Monday, March 07, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Numbers 22:28

Then the Lord gave the donkey
the ability to speak.
Numbers 22:28
The stories in the book of Numbers keep getting stranger, don't they? 
In fact, these are some of the stories that make people doubt the Bible ... and/or ... play cut and paste with the sections that don't make sense to them.
But, if you think about it, the story of Baalam and his Ass is only strange if you don't believe that God is powerful and the spiritual realms are real.
I often explain it like this ... I point to room we're in and say, "Is this world real?" Yes! And then I point to the ceiling, "Is heaven real?" Yes! "Now, normally," I say, "we can't see heaven and the spiritual realms, can we?" No. "So imagine a barrier between them which is like six feet of concrete." Okay. "Now, occasionally," I say, "isn't the barrier between heaven and earth a little thinner? For example, didn't God speak to the prophets and don't angels occasionally appear?" I guess so. "So it's not that heavenly realms aren't real, it's just that we don't commonly see what's all around us, right?"
"So, is it possible ... reasonable ... that '31 the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand'?"
And here's the thing ... If we admit that God is powerful and the spiritual realms are all around us, then God occasionally opening people's eyes is indeed reasonable. Furthermore, if we believe that creator of heaven and earth is truly powerful, then it may be very weird but couldn't it be equally possible that God could make a donkey protect his master's life ... and on extraordinarily rare occasions, talk to his master about it?!!
In Christ's Love,
a guy who'd rather believe
in a powerful God of the (wierd but) possible,
than a little God for whom all things
are impossible
This is one of my favorite stories in the bible. Balaam was so stubborn that God used his donkey to try to talk to him and warn him about the angel ... then his eyes were open. Wouldn't you listen if your donkey started talking? If you saw an angel of God? Does God still go to those extremes today? I often wonder. You never know who God will use!

Here are some lyrics from a Rich Mullins song:

Who God is Gonna Use?
Now Balaam he had a donkey
Who was gentle and true and kind
And the donkey saw an angel with a sword
So he slipped old Balaam past him
And when he done it three times
Well Balaam got so me mad he beat the donkey
And so the Lord

Well he gave the donkey language
And the donkey plainly brayed
"Well there's an angel about to strike you from the path"
Then old Balaam's eyes were opened
And he realized he'd been saved
By his donkey from the angel of God's wrath

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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