DayBreaks for 4/25/17: Beating Your Donkey
Note: Galen is traveling this week.
From the DayBreaks archive, April 2007:
The story of Balaam and his talking donkey is in Numbers 22. Balaam was on his way to do something wrong, riding happily along on his donkey, when the way was blocked by an angel that the donkey could see but that Balaam couldn’t. (That should have been the first clue that Balaam was blind to spiritual things!!!) Because Balaam couldn’t see the angel and he was impatient, he started to beat the donkey. Imagine his surprise when the donkey asked why he was beating her (vs. 28)! Well, if it wasn’t humbling enough for Balaam to be questioned by a donkey, in Numbers 22:32, he is asked by God’s angel (who Balaam can now see): Why have you beaten your donkey…? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.
In a World Magazine, May 2, 1998 article titled “Donkey Talk”, Jay Grelen noted how a friend told him that he (Jay) acted as if he had a “sense of entitlement”, i.e., that he deserved to be treated a certain way, to be given certain privileges and treatment. Jay was shocked, but came to see the words from his friend like the words from the donkey of Balaam. Note what he says in his article: “Here’s what He (God) tells believers throughout the Bible: ‘I have redeemed you, yes, but I still hate, yes, with a burning passion, the sin in you as much as I hate the sin in those yet unredeemed.’ I needed to hear that. I had convinced myself that my sins, especially the “small ones”, were less reprehensible in me than in others.”
“God exposed my superior attitude (which I kept neatly hidden even from my view) and showed how my sense of superiority led to my Sense of Entitlement. ‘Of course I deserve more money, a better house, a book deal, a Pulitzer Prize, a comfortable life.’ ‘Why do you want to with a Pulitzer Prize?’, God asked. “You know, God, so we can have believers succeeding in secular journalism. So I can be a witness of You.’ ‘Tell me again?’ ‘Um, so I can make more money and be famous and rich and have a book deal.'”
“…a Sense of Entitlement fuels discontent and ingratitude – but I needed a reminder that when I think I deserve more, I’m saying God hasn’t given me enough. In complaining about my situation, I’m biting the Hand that blesses me by already giving me more than enough…”
Galen’s Thoughts: In the Old Testament, Shimei, one of Saul’s descendants was spitting on and mocking David as he fled from Absolom’s rebellion. One of David’s men wanted to kill Shimei for disrespecting the king, but David wouldn’t let him. David said, in essence, “No. He may be right. God may want me to hear what Shimei is saying. I may need to hear it – no matter how uncomfortable it is.”
Is God using some of your two-legged friends in your life as a “talking donkey” to give you a message you might not otherwise hear? If so, don’t beat them – thank God for them! You may be headed down a crooked and perverse path and He is warning you – perhaps even through the words of a donkey!
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the many ways you try to break through to us, to get our attention and turn us back to your ways. Let us have ears that hear, hands that are willing, and hearts that are eager to obey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.