Summary: God can use anyone to communicate the dangers of presumptuous sin, selfishness, lack of trust and coming judgment.
God Uses The Natural (a Donkey!) Supernaturally
Subject: Christian Aspiration
Subject 2: Holy Spirit
Synopsis: God can use anyone to communicate the dangers of presumptuous sin, selfishness, lack of trust and coming judgment.
Text: Number 22:21-33
A. The Bible is full of examples that show how God takes the natural and uses it in a supernatural way.
1. Our text this morning is an excellent example of just such a situation.
3. READ TEXT
B. I encourage you to read the full account of Balaam.
1. Called a soothsayer or diviner in Joshua 13:22.
2. Read about how he was hired to curse Israel and instead he blessed Israel.
3. But, he did tell Moab’s king how to trip up Israel — and it was successful.
C. Because Balak the King of Moab was threatened by Israel as they came out of Egypt from slavery, he hired Balaam to curse Israel.
1. It took a little bit of negotiating, but Balak finally came up with enough money and other incentives for Balaam to defy God.
2. The old adage is that everyone has their price.
3. For Judas it was 30 pieces of silver.
D. Just as betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver did not work out for Judas,
1. Neither did the price Balak paid Balaam.
2. Balaam ending up being killed by Israel in Joshua 13:22.
E. But the thing I want us to focus on is not Balaam as much as Balaam’s donkey.
1. His donkey was apparently an ordinary donkey.
2. One that he had had for quite some time.
F. But God took a natural, ordinary donkey and did something extraordinary and supernatural with her.
III. Don’t Pray
A. It all started when Balaam was determined to go with Balak’s men.
1. God had already told Balaam not to go with Balak’s men.
B. But Balaam was determined to pray about it until God changed His mind.
1. But God never changed His mind.
2. He was never going to allow Balaam to curse Israel.
C. Israel was on a mission from the Lord Himself.
1. They were His people called to accomplish His purpose.
D. There are times when we just don’t have to pray about a situation to know what we should do.
1. We don’t have to pray about whether or not we should do something expressly forbidden in the Word of God.
2. Lying, stealing, committing sexual sin, murdering someone, hating your parents … and so many more.
3. We just do NOT have to pray about these things.
4. They are contrary to God’s Word.
5. They are contrary to the way God made us.
E. We don’t have to pray about whether we should forgive or have faith or read the Bible…
1. These are things we KNOW we should do.
2. We don’t have to pray about these things.
3. We may need to pray for God’s help to be able to DO these things, but not whether or not we should do them.
F. If we do what we are told not to do or omit doing what we are told to do, will God immediately strike us down?
1. Probably not.
2. I personally wouldn’t risk it.
G. Psalm 86:15 (NASB95) But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
1. But I also know how the Lord feels about presumptuous sin.
2. That is, a defiant sin that presumes forgiveness from God.
3. Numbers 15:30–31 (NKJV) ‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.’ ”
4. Psalm 19:13 (NASB95) Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
H. Balaam acting presumptuously.
1. He thought he could defy God and since God didn’t kill him instantly he MUST have gotten away with it.
IV. Talking Donkey
A. So Balaam saddles his donkey and rides off with Balak’s men.
1. And God didn’t like it.
2. Vs. 22
B. In verse 23 we have an interesting idea:
1. Read Vs. 23: “When the donkey saw…”
2. Either animals in general (or donkeys in particular) can normally see into the supernatural realm, or God took the donkey’s natural eyesight and supernaturally enabled her to see what Balaam, his servants and the king’s men could not see.
3. One way or the other, the donkey avoids the angel of the Lord who is ready TO PUNISH Balaam’s presumptuous sin.