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Hi, its beryl
todays psalm has just the prayer I need:-
I am asking the Lord to break the fangs of this cancer, may it disappear like water on thirsty ground.
Replace "cancer" with the name of your or your loved ones illnesses.
I agree with Mike about the inconveniences of life sometimes being the Lords protection and help.
God bless your day

This story of the talking donkey is one of those very unique times in Bible history where you just sit back, take a deep breath, and say, "I guess it really happened, just as it says, and one leans hard on 2 Timothy 3:16 "ALL Scripture is inspired..." including this story. Like John Ortberg says in his old testament journey, "chalk this one up to "What's up with that?"

Numbers 22 (Amplified Bible)
21
And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
22
And God's anger was kindled because he went, and the [ NOTE ] Angel of the Lord stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23
And the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way and His sword drawn in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey to turn her into the way.
24
But the Angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side and a wall on that side.
25
And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she thrust herself against the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against it, and he struck her again.
26
And the Angel of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right hand or to the left.
27
And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam, and Balaam's anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28
And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you should strike me these three times?
29
And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have ridiculed and provoked me! I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!
30
And the donkey said to Balaam, Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden all your life long until this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you? And he said, No.
31
Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face.
32
And the Angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? See, I came out to stand against and resist you, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me.
33
And the ass saw Me and turned from Me these three times. If she had not turned from Me, surely I would have slain you and saved her alive.
34
Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. But now, if my going displeases You, I will return.
35
The Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, Go with the men, but you shall speak only what I tell you. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

MY NOTE:
Note that in the Amplified Bible (as in some other versions), the angel that stopped Balaam and prompted Balaam’s donkey to talk is the Angel of the Lord. This is a very special Angel. See note below taken from the Amplified Bible below.

[ NOTE ]
"The Angel of the Lord" or "of God," or "of His presence" is readily identified with the Lord God (Gen. 16:11, 13; 22:11, 12; 31:11, 13; Exod. 3:1-6 and other passages).

But it is obvious that the "Angel of the Lord" is a distinct person in Himself from God the Father (Gen. 24:7; Exod. 23:20; Zech. 1:12, 13 and other passages).

Nor does the "Angel of the Lord" appear again after Christ came in human form. He must of necessity be One of the "three-in-one" Godhead. The "Angel of the Lord" is the visible Lord God of the Old Testament, as Jesus Christ is of the New Testament. Thus His deity is clearly portrayed in the Old Testament.

The Cambridge Bible observes, "There is a fascinating forecast of the coming Messiah, breaking through the dimness with amazing consistency, at intervals from Genesis to Malachi. Abraham, Moses, the slave girl Hagar, the impoverished farmer Gideon, even the humble parents of Samson, had seen and talked with Him centuries before the herald angels proclaimed His birth in Bethlehem."

