March 17
Numbers 22:22-31

God uses a donkey

The Israelites eventually moved to the valley of Moab. When the king of Moab heard how God had helped the Israelites defeat the Amorite army, he was terrified. So he sent messengers to fetch Balaam to curse the Israelite nation.

At first, God told Balaam not to go with them. Later, when the king sent more messengers, the Lord told Balaam to go with them but to only do what He told him to. The next day Balaam left with them, but God was angry with him. On the way, the angel of the Lord stood in front of the donkey that Balaam was riding on. When the donkey ran into the field, Balaam lost his temper and beat it. But the angel moved on ahead and stood in a place where the path narrowed. The donkey saw the angel and lay down, so Balaam beat it again.

This time, the Lord made the donkey speak to Balaam. “What have I done to you and why are you beating me?” the donkey said. Then the Lord let Balaam see the angel standing in the road with his sword. So Balaam fell with his face to the ground.

Can a donkey really speak?

Balaam did not listen to God; perhaps he would listen to his donkey! Balaam’s selfish heart was leading him—not his desire to do what God wanted. We know this because God was very angry when Balaam left with the messengers.

Although a donkey cannot speak, God used the donkey’s voice to speak to Balaam. God wanted to warn Balaam before his stubborn heart got him into big trouble.

Sometimes we may hear God speaking to us through the Bible or by the voice of the Holy Spirit inside us, but our hearts want to do something else, and so we pretend not to hear.

Balaam was tempted to curse the Israelites because the king had offered him a big reward, but God stopped him in his tracks!

Learn to listen patiently and carefully to what God is saying so that the voice of His Spirit in your heart is not drowned out by other voices telling you what to do.

Verse for today

“I tell you," Jesus replied, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40