Numbers 22:21-41 (Part 2) – When We Plunge Headlong into Stupidity Despite The Warning Signs…

Posted: October 11, 2016 in 04-Numbers
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Numbers 22:21-41 (Part 2 of 3)

Balaam and His Donkey

Yesterday, we talked about how God sometimes puts roadblocks in our way to prevent us from doing something that will derail our growth in our relationship with him. What if, then, we ignore those roadblocks and push headlong into our desired courses of action? Have you ever been so stubborn about something that you push ahead even though what you are doing is wrong and could hurt other people?


We see it all the time in this fallen world. Our pride and our desire to do what makes us feel good often trumps good reason. Funny that I should use such a verb at this time. We as the Republican party are riding Balaam’s donkey as we speak. First, let me preface what I am about to say is that I am normally a staunch Republican who believes that the constitution should be interpreted strictly by our courts, that our courts should limit themselves to what it says, and I believe in limited government, low taxes, a free market economy with limited regulation, and the sanctity of human life from the point of conception, and so on. However, we as Republicans, in this election, are pushing on through with our desire not to have Hillary Clinton as President that we will accept anything to accomplish that goal. As a Marco Rubio supporter, I have felt like that person who is in a dream who sees a bad thing about to happen to themselves or others but the words won’t come out. Nobody is listening. We are pushing headlong into the election with Trump as the nominee of our party and we close our eyes to who this man really is because we are so afraid of a Hillary Clinton presidency.


I had an old friend from high school berate me on Facebook the other night for publicly stating that I cannot in good conscience vote for either major party candidate in this presidential election. Her whole point of her argument was that a vote for anyone other than Trump was a vote for Hillary. Nowhere in that post did she say that Trump was a good man, that he was for the times, that his policy proposals are superior to hers. The only thing that was remotely about the issues that she feared the judge that Hillary will appoint to the Supreme Court. Don’t get me wrong, Hillary Clinton is so supremely liberal and supports big government in ways that I cannot tolerate much less the fact that truth to her is a relative term that corresponds to what is most advantageous to her at the moment. However, the Republican nominee, my nominee, is a joke. He is great a real estate developer who takes advantage of tax loopholes to develop his empire, declares bankruptcy when the tax code that props up his empire changes, or he has spent other peoples money too lavishly, lives a lifestyle of a rock star with no moral compass only the desire to fulfill his desires, who trades out the women in his life when they start looking less than like a model (watch out Melania), whose actions and words are like that of a thirteen year old boy demanding his own way, who will apparently not ever listen to his advisors, whose knee-jerk comments are similar to those of an uneducated redneck, who actions throughout his life are of a man who is completely amoral and has no repentance at all for the sins that he has committed in his life. He has an ego the size of the island he lives on and this whole presidential run is about conquering that one last thing not about what he is capable of doing as a president. Can you realistically see him as a President? Is this what we want representing our country? It is the equivalent of having Jethro as President and Ellie May as the First Lady, two people who are vapid and not ready for the stage on which they play.


My friend from high school is so blind to who Trump is that she is willing to accept who Trump is just to keep Hillary out of office. So many of us out there are voting on that basis. We don’t give a R’s A about what kind of man Trump is (and that fact that he will have his hands on the nuclear arsenal) just so long as our President is not Hillary Clinton. It is a sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves when we have to tell people that a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary. Is that our message now as Republicans? Have we made a deal with the devil just to keep Hillary out of office? What happened to the policies of Reagan? His campaign was all about how, exactly how, he was going to change the economy and the tenor of our nation. What we have to offer the public now, as Republicans, is that Donald Trump is NOT Hillary Clinton. That is vision? That is our future? But we push headlong into the breach with that as our battle cry. We know that Donald Trump is an arrogant, immoral, unrepentant, stubborn, foulmouthed, hotheaded man who has lived in his cult of celebrity so long that he thinks he can get away with anything who simply wants the prize and not the job of President. We push headlong into the breach with this Napoleon knowing full well that he is a disaster waiting to happen because he is NOT Hillary. We deserve what we get in November. We really do. We had the opportunity to nominate a good man and a man with a Kennedy-esque flair and vision in Marco Rubio but we fell in love with the brash bully of a celebrity with no policy positions on anything other than to tear down his opponents. We saw this train wreck happening but we could not stop it. Rubio was the only one that would try to force Trump to state a position on something, anything, but all we got were barbs and rude remarks. But he’s NOT Hillary and off into the breach we go with Napoleon!


We see the same mentality in Balaam as we read through Numbers 22:21-40 this morning for the second of three times that we will visit this passage:


21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.


24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.


26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”


29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”


30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”


“No,” he said.


31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.


32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”


34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”


35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.


36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”


38 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”


39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.


Here, we see Balaam being so blinded by his own desires, the money and the power that would come with it, that he could not see God in action trying to stop him from making a foolish mistake. Just as the continuing revelations about Donald Trump and his moral character that keep piling up as warnings from God, in my mind, that he is not a man to be trusted in the White House, so were these events in Balaam’s life. He kept pushing headlong into the breach. He kept going with what he knew to be against God’s wishes. He was blinded by the fact that he wanted to fame and fortune rather than understanding that God did not want him to do what he desired.


Are you facing a choice in your life where God is giving you signals in the form of roadblocks that you should not do it? Think about it. All the warning signs are there. All the indications that the choice you are about to make is wrong but you want it so bad. That woman that you are flirting with is a beautiful young thing but she is not your wife and you know it’s wrong but your desire outweighs your reason. That man that you think is everything that your husband is not and to boot, he is soooo hot! You know it’s wrong but your passion is greater than your reason. Screwing over your co-worker to get a promotion is wrong but you do it anyway because your greed is greater than your compassion. Taking something that doesn’t belong to you, you know is wrong, but no one is looking and your desire reasons out that it is OK just for that reason. We all have warning signs from the Holy Spirit that what we are about to do is against God’s design for our lives but we push headlong into them because we reason away the truth of God’s law. We reason away that it will destroy our lives. We reason away reason just to get what we want. Let us be a people that are sensitive to God’s roadblocks into our lives when we venture close to making decisions that are against his will. Let us stop and take stock when God puts roadblocks in our way to our executing our sins. Think it through. Stop. Turn away from that which is destructive for you. Heed the warning signs from God.


Amen and Amen.

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