I’ve longed, since I was moved to start this blog, for more interaction with any who came to read. So here is an interactive post.
I find that the Word of God becomes part of me, shapes the whole of my thinking, by listing my favorite stories and their verses found within them. What are your favorite stories from the Bible? I’ll go first, and share one of mine :-).
This story is notorious for remembrance for the part about the talking donkey. I think it might interest you to know that the character on the movie Shrek, the talking donkey, was “inspired” by this story, but made to make a mockery of it. This story is really about God’s calling of the prophet Balaam and his journey within it. I love this story because of this theme. The talking donkey was a plus, but what stuck to me was way more than the part with the donkey (Chapter 22:21-35).
Here’s are some of my favorite verses within the text.
But Adonai enabled the donkey to speak, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to make you beat me three times?” – Chapter 22:28
Balaam replied to Balak, “Here, I’ve come to you! But I have no power of my own to say anything. The word that God puts in my mouth is what I will say.” Chapter 22:38
He answered, “Mustn’t I take care to say just what Adonai puts in my mouth?” Chapter 23:12
God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes His mind. When He says something, He will do it; when He makes a promise, He will fulfill it. Look, I am ordered to bless; when He blesses, I can’t reverse it. Chapter 23:19-20
…that even if Balak would gave me his palace full of silver and gold, I could not of my own accord go beyond the word of Adonai to do either good or bad? That what Adonai said is what I would say? Chapter 24:13
So he made this pronouncement:
This is the speech of Balaam,soon of B’or; the speech of the man whose eyes have been opened; the speech of him who hears God’s words; who knows what ‘Elyon knows, who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes:
I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not soon – a star will step forth from Jacob, a scepter will arise from Israel,to crush the corners of Moab and destroy the descendants of Shet. His enemies will be His possessions – Edom and Se’ir, possessions. Israel will do valiantly, from Jacob will come someone who will rule, and He will destroy what is left of the city. Chapter 24:15-19
What laid it’s impression on me about this account is the realness of the story. The true human elements that follow God’s path for Balaam, yet the extraordinary tactics He uses to open Balaam’s eyes. And once Balaam’s eyes are opened, there was a total commitment to the One who opened them! This story inspires me, excites me and convicts me! I return to it often, when I need to remember how and when to open my mouth. What to look for when I’m impatient and “beating my donkey”. When I need to remember how creative and mind-blowingly out of this world God can use anything, do anything and make anything do anything to get my attention. That I can trust every word He says to me, and that it and only it, is worth repeating; no more, no less.
Sure, I love the talking donkey, but I love the One who made the donkey talk more! I love the One who made Balaam talk more! I see Yeshua’s (Jesus’) own words within Balaam’s so many years earlier. The old and the new become one in this story. I’m given so much hope because of the words in verse 19 of chapter 23! Aren’t you?
Would love to hear some feedback from those who read here about their favorite Bible accounts. What inspired you, how does God use it repeatedly in your life? Who knows, perhaps God will use your favorite and how He speaks to you through it, to encourage and strengthen others!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