Numbers 22:22-28 ~ you have struck me these three times
But God's anger was kindled because he [the prophet Balaam went to curse the Children of Israel against God's desire to bless] went , and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary.
Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 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. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way 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 Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 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?”
Scripture for Today Blogspot would love to show you, at this point, an archaeological tombstone, or pottery shard with the story of the wonderful donkey. We will have to take it on faith. God's glory unseen. Unfortunately, all archaeology only confirms Balaam was not a child of Israel, & did worship other gods and was a prophet intent on other gods.
In 1967, at Deir Alla, Jordan, archaeologists found 119 pieces of inked plaster containing an unknown prophecy by Balaam written in a previously unattested dialect with Aramaic and South Canaanite characteristics and employing an idiosyncratic script. The inscription is datable to circa 840–760 B.C. . Painted in red and black inks, apparently to emphasize the text, on fragments of a plastered wall. This is not the correct time frame. This would have been during Uzziah's reign. Perhaps it is another Balaam, or Balaam was still being quoted.
Agreeing with the Balaam testimony is:
- God is good, forgiving and gracious in the way He records Balaam in the Book of Numbers. Later, the New Testament says Balaam continued to work against God's anointed people.
- John, Jesus' beloved disciple, Balaam as not part of the Children of Israel, instead working against them. Balaam's error and the source of his wickedness came from sabotaging the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land.
- According to Numbers 31:16
- And St. John (Revelation 2:14), Balaam returned to King Balak and informed the king on how to get the Israelites to curse themselves by enticing them with prostitutes and unclean food sacrificed to idols. The Israelites fell into transgression due to these traps and God sent a deadly plague to them as a result (Numbers 31:16).
- Jude, the Brother of Jesus
- Peter, the Rock who built the Church learning not to favor money and to instead do the will of Father God.
But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.
Balaam held the interest of Jude, brother of Jesus:
What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.
Peter was also interested in Balaam.
2 Peter 2:15
Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing
What is remarkable of Balaam.... his defiance, bold resistance to opposing God or an angel of the Lord's authority.... to continue to do the wrong thing.
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
31 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 down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”
34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.”
When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him,
12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak’? 14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”
It is up to each of us not turn from what we know is right. Fight for goodness. With the grace of God. God speaks to us in our hearts, we believe & He tells us this in the New Testament.
Jesus said even the stones would cry out to declare Jesus sovereign. And mere babes.
Balaam's donkey has held the interest of people who love the Scriptures for ages. Crying out for mercy. To the one she loved.
“What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
"Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?”
People have spoken of this for about three millenniums. We certainly know donkeys existed in this era. Recently Israel discovered a mummified donkey. We could look at the photo's, but I'm betting Balaam's donkey wasn't the donkey in the photo.
Jesus came to live our life and did several interesting things. Understatement, of course. One of the ones I harp on endlessly is John 4, Jesus declared his Sovereignty to a displaced Samaritan Woman after Samaritans were tossed out of the Second Temple, and the Children of Israel then went to marry, noooo, not to the displaced DNA Children of Israel trying to be the remnant, but on to the goys - the people like us - not the Children of Israel until Jesus adopted us. Yep. Tossed out the Remnant Children of Israel to marry the local Philistines and Canaanites and Moabites.
So Balaam's poor Donkey - did the work, was smarter than Balaam and a few other people like John the Baptist's father - and Knew to Lay Down before the Authority of God.
Jesus made sure when He was triumphant - He rode a donkey. Of course:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
1 Kings 1:33-44
And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
Yet I would have to say, Jesus was taking care of the past and giving Grace.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Let everything he has made give praise to him. For he issues his command, and they came into being; he established them forever and forever. His orders will never be revoked.
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
The passage in Romans 8:18-25 certainly does include animals as part of “the creation.”
Elijah was picked up from heaven by horses, this was told to Elijah before it occurred and Elisha saw it happen. The Lord could have sent anything to convey Elijah to heaven, but the horses came from heaven and the Lord sent them. The four winds sent from Heaven are on horses. The four winds are written of in Daniel, Zechariah and Revelations 7.
2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black, 3 the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. 4 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.
A good man cares for his animals
No one but Jesus can be called good.
1 Corinthians 9:9, Deuteronomy 25:4
For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You Shall Not Muzzle The Ox While He Is Threshing " God is concerned about oxen, isn't He, He's not too busy.
We are not told implicitly, but Heaven has been told to us in Scripture and the verses hold God’s love spreading to animals in His eternal kingdom.