Chapter-a-Day Numbers 22

Jim Broadbent as the adult Digory Kirke in The...
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The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your trusty donkey on whom you’ve ridden for years right up until now? Have I ever done anything like this to you before? Have I?” Numbers 22:30 (MSG)

C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, has always been one of my favorites. There is a scene early in the story when Lucy’s elder siblings, Peter and Susan, are convinced that their sister is lying to them about her mysterious trips through the wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia. At their wit’s end, they have a conversation with the Professor about their sister’s odd behavior. To their amazement, he decides that their sister is telling the truth.

“Logic!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious she isn’t mad. For the moment then, and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

The children come to learn that the Professor was correct. They refused to accept their sister’s story because it didn’t fit inside their comfortable definition of reality.

Along the journey, I’ve come to realize that we often place God in a box in our minds. It’s a neat little box. It’s dimensions are those which we define based on our comfort level and our experience in the journey. The problem is that an infinite, omniscient and omnipotent God never seems to consistently fit neatly inside a box we create in our finite minds and limited experience.

In today’s chapter, we learn that God had made himself known to a man named Balaam. Balaam was not one of “God’s people.” He was not one of the Israelites coming up out of Egypt. Nevertheless, it is clear that God had revealed Himself to Balaam and used Balaam (and Balaam’s donkey) to accomplish His purpose. 

Balaam stands as a reminder to me that God can work in and through whomever He wishes in order to accomplish His purpose. The way God works, and those through whom He chooses to accomplish His will, do not always fit within my comfortable definition. Like Susan and Peter, I am constantly finding that my faith and wonder must expand as God reveals Himself to be and to act in ways that are exceeding, abundantly beyond all that I can think or imagine.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day Numbers 22”

  1. 28 Then God gave speech to the donkey. She said to Balaam: “What have I ever done to you that you have beat me these three times?”

    This is one of my favorite Bible stories of childhood. There are so many nuances to this story that touch emotion. There is the fact that a donkey can see things that man cannot. There is the beating of the donkey. Then the donkey talks (Harrison when he was very small would reference the “talking donkey” from his first bible story book. You don’t know how seeing Shrek impacted this young man….) Then a dialogue b/w man and donkey. I love it! Stories like this are what kept me intersted in the OT as a kid.

    The overall theme for me today is to keep our eyes and ears wide open. God may be showing us something that we aren’t in tune to. I need to pay attention to the little things to see if God has a purpose in them.

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