Based on Numbers 22
Balaam struck his donkey again, frustration mounting. What on earth was wrong with the silly beast? First, she’d wandered off the road into a field and now she pressed so hard against the vineyard wall that his foot was crushed. The donkey inched forward, ears quivering. Just when Balaam thought they might be making some progress, the donkey stopped and lay down flat on the road.
Casting aside all reason, Balaam raised his staff and struck again with all his might. Up ahead, Balak’s messengers were disappearing from view. If they didn’t get moving, Balaam knew he might lose the fat commission the Moabite king had promised.
“What have I done to make you hit me three times?” Startled, Balaam swung around in the saddle. The road was deserted. Could the beast have spoken? Looking down, he saw the donkey watching him with reproachful eyes.
Without thinking how absurd talking to an animal might seem, Balaam roared in response, “You’re making me look foolish! I’m so mad, I could kill you now if only I had a sword!”
“But you’ve ridden me without issue since the day I became yours,” the donkey replied. “Have I ever done this to you before?”
As Balaam began to grudgingly admit that the animal had a point, a glorious light half blinded him. There, right in front of them, stood an Angel with a drawn sword! Terrified, he fell to his face.
“Why have you hit your donkey these three times?” the Angel asked. “I came here to strike you down because of your perverse intentions. If she hadn’t acted as she did, you’d be dead by now.”
“I have sinned,” Balaam cried. For deep down, he knew that God had sanctioned this journey only if Balaam would speak the words God gave him. But the closer he got to Moab, the more his thoughts dwelt on the awaiting riches. In his heart, he’d begun to seek out a way of circumventing God’s command.”
“Shall I turn back?” He asked the Angel.
“Go with the men,” the Angel said. “But remember to speak only the words that I give you.”
And so Balaam went on to Moab with Balak’s princes.
Are you currently doing (or considering doing) something that you know goes against God’s direction or will for your life? How are you justifying your intentions? Consider what the Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”