Crystal Writes A Blog

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Donkey Talk Blues


I think it’s been a while since I shared from my favorite band, ApologetiX–That Christian Parody Band. The song in the above video is called Donkey Talked With Him and it’s a parody of Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones. It uses music to tell the story of Balaam’s donkey saving his life, and if you click on the link with the title, you can read the story of how ApologetiX came to write this particular parody. The words in my title are in the song, and I just couldn’t pass up using them for this post, especially since it’s quite a bit later than usual, and I’m getting sleepy. (I haven’t been to sleep yet, so it’s still in my Monday, so even if you found it posted on Twitter on Tuesday, you’ll notice I’ve backdated it as Monday’s post.)

So, in today’s reading from Numbers 22:21 through Numbers 22:38, Balaam gets up with the servants of Balak and heads out to meet the King of Moab. Now, yesterday, God told Balaam that if these guys summoned him, he should go, but today this behavior stirs up God’s anger against Balaam. I can only think there was something in Balaam’s heart about his decision to make this journey, something that made it more than just obedience to what God had spoken to him the night before, that could make God rise up against Balaam.

The Angel of The Lord stood in Balaam’s path, but Balaam couldn’t see Him. Balaam’s donkey, however, noticed the Powerful Being and the sword in His hand and decided to run out across the field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road, and this time the Angel stood in a narrow path that went through the vineyards and had stone walls on both sides. The donkey went to the side and crushed Balaam’s foot between herself and the stone wall, so Balaam beat her again. When the Angel of God stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right or the left, the donkey lay down under Balaam, so he hit her with his staff.

After the last beating, God opened up the mouth of the donkey, and she began asking Balaam why he was beating her. Balaam, seemingly unimpressed and not at all surprised that this animal was talking, spoke back to the donkey about her behavior. He even told her he wished he had a sword because he wanted to kill her. She continued her side of the conversation with some logical reasoning about her faithfulness to him and how she’d never done anything like that before. As the truth dawned on him, God opened Balaam’s eyes, so he could also see the Angel standing there with the drawn sword.

God asks Balaam why he beat his donkey when she was only trying to save his life. He tells Balaam that He had come out against him and would have killed him for opposing him if she had not stopped it from happening. Balaam hung his head and bowed before God, and he repented and confessed his sin. He told God that if what he was doing was displeasing, he would turn around and go home, But God told him to go on, and reminded him again to only do what He directed.

When Balaam got to Balak’s palace, Balak asked why he had not come sooner. He wondered if Balaam thought he would not be able to pay enough. Balaam told Balak that he had come to him as he asked, but he could not speak to his requests unless God told him what to say. He told Balak he would only be able to speak whatever words God put in his mouth to speak.

When all was said and done, Balaam did the right thing and became willing to fully obey God and His word and to communicate that to the King of Moab, but it took a near-death experience for him to make that decision. How close to death do most of us have to be to make a decision to fully follow God in every word and deed of our lives? I hope it doesn’t take nearly dying at the hand of God for most of us. His ways may not always seem clear right off, but if we keep on asking, seeking, and knocking, we will hear His voice, so we can follow Him instead of giving Him or us the “donkey talk” blues.

Well, it’s late, so I’ll sign off for now, but I can’t leave you without adding one more video from YouTube. Many years before ApologetiX, I listened to the humorous telling of the Balaam story by Don Francisco. The last line is the best, so be sure and listen to the whole thing even though you already know the story. Enjoy.

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June 23, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , ,

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