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Talking Back

Words of Faith Final

Talking Back

Words of Faith 7-14-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 22

    [26] Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. [27] When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. [28] Then the Lord opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"

    [29] Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."

    [30] The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"

    "No," he said.

    [31] Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

    [32] The angel of the Lord asked him, "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. [33] The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."

    [34] Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."

    [35] The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.


       They say it is a bad sign when donkeys start talking to you, but surely when you start talking back, it is an even greater concern!

       Balaam was on his way to work.  He had a job lined up with Balak, and he was running late.  But his donkey was not cooperating at all.  And now it was talking back to him!  What was this stubborn donkey doing impeding his progress?  How dare she? Why he had a mind to kill that stupid donkey right now!

           It sounds less and less crazy, the more you think about it.  How many of us have talked to our automobile when it did not cooperate on a particularly late and busy morning?  Be honest.  Have you ever threatened violence or abrupt sale against your car or some other inanimate object because your schedule was delayed?

          This conversation gets even more interesting.  The donkey first reminds Balaam that she is the very same donkey as before and that she has not been in the habit of causing such trouble.  Then there came a moment of truth.  Balaam's eyes were opened, and he could see the angel of the Lord blocking the roadway.  The donkey had saved him!

          The message was very clear.  The path Balaam was taking was a reckless one before the Lord.  The stubborn delays of the donkey had, in fact, saved Balaam's life.  Balaam was now confronted with the reality of God and the truth of the situation.  He confessed this truth and asked for direction.  The path the Lord desired was that Balaam would speak only what the Lord told him before the princes of Balak.

           What do we get from this?  One message is very simple and practical--  We do not always see what is really going on!  Balaam was frustrated by his donkey, but she really saved his life.  She could see something he could not.  How often do we get frustrated when our plans and desires are delayed or changed?  The truth is that there are always things that we cannot see.

         When you are delayed, God only knows the accident that your path prevented, the ticket you did not get, or the jam you avoided.  Missing an airline flight is very frustrating, but it might be the very best thing if there was something harmful or dangerous.

        This is not to say that we should not try to be punctual, but we must also trust that the Lord is sovereign and fully in charge of our lives.  He is watching and protecting.  There may be all sorts of donkey-like obstacles that are for our good.

           So, what about today?  This week?  Are you listening?  The delays you experience may well be divine in origin. 


        Lord, help me to understand the bigger picture.  Help me to trust that You are truly in charge of my life.  You have my day planned.  Help me to follow that plan and trust you amid the divine delays.  In Jesus’ name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

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Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.