Friday, July 25, 2014

Don't Beat the Messenger

In the Bible, there is a story about a prophet and his donkey.  In Bible times, before the Bible was assembled, God would speak to people through prophets, those called by God to speak specific words at specific times.  God wanted relationship with His special people, Israel.  However, Israel was always straying away from the commands of God, thinking they knew better how to live.  In order to save His people from self-inflicted pain or defeat by enemies, God would speak words of warning to Israel through His anointed (or “called-out”) prophets.  Many times, the prophets had to speak against evil rulers of Israel and call them out on their sin or even compromise from what God had asked them to do.  

In the book of Numbers, chapter 22, Balaam is charged with speaking God’s Word to an evil ruler.  However, Balaam is intimidated by this ruler and is fearful to give the true Word of God.  Balaam is more afraid of a man than he is God.

Balaam is headed to meet with this ruler, when the donkey he is riding on changes direction.  Balaam beats the donkey until it gets back on the road.  The donkey keeps getting off course, so Balaam gets more frustrated and beats his animal.  Suddenly, the donkey TALKS back to Balaam! “why do you beat me?” Balaam is so frustrated that he almost passes by the fact that his own donkey is talking to him.  “You have made a fool of me.  if only I had my sword, I would kill you right now!” shouts Balaam.  Numbers 22:29-30

Suddenly, God opens Balaam’s eyes to reveal a huge Angel standing right in front of Balaam, blocking his path.  The Angel said 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.  The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.” Numbers 22:32-33

Balaam immediately confessed his sin and repented, deciding to give the ruler God’s true Word.  Balaam was INCHES away from sudden death by God’s Angel, only because he had ignored God’s signs from his donkey!

God has been teaching me listen for His voice in my life.  He has been challenging me to not have to re-learn the lessons that He has been trying to teach me.  

My tendency is to not listen, but to go down the path I think is best.  What drives this tendency is not healthy - it’s not God-honoring.  It is fear of failure, a desire to receive attention and applause from others.  It’s anxiousness and worry.  

I have found that many times, God begins to speak to me through other people (prophets).  God also sometimes has to speak to me through things going hay wire in my life (a donkey going off path.)  God probably has to use these other “voices” because I am not always in tune with His Voice.  

If you want to hear God’s 

voice, read His Word

(the Bible)

When I read God’s Word, or when I can see God speaking to me through someone else, or when I sense that God is trying to get my attention through a change in my schedule, I stop and thank Him.  The fact that a Great and Awesome God chooses to speak to me is thrilling.  God wants relationship with me.  He wants to show me a better way to live, to love, to laugh.  God wants me to have a full and rich life, and He wants to walk closely with me.  

May we learn to stop, look and listen for God’s Voice today.  May we be quick to let go of our

fears and anxieties

and embrace our Loving, Faithful God.  

Kellie & I with our daughter, Madison after Middle School Graduation