WHAT A BLESSING!
By Chuck Johnson
Praise the Lord for stubborn donkeys in your life! What am I talking about?
I'm talking about the times we pray for something and don't get it. Let me explain.
In the twenty second and twenty third chapters of the book of Numbers we read that
the newly-freed children of Israel had moved to the plains of Moab near Jericho.
This troubled Balak the King of Moab greatly. The Moabites had seen the total
annihilation of the great walled city of Jericho and feared that they would be next.
With much fear and trembling Balak sent for the prophet Balaam. His request: please
come and, in my behalf, curse these people. This was very tempting for Balaam
because of the great wealth of Balak, and his willingness to reward Balaam handsomely
for his services. Balaam however, being the great prophet of the Lord, said,
"I must seek the Lord on this matter."
He sought the Lord, and the Lord told him not to go with Moab's ambassadors and
do this deed, for the Israelites were chosen by and blessed of Jehovah. Balaam therefore
declined. Balak was persistent, though, and sent even more ambassadors bearing even greater
Now watch this. Balaam knew God's answer, yet he still sought Him a second time.
God said, "Go ahead, but tell them only what I've told you." This is where it gets interesting.
On the journey Balaam's donkey stops in the middle of the trail and refuses to proceed.
Balaam is outraged at his donkey's behavior and begins to beat him. Still the
donkey refuses to budge. Then God gives the donkey a voice to converse with Balaam.
This is weird, but it gets even better! You see, the donkey saw an angel of the Lord
standing with a drawn sword. It seems the donkey had better sense than the prophet!
When God opened Balaam's eyes to see the angel, Balaam then fell on his face. The
angel told Balaam that his way was perverse and that, had the donkey continued, the
angel would have killed Balaam and spared the donkey.
Again Balaam said, "If it displeases you, I will turn back." IF it displeases Him?
Had God not told him from the outset not to go and not to curse the Israelits? You can read the rest of the
story for yourself. IN SHORT, Balaam got what he wanted, and the only cost was his life.
If you are persistent, God may grant your request, even though it is going against His will.
However, God will then turn right around and bring judgment on you!
Let's look at another example. In I Samuel chapter 8 we read of the Israelites
asking the prophet Samuel to appoint them a king before his death. The Lord did not
want the Israelites to be under the bondage of a suppressive king, however, they were
persistent, and God granted their request. Israel got their desire, a king, but they also
In I Corinthians 10:23 the apostle Paul says, that, under grace
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are
lawful for me, but all things edify not." Paul knows that we are not under the
law but under grace, however, he is trying by example to show us everything may be
lawful but not necessarily good for us.
We can want something so bad that if we are persistent enough God will finally
give in and allow us to have it, even though He knows the end, and what it will do to us.
I have recently been so discouraged with my current job, that I wanted to return to my
former field of employment, even though I saw it as a blessing in disguise, when I had
been laid off from that field many years before. I had been discouraged at the lack
of response to my resumes, but I was persistent. I continued for many years to
continue seeking employment in that industry. Finally God allowed me to interview
with a great company in that industry. I left that interview feeling sick to my
stomach; I had been reminded through the interview why I had felt blessed years ago
when I had been laid off. You see, I hated my current circumstances (the desert) so bad,
that I was willing to go back to the proverbial Egypt just to escape. I am so glad God did
not answer that prayer!
We must be careful always to seek His will, and not to badger Him into giving
us what we, will to have. He is the One, after all, that sees the beginning from the end.
And He knows what is not only best for us, but what will truly make us happy. Don't
settle for your will when you can have His will. If you are uncertain of God's will,
just study His Word. His Word is His will.
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||24 Jun 2003
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