And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay. Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.(Numbers 22:23-32)
Balaam the pagan prophet, was determined to find a way to gain the honors and rewards he was offered by the King of Moab, for the task of cursing Israel. But the LORD had expressly forbade him to go with them on the 400 mile journey from the Euphrates river to the Jordan. The LORD had also revealed to Balaam, that because he had blessed Israel, Balaam should not curse them.
But when the delegation returned with even greater wealth and honors, Balaam prayed again about whether he should go. This time the LORD told him to go with them, but his wrath burnt against the eager and ambitious prophet. But Balaam was oblivious to this fact.
So we have a grand procession , escorting the pagan prophet with riches and honor to Israel. Each one in the procession were drawn to the Holy Land by their own ambitions, as was Balaam.
For some it was a matter of pleasing the Arab King. For others it was excitement and wonder at the power of the celebrated, false prophet. Others in the procession wanted to curry favor with the King and perhaps attain riches and honor. Some just wanted to look good, and be part of something significant. Others hated Israel, without even knowing why and wanted to wipe them out.
Closer and closer the procession pressed on. None of them had any idea that really they were drawing ever closer to disastrous judgment, and death! Except one…the Ass.
At one point, Balaam’s ass turned off of the path and strayed out into a field. Balaam struck the ass to force it back onto the road. Later, as the delegation passed between the stone walls lining a section of the road, Balaam’s ass veered sharply, grinding Balaam’s foot against the wall, hurting it. This time the act was met with a rain of blows from the peeved Seer. Finally at another narrow pass, the Ass simply laid down on the road, refusing to move. This time Balaam struck the ass in a rage, with his staff.
It was then that the Lord opened the beasts mouth,
And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.
Furthermore the LORD who opened the ass’s mouth, also opened the “seer’s” eyes to see the mortal danger he was in, but which the ass delivered him from. Had the Ass passed on down the road, Balaam would have been smitten by the angel, and would have perished forever.
Now Balaam could see what the Ass saw all along. Evidently the “seer” couldn’t really see as well as the Canaanite delegation thought he could. Furthermore, by this incident the LORD showed the Pagan prophet that even an Ass could speak the Word God put in his mouth. This should have been a sign to Balaam, pointing to the sovereignty of the God he was now “dealing with”.
Furthermore, this incident would be a sign to Balak also. As the Prophet tried to cajole, curse and strike the Ass into doing what would prove to be fatal to himself, even so Balak would attempt to bribe, berate and threaten Balaam to do what would prove to be His own undoing.
Where are we, the church in this story?
Consider, that at the end of the world, all of the nations of the World are drawn, as this procession was, from Babylon to Israel, in order to curse (annihilate) Israel. Each one in thee procession has their own reasons and ambitions to fulfill. The Kings of the earth are uniting to fulfill what they think is a world uniting task. They are drawn like a magnet to the Middle East, and to Israel.
Some of them want world peace, some want world unity, some want to appease the Arabs and solve the pesky Middle East problem. Some want power and prestige. The Pope is among them, He wants the Catholic Church to be a world power again. But they have no real idea of the utter danger they face, and that they are drawing into a vortex of judgment and wrath!
There is only one person in the whole procession who sees where all of this is going and who doesn’t want to be drug along into it…the church of Jesus Christ. We are like that Ass, we see what is coming but who would listen to us? When we speak up, we are beaten back down.
the lowliest christian believer in any church anywhere on earth, which teaches Bible Prophecy, has more insight into the world situation, than all of the pundits,experts, talking heads and world leaders put together…but who will listen to an Ass?