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Faithlife

Dumber than a Donkey

Sunday Night  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A Look at Balaam trying to go his own way.

Notes & Transcripts

Balaam and the Donkey Video

Numbers 22:21–35 NIV84
21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “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?” “No,” he said. 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. 32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “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. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.” 34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.” 35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

This is not a description of any of us…I hope...

Balaam did not follow God’s instructions
Balaam tried to pursue cursing Israel because of his greed
Balaam was arguing with a donkey like it was normal
Balaam ended up being killed and lost all his greed lead him to pursue.
The Donkey:
My understanding of donkeys; stubborn, docile, sometimes fiesty, eats a lot...
but not talkative.

One key theme that this passage illustrates is that of following God!

We see so much evidence in our society of the chaos that comes from not following God. Humanity has rebelled...
Following the bird...

We have all turned away from God

We see so much evidence in our society of the chaos that comes from not following God. Humanity has rebelled...

Isaiah 53:6 NIV84
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;

and the LORD has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

Humanity needs to return to God!

With so many people in our country focused on disfunction and division there is only one true solution. We must return to God. Balaam succumbed to his greed and illustrates the downfall of pursuing our own agenda.

22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,

your sins like the morning mist.

Return to me,

for I have redeemed you.”

Jesus is our only hope

Hebrews 6:19 NIV84
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
Hebrews 6:19–20 NIV84
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Created By God… Built for a Purpose

Well, did Balaam live according to his purpose?
Did the Donkey live according to his purpose? I would say the donkey exceeded what would be expected of him. He accomplished a supernatural feat by God’s will.

With Jesus as our Hope...

we can accomplish the incredible!
we can glorify God!
we can Thrive! (not in the Joel Osteen prosperity gospel fashion)

Let’s keep our eyes open to the spiritual direction of God!

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 1924 Steering by Higher Compass

Steering By Higher Compass

Before the days of modern navigational aids a traveler made the Atlantic crossing in a boat equipped with two compasses. One was fixed to the deck where the man at the wheel could see it. The other compass was fastened up on one of the masts, and often a sailor would be seen climbing up to inspect it.

The passenger asked the captain, “Why do you have two compasses?”

“This is an iron vessel,” replied the captain, “and the compass on the deck is often affected by its surroundings. Such is not the case with the compass at the masthead; that one is above the influence. We steer by the compass above.” Do we also as Christians?

—Prairie Overcomer

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