What have I done to you that you should strike me these three times?

After a tremendous display of God’s power, the children of Israel made their way towards the land God had promised Abraham. As you can imagine, many kings in the area were rightly scared of this huge nation, and more importantly, they had heard what God had done in Egypt. They worshiped idols of wood and stone. They were no match for the Creator of the Universe. Fear gripped them all since they knew God had given Israel the Promised Land.

One such king was Balak, the leader of Moab. He sent his servants to bribe a prophet named Balaam, asking him to come and curse Israel. Balaam inquired of God who told him, “You are not to curse these people for I have blessed them.” (Numbers 22:1-20)

That should have ended Balaam’s story, but unfortunately another group of servants came again and Balaam agreed to go with them. He saddled his donkey and left for Moab. On the way, the Angel of the Lord stood in his path with a drawn sword. Balaam’s donkey saw the angel, but Balaam did not. The donkey veered off the path to avoid the angel and Balaam beat the donkey. The angel stood in its path between two walls and the donkey turned into the wall and Balaam beat him again. And finally, the angel stood in a place where the donkey could not avoid him. This time the donkey simply fell down. This infuriated Balaam who beat the donkey even more.

Then, something wonderful took place. God allowed the donkey to speak. She said, “What have I done to deserve this? Have I ever done something like this before?”

Balaam replied, “If I had a sword, I would kill you!

And God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the Angel of the Lord stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him. And the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way and His sword drawn in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey to turn her into the way.

But the Angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she thrust herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against it, and he struck her again.

And the Angel of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam, and Balaam’s anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you should strike me these three times? And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have ridiculed and provoked me! I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!! (Numbers 22:22-29 <AMP>)

God opened Balaam’s eyes and he could see the angel with the drawn sword. The angel said, “If your donkey had not turned away these three times, I would have killed you and spared her.” (Numbers 22:33)

Balaam's Talking Donkey

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand.

Ironically, it was Balaam’s disobedience that nearly cost him his own life. He was wanting to kill his donkey for refusing to obey, and almost brought that same judgement on himself. Mercifully, God allowed his donkey to reveal the truth of what was really happening, and save them both from destruction.

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? See, I came out to stand against and resist you, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me. And the ass saw Me and turned from Me these three times. If she had not turned from Me, surely I would have slain you and saved her alive. (Numbers 22:31-33 <AMP>)

Balaam repented of his stubborn behavior and asked if he should return home. Instead, the angel told him to proceed, but only speak God’s Word.

Three times Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel, and each time Balaam pronounced a blessing on them as God commanded. Balak was furious and finally dismissed Balaam from his service saying, “Go back home! I promised to reward you richly, but the LORD has kept you from your reward.” (Numbers 24:11)

Balaam responded, “Don’t you remember what I told your messengers? Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD. I told you that I could say only what the LORD says!” (Numbers 24:12-13)

Among the many blessings pronounced were these powerful promises.

How can I curse those whom God has not cursed?
How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned?

God is not a man that he should lie.
He is not human that he should change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

Blessed is everyone that blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

(Numbers 22-24)

God has chosen Israel and called them out from all other nations. Nothing will ever change His selection. Every Covenant, prophecy, shadow, and type will be accomplished in its proper time. The Kingdom of Heaven is temporal, and exclusive to Israel, with Jesus as King. While it was rejected and postponed, it will be established. God has chosen to Bless the world through Israel.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
(Psalm 122:6-9 <KJV>)

May God Richly Bless You!
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Image Source: Free Christian Clip Art

 

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