Numbers 22: 21-28 ESV (Portions)

“So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God’s anger was kindled because he went,  and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary… and the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand.

And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road…(this happened three times)

Then 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?” 

Balaam disobeyed God and headed to Moab even though God directed him not to go. As Balaam and his servants headed down the road, an Angel appeared in the road with his sword drawn. The donkey could see the Angel but Balaam and his servants could not see him. When the donkey saw the Angel with his sword drawn he turned aside into a field. Balaam was angry and embarrassed that he could not get his donkey to stay in the road.

This happened three times and each time Balaam struck the donkey with a stick or rod to discipline him. The last time that Balaam beat the donkey, God opened the donkeys mouth and he asked Balaam why he was beating him. The two had a brief conversation concerning the donkeys loyalty to his master. Then God opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the Angel with the sword in his hand.

Sometimes we get ourselves into situations that seem out of our control. Lately, I have tried a new strategy; when things seem to not be going well or in my favor I stop and ask, Ok, what is going on? Why am I fighting this problem? Is there a better way Lord?

It could be something simple like trying a different method or it could be spiritual where God is saying, “stop and listen!” Either way, I believe God is concerned about everything in our lives from church to leisure time, from marriage to our vocations. Have you been struggling with a situation for awhile? Stop and ask God to reveal His will and His way.

Father, when the road gets difficult, and things are not going well, teach me to stop and listen.

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