Focal Passage: Numbers 22:22-35
The story of Balaam and his donkey is one that many skeptics and scholars have criticized over the years. If you read this passage with a 21st century lens, you may think you were reading the script from the movie “Shrek.”
In an almost unbelievable scene, Balaam, the pagan diviner, is confronted by an invisible angel – only visible to his donkey as he followed Balak’s men in a scheme to curse the Israelites. After being spooked by the angel, Balaam beat the animal out of frustration, and in response, God performs the first miracle in opening the mouth of the donkey.
A lot of emphasis is usually placed on the speaking donkey, and understandably so: God will ultimately accomplish His will by whatever means necessary. But what we sometimes fail to see is the other miracle in the story: the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes (Numbers 22:32).
It is exciting to see what takes place in a believer when God calls them to faith in Christ.
Even more fascinating is the transformation, or the sanctification, that happens as righteousness is expressed in obedience. Balaam was deceitful with his words and his actions showed his heart, that is, until the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to what he could not see. The miracle was to take a rebel sorcerer and turn his heart towards the purposes of God.
Balaam and his donkey point us to the gospel. We are all blind to our sinfulness until the Lord opens our eyes to our hopeless condition.