That the Angel of the Lord is an uncreated angel distinguished from other angels, and in many places identified with the Lord God, is undeniable. On the other hand there are passages in which He seems to be distinguished from God the Father. The simplest way of reconciling these two classes is to adopt the old view that this Angel is Christ, the second person of the Godhead, even at that early period appearing as the Revealer of the Father (Johan P. Lange, A Commentary).

~~~

NOTE:

Thus it seems clear that the Angel stopping Balaam to insure that Balaam was not going to act against God’s will was none other than the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Himself!

The pre-incarnate Lord Jesus (the Angel many times looking like a man, preparing the world for the Son of God—fully and Perfect Man, fully God) has appeared many times in the Bible.

The pre-incarnate Lord Jesus—
1. Genesis 16: He appeared to Hagar, telling her that her son Ishmael would be blessed because he was Abraham’s son. Jesus also told her that she and her son were to submit to Sarah, Abraham, and Isaac.
2. Genesis 18: He appeared to Abraham before He sent the other angels to see if Sodom and Gomorrah needed to be judged. Truly, the Lord is fair and always acts based on irrefutable facts. He is not a God given to “outbursts or whims of emotion”. Abraham prayed to Jesus to possibly spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his family were spared because of Abraham’s prayer.

Genesis 18 is also where the Lord Jesus told Abraham and Sarah that they were going to have their own son the following year.
3. Genesis 22 – The Angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham to stop him from sacrificing Isaac. In essence, it was as if the Isaac was a foreshadowing of the Supreme and Complete offering of the Lord Jesus many centuries later. Some commentators believe that where the Angel of the Lord stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac is the very place where Jesus was crucified for our sins.

In effect, it was as if the Lord Jesus were saying this to Abraham: Isaac is not the offering. I AM! Take Me, as I will be the Offering later!

4. Genesis 24: the Angel of the Lord guided Eliezer so that a proper wife was chosen for Isaac. As Abraham told Eliezer in verse 40: “The Lord…will send His Angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father's house.”
5. Genesis 32: the angel with whom Jacob wrestled was Jesus. The Lord Jesus only had to touch Jacob’s hip so that it was dislocated. The effort that Jacob exerted to wrestle the Angel of the Lord appears to be related to the spiritual surrender that he needed to make.

Jesus is the One in Whom all of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen”. (2 Corinthians 1). He and His sacrifice are the guarantee that God’s promises will be fulfilled because the Father is a covenant-keeping God.

Vance

There is a lot today about speaking the word God gives and keeping silent when it is wise.

Psalm 58
1 Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
Do you judge uprightly among men?
2 No, in your heart you devise injustice,
and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

And the verses from Proverbs.

But I am convicted by these verses from the story of Balaam:

Num 22:38 "I must speak only what God puts in my mouth."
Num 23:12 "Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"

There are times when I say or write stuff that is not driven by the Spirit, but by my mind. It may seem clever, it may sound good. It will score points. So the fingers fly over the keyboard, or the tongue wags.

On the other hand, I believe Jesus has saved me, the Spirit of God is dwelling in me, I am part of the Body of Christ, we are on a mission and there are times when the Lord puts things in my mind, on my heart, in my mouth to be said. And I doubt. (Like Zechariah before Gabriel). And there is silence where the Word of God should be heard. Or there are muffled, garbled thoughts where there should be light and clarity.

Balaam talking to the donkey - The one point that stands out to me is that sin makes you crazy. Balaam didn't even question that an animal spoke. He was blinded by greed.

In todays reading of Proverbs 11 12 & 13 really spoke to me. I am doing a bible study and todays reading was about bridling your tongue . I to am quilty of talking about others and reponding in a angry tongue. I have prayed that God will help me to control my tongue. To be so little It is a very powerful tool, that can destroy some one. Thank you for this reading today. Have a Blessed day. Peggy

I think it's strange that God told Balaam to go in Numbers 22:20. Then in Numbers 22:22-34 God gets angry and stops him from going. Finally, in Numbers 22:35 God tells him to go.

What's up with that?

Hey Ramona, Im clarifying the 'TRUTH' bit as you asked me to. Of course John talks about the truth but it clearly talks about the Truth of One God that created us and loves us and Jesus is the testimony of that truth.

Now when I said lumping a group of people it alludes to fundamentalists (who themselves dont have wide understanding of issues but mostly justify their own prejudices citing bible). They claim because Bible has the Truth so anything that comes out of their pulpit is in accordance with the truth and concerns all aspects of life (abortion, status of women, slavery, blasphemy, capital punishment, divorce, relations between men and women etc.)

I believe Jesus was astonishingly liberal even when compared to modern standards. In his own words the most important commandment was to Love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your might. This is Bible's truth that is mentioned in John

Jesus focused on our relationship with God and love for fellow human being. Jesus opposed the fundamentalism and the 'truth' of the pharisees.

Hmmm. my response is longer than intended but I hope it cleared the clouds of my previous statement a bit :-)

RE The Topic of Gossip:
I really believe that the verses in James which talk about the danger of an unbridled tongue are right on the money. James chapter 3 speaks of taming the tongue. Starting in verse 3 it says "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4, Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are dirven by strong winds, they are streered by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wants to go. 5, Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6, The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7, All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9, With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likness. 10, Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11, Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12, My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grape vine bear figs: Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water".

