be obedient to it’s convicting.
- Do not be carrying a rebellious attitude towards God.
- Be a witness in showing others