Interesting Things To Know

Friday, 1 April 2016

Reverberations - On Seeing


Earlier this week I mentioned that I was knee-deep in Numbers. Lots of movement by the Children of Israel, lots of instruction from the Lord about priests and duties, and so on. 

Then, this.....
Numbers 22:27-31 NASB

When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord , she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" Then Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now." The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No." Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground.

 This is actually quite a remarkable story. Balaam was, for all intents and purposes, not a man of God. He is described as a sorcerer. As I'm sure was standard for the day, one king wanted to curse another king or people or land. He would ask for a sorcerer to come and speak a curse over his enemy. This was what the leadership of Moab wanted Balaam to do. Curse the Children of Israel. God had come to Balaam and told him not to speak the curse. At first Balaam was fine with that. It was the second time that he was asked, that did him in. 

He was on his way to speak his curse, to do his job, even though God had spoken to him directly and given instruction against this action. Then, in the remarkable and unique way that God sometimes does, when He needs to get someone's attention,  He places an angel in Balaam's path. Irony abounds as the only one to actually see the angel is the donkey, who turns to the side to avoid the angel in the way. Balaam hits the donkey, trying to get him back on course. This happens two more times, two more beatings, the last one being the account above. 

The poor donkey just lies down, up. It can't go forward because of the angelic being in front of it, and whenever it swerves to avoid said angel, he gets a beating and a mouthful of angry threats from Balaam. 

It's an interesting story. 

Today, as I'm reading, that donkey and this story seems to speak right to me. 

It's as if I can see myself riding along on a path, while decent in my own mind, even doing what would be acceptable, but it is not God's path. God's probably already told me not to go that way, but I have ignored that. In my mind's eye, I can see myself standing over some brutish donkey of an idea, taking my switch to it, giving it an earful of all the reasons it should keep carrying me to my destination. OBVIOUSLY a defective donkey! Seriously, I can see myself doing that, in my heart. 

Then, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, comes the angel of the Lord. The AHA moment. The clarity. Of course I'm not to go this way. I see it now. I wasn't seeing the angel blocking the path. Blocking for whatever reason, for my safety, for someone else's safety, and, Lord help me, even for that wild, talking  donkey's safety. 

I never seem to see those roadblocks in my way as the Lord. I always see that my donkey, or whatever dream I happen to be riding on, is swerving to frantically get off the current path. That's all I see. That's all I want to see. Easier for me to blame the journey, or the road, or the irritating donkey. It's so much harder for me to actually acknowledge I might be on the wrong road. I ask for direction, for Him to lead me. Irony abounds again when I buck against any change in direction. He must just shake His head at me. I can almost hear Him sigh...'Which is it Pam, do you want to go in the direction I have for you? Or shall I unblock this path and you just carry on your own way?' 

When I finished reading the chapter, I had a fleeting thought about how sad it was that Balaam couldn't see properly and the donkey paid the price.

Then I went on to my next reading......
Mark 10:51 NASB

And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, " Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!"

Yes, Teacher, Rabboni, Jesus.....please help me see. Sometimes I am so blind. 



M.Christine Duncan said...

Gosh, did I mention yet how much I LOVE this, Pam!?!? That sometimes we are going to have to trust His direction, that maybe our eyes don't see what He sees.... what am I saying, maybe... let's try almost always... lol.
Thank you xxoo

Pam said...

I can't even count the times where I've been standing like a petulant child over some dream or direction I thought I was so sure of. Unaware I was supposed to be trusting His direction, but seriously demanding things go my way!!
Loving how the Word comes alive, just at the right times!