March 13

Numbers 22:31-32 31Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. 32The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.

It is interesting that animals can see the spiritual realm, but man must have his eyes opened. Balaam's donkey had tried to avoid the angel in the road with a drawn sword. Because Balaam could not see the angel at first, he beat his donkey for what he thought was stubbornness. The angel of the LORD (whom I believe is Jesus) enabled the beast to talk. Then the angel asked why Balaam had beaten his donkey. It seems God cares for these beasts. Proverbs tell us that a righteous man regards the life of his beast.

Though the LORD gave Balaam permission to go visit with the leaders that wanted to curse Israel, we later find out that Balaam's heart was giving in to greed. He knew God did not want to curse them, but he was holding out hope that he could somehow receive the reward offered. We have to watch carefully for these subtle heart changes from obedience and submission to greed. Don't dwell on what the world has to offer.

The LORD was angry with Balaam, even though they seemed to be on talking terms. The more we know, the more we are accountable. Balaam knew God and communed with Him, but greed captured his heart. He spurned his relationship with God by going after gain. When our path is a reckless one that will harm us, the faithfulness of God comes to oppose our recklessness. That is the mercy of God.

Meditation: Have I met the resistance of God opposing my recklessness? Do I recognize it as God's mercy?