Talking Donkeys & Covert Curses

A pastor friend of mine here in Nashville always contacts me to fill in for him when he’s out of town. I like to teach exegetically as he does, so I can study and teach right where he leaves off and the church doesn’t miss a beat the day he’s away. I filled in for him this past Sunday and taught the Balaam chapters from Numbers 22-24.

If you know Scripture fairly well or went to Sunday school as a kid, this story is most famous for the talking donkey scene. This would be, of course, pre-Shrek. And God’s donkey would probably sound more Morgan Freemen than Eddie Murphy anyway.

After I had studied the passages last week and knew the details of the story, I was left with wondering why these chapters were interjected as an apparent interruption in the on-going Moses, Israel, and God story. They’re just inserted in and I wanted to find a purpose.

Here’s what I believe the Holy Spirit showed me …

Three different times, King Balak moved along a high ridge or mountain with Balaam, overlooking various parts of the Israelite settlement, trying to get him to curse the people, so they would either leave or he could overtake them. There is no indication that the nation of Israel ever knew this scene of potential cursing was going on right above their camp.

It is quite clear that God was caring for and protecting Israel—even when they had no idea He was. But we get to see it through the lens of Scripture.

Let’s get personal …

There have been, are, and will be countless times in our lives when God is protecting us, behind the scenes, unnoticed—even when we have no idea that He is. He is always at work, protecting and caring for us, even when we doubt and fear that He isn’t. Working His plan on our behalf, even when we just cannot see it—yet.

Today, be encouraged and reminded that God is, indeed, active and watchful over your life.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.This I declare about the Lord:
 He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;he is my God, and I trust him. —Psalm 91:1-2 NLT


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