Don’t Beat a Balking Donkey

“What is it going to take before they realize?”


After sharing a pretty shocking fact I discovered on facebook, of course, with my husband, he responded with that question. I didn’t understand the question in light of the situation. It was a shocking situation to us. We would have never thought the individuals involved capable of something like that. We don’t know the whole story and won’t place blame on any party, but regardless of who or what set the events into motion, sin was at the dead center of it.

In a very short amount of time this was the second, if not third, situation evolving out of one larger community. A community very proud of their conservative Christian beliefs.

Yesterday I came across a news article that reminded me of that conversation.

“I told my child two weeks ago God is going to put his hands on you and he’s going to sit you down.”

Posted by Fox2Now on Thursday, June 11, 2015

“…God is going to put (H)is hand on you and (H)e is going to sit you down.”

It’s the same thing my husband was getting at with his question a while back.

I read that news article and I was heartbroken for that mother. A mother who knew her child as not only who she was but who see had the potential to be. A mother who knew her daughter needed help and tried to provide guidance and rules. A mother who understood that even with all that in place her baby was not a puppet on a string.

At sixteen we knew it all, didn’t we? Our parents had no clue what life was like for us. Their education didn’t compare to what we had already been taught. Their choices in life were nothing like the choices we had available. They didn’t know pressure like we knew pressure. Right?

I work with teenagers all day every day. And come home to two of my own after work. They think the same things about their parents. And I remind myself, my husband, and many others that we have to let them experience it for themselves. If we start dictating, they’ll do the opposite of what we say just to prove us wrong. Unfortunately, that may lead to them proving us right.

So, what does that have to do with us today? What’s it going to take?

I wonder how often God goes through this with each of us. As adults.

But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”
The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The lord will not let me go with you.” Numbers 22:12-13 NLT
Direct instruction from God to Balaam. Pretty clear cut, isn’t it? There aren’t any threats attached. No, if you go, then I will…
Balaam even gets up and sends them directly away. He listens the first time!
Do we listen the first time God tells us something? More importantly, even if we tell sin no the first time, how do we respond when it comes back for seconds?
Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time. Numbers 22:15
We know the right answer for when they come back, right? God already told Balaam. He just needs to send them on their way. So, that’s what he does. NOPE! Wrong answer.
But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the lord has anything else to say to me.”
That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.” Numbers 22:18-20
Are you as surprised as I am that God changed His mind? Why did God send Balaam the second time as opposed to the first?
God knew something about Balaam.
Balaam asked a second time.
When we have already given our children an answer to a question AND we explained reasoning behind the answer, do we expect them to question our judgment by asking the same question a second time? And if they do, or even possibly a third or fourth time, what is our eventual response?
Eventually we decide they’re going to have to learn it the hard way and let them go, or they decide on their own to do whatever it is without our permission or blessing.
God knew Balaam was going to cave to the pressure, but He also knew He could provide some stumbling blocks as warnings along the way.
I think you’re going to want to read the next three points on your own. You don’t want to miss sword-bearing angels, foot-crushing walls, repeated beatings, and talking donkeys.
You will want to read Numbers 22:21-41. You can check it out on on a computer or YouVersion on your mobile device!
 Balaam got turned around on his journey. Some of God’s children ignore the warnings, stumbling blocks, and signs God places in front of them and miss their opportunity to turn around. I have a feeling some of us are in a place of rebellion right now.
Maybe we’re even crying out for a sign. “God, just send me something to show me what I’m supposed to do. Which way I’m supposed to go.”
I just wonder how many of us have been beating the warnings He’s sent.
How many of us have scoffed at the friends that took on the hard job of saying the words we didn’t want to hear, so we shook our heads and wrote them off?
How many of us have rationalized our sin against that scripture that keeps being presented to us over and over, yet we’ve decided it doesn’t apply in our situation?
How many of us read an Old Testament story of a talking donkey and think it’s just that, a story passed down through generations, while we’re literally beating our own donkey to death?

Lord, I don’t want to beat this horse to death! Let it lead me to life!
That’s the prayer I need to plead today. Because, yes, God can even use four-legged friends to accomplish His plan.
Do you have a donkey trying to warn you right now? Has God placed people and things in your life to keep you on His path? Are you offering up prayers of thanksgiving for those donkeys or are you beating them?