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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth (11/14/13)

TITLE: Heeding Truth from an Unexpected Source
By Victoria Catron


Disgusted with his life the young man on the television screen threw out sarcastic remark again and again. He didn’t want anyone to be near him no less having his classmates share the community service that was his to do for breaking the rules. Maybe he was being obstinate but he had learned it early on from his mother. She didn’t seem to listen to what anyone had to say but was using her money and power to make changes in his and other peoples’ lives as she determined. What would be the cost of her actions? Would he follow her chosen path or would he learn a new way?

The similar choice comes to the entire human race. Do we follow after the ways of the world, Satan and his helpers? Or do we choose to believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world? Even after people choose Christ there will still be a struggle between right and wrong within them (Romans 7:14-23 KJV). Even in the Old Testament when God directly spoke to a prophet there wasn’t always complete obedience but a choice.

Balaam was plainly told by God to bless the children of Israel instead of cursing them like the Moabite king Balak would have paid for him to do. Instead of turning Balak’s princes away when they inquired of him a second time to do evil he questioned the Lord again. Now maybe this doesn’t seem so bad to ask a second time for assurance but there’s no doubt that Balaam knew how special Israel was to God’s plans. Interestingly enough the Lord seems to acquiesce a little by allowing Balaam to travel with Balak’s princes but a great surprise was in store for him. Thus we find out that an angel of the Lord stood in the gateway of a wall which made Balaam’s donkey turn away two times. After Balaam’s third attempt of getting the beast traveling forward again it fell to the ground. He smote the creature for a third time before God sent a message straight from the donkey’s mouth! What? A donkey can talk? Yes, in God’s timing and purposes! Did Balaam take notice and turn back from the wicked pathway he was following?

There’s no evidence of what Balaam was truly thinking during those moments though he does bow down and say that he sinned. Numbers 22-24 tells us the whole story but there is more than one account of Balaam’s heart attitude during the situation. 2 Peter 2:15-16 KJV states, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” Jude 1:11 KJV cries out, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Finally Revelation 2:14 KJV admonishes a church, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Obviously these aren’t just facts of Balaam’s sin but warnings to Christians that we can harden our hearts in the same manner.

I pray that I never become obstinately disobedient to the Lord. I especially don’t want to hear of it straight from the donkey’s mouth or more likely for me straight from the horse’s mouth or straight from the puffing of my car’s exhaust! The only way to ensure that occurs is to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:7-10 KJV)."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Larry Whittington11/21/13
Your introductory paragraph introduced the theme of choices. This was then carried throughout your piece. This shows good continuity.

We are responsible for our own choices.

One of the longer paragraphs could have been made into possible two or three paragraphs for greater emphasis.

Keep writing about these ideas.

C D Swanson 11/23/13
Great job with a running profound commentary that brings a clear and concise message forward.

Nicely done.

God bless~