I don't know about you but I see myself in these verses. They are very convicting. I've seen employees get fired, marriages fall apart and church's split and a lot of feeling that have been hurt which have affected the course of history. All as a result of harsh and cruel words spoken by another or vicious gossip. The same mouth that can tell someone you love them can also tell them you hate them. I think we can all relate to these verses in James. We need to ask God for help daily to control our tongue, especially myself.

There are references to gossip in the old testiment:(NIV) Exodus 23:1 Do no spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness. Psalms 57:4 I am in the midst of lions, I lie among ravenous beasts ,men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. And in Proverbs 25:18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.

In the new testament in 2Thessalonians 3:11-12. It seems idleness is to blame for busybodies. 11,"We hear that some among you are Idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12, Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat".
Doesn't this speak to the Welfare society who have too much time in their hands? Time which is not spent for constructive purposes. So many lessons from these valuable scriptures.

RE The Topic of Gossip:
I really believe that the verses in James which talk about the danger of an unbridled tongue are right on the money. James chapter 3 speaks of taming the tongue. Starting in verse 3 it says "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4, Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are dirven by strong winds, they are streered by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wants to go. 5, Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6, The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7, All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9, With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likness. 10, Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11, Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12, My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grape vine bear figs: Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water".

I don't know about you but I see myself in these verses. They are very convicting. I've seen employees get fired, marriages fall apart and church's split and a lot of feeling that have been hurt which have affected the course of history. All as a result of harsh and cruel words spoken by another or vicious gossip. The same mouth that can tell someone you love them can also tell them you hate them. I think we can all relate to these verses in James. We need to ask God for help daily to control our tongue, especially myself.

There are references to gossip in the old testiment:(NIV) Exodus 23:1 Do no spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness. Psalms 57:4 I am in the midst of lions, I lie among ravenous beasts ,men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. And in Proverbs 25:18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.

In the new testament in 2Thessalonians 3:11-12. It seems idleness is to blame for busybodies. 11,"We hear that some among you are Idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12, Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat".
Doesn't this speak to the Welfare society who have too much time in their hands? Time which is not spent for constructive purposes. So many lessons from these valuable scriptures.

Sorry I didn't mean to put this in twice. Have a wonderful and blessed day all.

By the way , ''John talks about the Truth'' I am referring to Gospel of John.

Incidentally, it occured to me that Jesus was not only astonishingly liberal but he was quite a revolutionary (consider Jesus' comments on Sabbath).

I think his pardoning the adulterous woman was very revolutionary, especially considering the age he lived in. It also satirically pointed out that the world who itself is full of filth and sin got no right to stone to death someone it considered sinful.

But Jesus was sinless nevertheless and he forgave her. Thus he sent a very powerful message-with two themes- saying, Do not judge and God forgives!

Emberglow--Thanks for your clarification.

Just two thoughts. Just because the mouse falls into the cookie jar, it doesn't make him a cookie. The gold standard for Truth is the Word of God and Jesus. One of the BIG problems with Christians is this: Most don't know the Word in its context or even out of its context. We do not follow Paul's admonishment to Timothy,

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)

And Jesus stated we are in error, fundamentalist or whatever group one may identify with because of this,

"... Is not this where you wander out of the way and go wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? (Mark 12:24 AMP)

We can only point things out to people, even God can't make folks believe. However we must remember this when we are dealing with people, it is the Holy Spirit that convicts people of sin, and it is the Holy Sprit that teaches. The Body of Christ needs each and every member because we are like blind men standing ‘round the elephant trying to describe it based on which part we are standing next too. The more we incorporate what each person is feeling into our own birds eye view, in this case feel, into what we have experienced, the greater the image of our God.

Numbers 22:21-23:30


Thoughts on Today’s’ Reading.

Balaam’s confrontation with his donkey happened three times, hmmm. All he saw was his inconvenience he never “thought” about what could be causing this behavior. Balaam was concerned about how he appeared to the king’s servants who were strangers to him. When the donkey asked him why he had been beaten three times (Goodness not only could the donkey talk but he could count.), Balaam’s response was, “Because you have made me look like a fool!" Balaam shouted. "If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!" (22:29 NLT)

Do we not do this with our own “loved ones?” When what we have judged in them is bad behavior, do not we jump up and demand our way by using force or manipulation so we can continue down the path despite what our spouses, children or neighbors may see? Instead of asking them what is wrong, our self-interest, our appearance in front of strangers trumps the concerns and possible spiritual insight that our loved ones may see. Then we become abusive, like Balaam and beat the ones who are watching our back.


The next think that caught my eye was the eighth verse of chapter 23,

