I used this story of Balaam’s talking donkey during Lenten services one year. After the service, a member challenged me, saying that she had never heard of a talking donkey in the Bible. Later, we went to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Charlotte, where there was a fragment of the Book of Numbers with the almost complete story of Balaam and his talking donkey—the most ancient proof of this story.
Sometimes we fail to listen to God. Our ears are stopped, our eyes covered, our hearts closed. We are intent on our own agenda, caught up in the cares and concerns of the world, convinced that we know best how to proceed. Like Balaam, we saddle up and move forward on our own in spite of God’s direction otherwise. It may take something out of the ordinary, something unexpected and perhaps surprising, to turn us back to the way God has planned for us.
I have yet to encounter a talking donkey, thank goodness, but I have had the experience of the unexpected guiding me without doubt in the direction God wants me to go. May we always listen with open hearts to God’s voice and follow his wisdom.
Prayer: Lord God, keep us on the path you have called us to follow and open our eyes to see you in ways that we do not expect. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Marty Ramey,
Pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain, NC.