This morning I was listening to the bible in my car. I had purchased the entire bible, ESV, downloaded onto my classicly classic iPod and I listen to it on my way to work. I am currently on my third time through since I purchased it. Today, I got to the book of Numbers, chapters 22-24. This is the section where Balak hires Balaam to curse the Israelites because Balak is afraid of them. I listen to it all the way to the end of the section where Balaam blesses Israel a third time and Balak becomes incensed.
So Balaam goes on his way, riding his donkey. (As an aside, isn’t interesting that since the KJV translation the meaning of the word “ass” has been changed to be remembered more for the posterior of a person than for a donkey. I remembering snickering in Sunday School when the teacher would read it in the KJV.) He ends up alone on the road to where Balak is encamped overlooking the nation of Israel. If you know the story, the donkey is stopped three different times in three different places because an Angel of the Lord is in blocking the way.
Balaam beat the donkey for stopping because he could not see the Angel of the Lord he didn’t understand why the donkey stopped. Then God opened the donkey’s mouth, gave the donkey a human voice and she spoke to Balaam. And they had the conversation and eventually Balaam was able to see the Angel of the Lord and finally understood why the donkey stopped, and then the Angel of the Lord rebuked Balaam for being..well, you know stupid.
There are two amazing aspects of this story aside from Balaam being greedy and defying God because of his greed. One is the donkey talks like a person. The other aspect, which I find more amazing, is Balaam doesn’t seem the least bit taken aback by the donkey talking to him. At least the passage doesn’t indicate that Balaam reacted like it was odd that a donkey was speaking like a human. He then proceeded to have a conversation with the donkey as if it’s an everyday occurrence.
A talking donkey. Only God can do amazing things. I am surprised that some Word of Faith teacher hasn’t used this passage as a proof text for supporting the extra-biblical “revelations” they receive.