Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Rebuked by an Ass

Scripture: 2 Peter 2 v 15-16:  "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, 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."

The whole story is recounted in Numbers 22 of Israel preparing for war against Moab, who were terrified of the might of Israel, and decided to hire a prophet of God to curse them with defeat. Moab hired Balaam the prophet and sent him away on his donkey to pronounce evil against Israel. 

As he was about to cry against Israel the donkey suddenly stopped causing Balaam to crush his foot against the cliff wall. He beat the ass but it wouldn't budge. It could see what the prophet couldn't see - a big angel with a drawn sword sent to block the mad mission of Balaam.

Then it spoke with a man's voice and said to Balaam "Have I ever behaved like this before?" Then God opened Balaam's eyes to see the angel who said "Behold I went out to withstand thee because thy way is perverse before me."

Sometimes we behave in ways that are sheer madness and need a reality check before we run into the sword of the Lord. This is when we kindle His anger by the way we treat others; deal corruptly; engage in abominations; are hypocritical in our religious lives.

Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees openly for hypocrisy and corruption; He overturned the money lender's (bankers) tables who  traded deceitfully in the front of the Temple. At various times this century He has done that to modern banking and world finance for corruption. They have been forced to clean up their act; become transparent and pay huge fines.

We need to clean up our act in our personal lives; become transparent and open in our dealings with people or we will pay a terrible price for our hypocrisy before God. He changes not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If something was an abomination in the Old Testament, its still an abomination now. No human law or fleshly sympathy or leniency holds sway with our righteous King.

Jesus came to show us the way to live and walk and have our being. He is the role model we must follow. Not some celeb on crack or sports hero on steroids. Our King is holy, powerful, sinless and faithful. He loves us but has given us the ability to change to be like Him. We must allow Him to have His will in our lives.

It should also be noted that God is aware of everything long before we know what's going on.  His protection over Israel started with Abraham and continues to this day.  He would not allow this prophet, Balaam, to curse Israel, even sending an angel to shut him up.

Let us love what God loves and reject what God rejects.  Let us be a holy people, united in His love and purpose, going forth to spiritually turn this world upside down and rescue every soul that can be reached for the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we don't need Balaam's ass to rebuke us as we hear the voice of Jesus guiding us. Help us to heed His voice daily and learn what is needful for us to survive on battlefield Earth. In Jesus' name. Amen.