How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I damn whom GOD has not damned? (Numbers 23:8 MSG)

Someone calls us a name, and in the United States, God forbid if someone calls an Evangelical Christian the “L” word, Liberal. Folks get all out of joint and begin to sweating bullets (Please note I’m using Hyperbole). You get “cursed” out or someone gives the “finger” and we are over the moon. It would do us well to remember this verse. Besides, If someone is not calling your name, don’t answer, and if they don’t know your name they can’t call you. So we need to stop acting a fool and getting all bent out of shape when we are called something or cursed by someone. Unless what they are calling you, is your “name” then calm down and keep smiling. Anything else would be a confirmation of what they have just called you.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Hey Laura, I was wondering the same thing...does any one have some insight into this??

"I think it's strange that God told Balaam to go in Numbers 22:20. Then in Numbers 22:22-34 God gets angry and stops him from going. Finally, in Numbers 22:35 God tells him to go.

What's up with that?

Posted by: tangentrider Laura"

Roslyn,

You are absolutely correct about my Venn diagram illustration - in trying to diagram a picture image of my "point", I was all muddled in my thinking. I apologize to the blog, and I only wish I could delete that portion of the post. I thank you for bringing it to my attention, and I consider it one of the bleesings of the blog that someone could point this out before I used it in the outside world.

Apparently I should have flunked my Phiosophy/Logic course back in the day. Or at least my recall of the material is very faulty :)

I stand by my earlier verbal explanation as to why emberglow's example was not a contradiction. The Venn Diagram -AAGGH! - was an example of how you get something in your head - think it is right - and it takes someone else to give you a head thwack to make you re-examine your thought process. thanks roslyn.

Balaam

I had always heard about this story, but never read nor studied it before now. But how important could it really be? Then I realized it covers three chapters of "Numbers", and an implication in a fourth. Three new Testament authors - Peter, Jude, and John - reference Balaam and his way, error, and doctrine.

[2Peter 2:15, Jude 1:11, Rev 2:14]

Finally, Micah tells us to remember Balaam. Sooo, there must be something pretty important here.

Micah 6:5
My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab counseled
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

Bob Deffinbaugh at Bible.org has three pages devoted to Balaam, and I learned a lot from reading his commentary.

I am with Luch on the talking donkey. God could grant a donkey speech. So, I am just going to go with the story. The funny image is of the Moab princes staring at Balaam out in the field. The prophet could not control his donkey, argued with donkey, and then fell prostrate to the gorund and conversed with "no one" (from their perspective).

I can just imagine them saying: 'Geesh, this is the man who is going to save our hide by cursing Israelites - he is a nut job'.

Laura and Jessica,

"I think it's strange that God told Balaam to go in Numbers 22:20. Then in Numbers 22:22-34 God gets angry and stops him from going. Finally, in Numbers 22:35 God tells him to go.

What's up with that?

Since no one else tried on the blog, I will give it a stab. I am feeling my way here, so this is conjecture - and I am not "married" to these thoughts:

1)Balaam wanted to go - he wanted the money.

2)God granted Balaam's request, just like He permits us to do things that we insist on that are not in His will. Just like He acceded to request of Israelites on divorce. But there was a condition put on Balaam.

3)God was angry becaue He knew Balaam's heart. God knew Balaam's motive was not right, that Balaam was not yet submissive to the condition that God required.

4)The angel of the Lord was meant to so frighten Balaam, that he would not dare think of trying to please Balak - but would only be submissive to God's condition.

5)Once Balaam was in the proper submissive mode to God, Balaam was allowed to go on.

I do not believe Baalam was a prophet of God. Thus I do not believe God spoke through Balaam. I think Balaam was just to repeat what God said to him before each prophecy. This would explain the go/stop/go scenario above.

Anyone else with any ideas?

[NOTE: Some prophet, his beast of burden was more in tune with the Lord than Balaam.]


Re John's analysis of Balaam:

Yes, but, in the end Balaam came through. It seems to me that, despite the threats from Balak, Balaam consistently spoke the mind of God in respect of the Israelites.

And he went off home without being paid a cent.

Andrew B.,

Yes, in the end Balaam spoke the mind of God.

It is true, Balaam did not get paid a cent.

But if you jump ahead to Numbers 25 apparently Balaam did something else before he left to go home.

Rev 2:14
"Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality." NIV

I have to think about this as the rest of Balaam's stroy unfolds, but thought it was ok to point out this passage.

It's amazing how Balak wants to try to fool God into cursing his own people..or fool Balaam into cursing God's people.I've not yet been able to read the commentary on Balaam but I sure am looking forward to it.God says NO...but the devil still tries to go around looking for a way around God's perfectly sealed way.His word is truth(the way things really are)anything contrary is a lie...How I wish I really could grab a tight hold of that in my heart...
In the today's world of fighting and misunderstanding...I'm sure it's strange to have people(who don't even know each other) pull together in love and fight...My prayer partners were thrilled to hear of Beryl's quick post op recovery...we're still confident that God started something...He's not done yet..the battle is His.
We all appreciate Mike's blog(guess that's obvious cos we keep coming:))and we are all different ages,cultures,personalities...Barnabas and Paul didn't agree on everything..May the Holy Spirit guide us to the truth.
God bless you all

gossip
something to be careful of is when meeting together in a Bible study or prayer group where we discuss prayer requests and the problems of others..it is very easy for this to lead to the spreading of private facts about other people in the guise of sharing someone elses problems..not gossiping goes a far way towards building up trust in all relationships .
God bless.
stef.

Hmmm, the story of the "talking" donkey got us to talking how ironic. Or is it?

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