Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who's Your Donkey?

Who's your daddy, baby?  Who loves you?

He loves to throw this quip at me as we pass in the hallways at work. It always makes me chuckle.
It usually sets the tone for a fairly decent start to my day.
I laugh.
He laughs.
It's silly.
I reply;

You are baby, You're my daddy!

Being greeted by a smile and song is always a nicer start to any day.

Things that get in my way? Well, lets just say I have a low threshold for obstinance- things that either don't work, won't move, or aren't in alignment with my agenda.
It makes for a very bad day.

Balaam, an old testament Syrian prophet/diviner, had a very bad day once.
His donkey wouldn't  co-operate.

He had been summoned by Balak, king of Moab, to call a curse on the Israelite nation.

Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho. Now Balak..saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.   1

So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor... come and put a curse on them for me!

Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. 
But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road with a drawn sword in hand to oppose him. 2

Balaam didn't make it very far.

The donkey diverted off the road.
She crushed Balaam's foot in a hedge.
Ultimately, she laid down in the middle of the path.
That sent Balaam into a rage.

Balaam had an appointment.
Balaam was important.
Balaam had a reputation to keep
Balaam had places to go, people to curse and war parties to bust.
Who has time for a stubborn donkey?

Balaam, a man of prophetic talent, yet with a sinful desire to use the gifts of God to further his own agenda, was a bit agitated at the delay.

God wasn't too thrilled, either.
He opened the mouth of the donkey--
What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?
Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day?
Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? 3

Then God himself spoke to Balaam.
Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 4

Balaam had a veneer of vocation, a pious pride that needed to be bridled and blocked, and an agenda that needed to be altered. So God intercepted Balaam's journey.

With a donkey.

Thank Goodness for donkeys.

Have you considered the possibility that the person, object, or circumstance in your way could actually be a donkey with a message for you?

A message much like Joshua received when he looked up and also saw a man standing in the way with drawn sword in hand. A message that said stop, take off your sandals and pray for the path of righteousness, for you are on holy ground.  5


Are you on a path of recklessness? God still loves you anyway and wants to keep your heart on the right path. It doesn't matter how far down the road you are, it's never too late to turn around.
He's your daddy. He is in the habit of doing good. He still sends Donkeys. It's a good thing.

Who's your donkey?

Deliver us from a path of recklessness.
Let us walk the ancient path of righteousness, 
the way of everlasting,
the path of obedience and virtuousness,
 holiness and faith. 
Let us be sensitive to your spirits leading 
as you show us where the good way is.


1- Numbers 22:1-2
2- Numbers 22:21-23
3- Numbers 22:28-30
4- Numbers 22:32
5- Joshua 5:13,15

Concluding prayer:
Numbers 32:22, Jeremiah 6:16, Isaiah 30:21, Judges 2:17
 Proverbs 16:17 Psalms 23:3, 139:24