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Summary: Has God ever talked to you through a chicken? Have you ever hear the voice of the Lord from a horse? What would you do if an animal talked to you? The first reaction may be that you are hearing things. The second reaction would be that you are going c

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WHEN A DONKEY SPEAKS, LISTEN

TEXT: NUMBERS 22:21-34

THEME: LISTENING TO THE COMMANDS OF GOD.

Has God ever talked to you through a chicken? Have you ever hear the voice of the Lord from a horse? What would you do if an animal talked to you? The first reaction may be that you are hearing things. The second reaction would be that you are going crazy. The third reaction is denial. The fourth reaction is shock. The final reaction should be to listen. If an animal ever speaks, it is best to listen.

Balaam has first hand experience with this dilemma. He had a donkey speak to him. The account is told in Numbers 22:21-34 “So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the leaders of Moab. But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. And 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?" Then Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now." And the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No." 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 all the way to the ground. And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. "But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live." And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back."

Balaam was seeking to go to a place that God did not desire for him to go. The angel of the Lord comes out to meet him. But fortunately, Balaam’s donkey sees the angel standing with a sword waiting to punish Balaam for his disobedience. The Donkey three times refuses to lead Balaam into danger. But three times Balaam beats his donkey for his seemingly disobedience to his commands. Finally, the donkey speaks up. After a brief conversation Balaam is able to see the angel of the Lord standing before him. He is thankful for the loyalty of his donkey. The angel of the Lord would have killed Balaam for his disobedience. Balaam realizes that he was disobeying God and his donkey became a hero to him.

God is serious about obedience to him. There always seems to be a battle between the Lord and his people. God desires to exert his will upon us but we want to live by our wills. We desire to be the captain of the ship. But God desires to guide our paths in life. God demands obedience and if we are rebellious to his will he attempts to get the message across to man even in unexpected ways.

This is exactly what happened to Jonah. Jonah was commanded to head to Nineveh to preach to the people so that they would have the opportunity to repent. But Jonah personally did not want to obey the Lord. He had racial feelings towards those in Nineveh and knew that if he preached the people would repent and be freed from sin. So instead of obeying the Lord he took off after his own will. Because of his disobedience God had to remind him of his call. Since Jonah did not want to listen to the voice of the Lord, God thought maybe he would be more receptive to the rumblings of a whale’s stomach. After three days of hearing the insides of a whale, Jonah was released and he went to Nineveh and preached. Sometimes the voice of the Lord comes from strange places.

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