Balaam's donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road.
One of my favorite people in the world is my adorable three-year-old nephew. He and my brother are best friends, and their relationship is so special to watch. When my nephew started talking, it did not take long to realize that many things he said sounded just like my brother. For example, he has been known to greet people by saying, "Hey, how's it going?" which is exactly how my brother greets people. The reason for that is that my brother spends a lot of time with him. His influence has rubbed off on my nephew in a huge way.
It is true, isn't it, that we become like the people we spend time with. The people in our lives impact us greatly. Because of this, we must have godly, honest people in our lives who speak the truth to us, even when the truth is hard to hear. We must also be ready to listen when they speak a hard truth to us.
Balaam had a very unique positive influence in his life who communicated truth from God: his donkey. His donkey had been reliable and trustworthy as long as Balaam had known it, yet Balaam failed to listen. Instead, he mistreated his donkey and ignored it.
If there is a message we can learn from Balaam in this passage, it's this: listen to the trustworthy, godly people in our lives. The people who we should listen to are those who tell us the truth, consistently spend time with God, and always speak truth that is in line with God's word. Their honesty and godliness is a gift, and, sometimes, these people just might help us avoid a very dangerous situation.
Who are the godly, truthful, and trustworthy, people in your life? Make a list of them in your notes. Let these people on your list be those who you allow to influence you. Spend time with them, ask questions, and seek their advice. Balaam disregarded his donkey's presence in his life and spent more time interacting with the king's messengers. We do not have to be like him! We can learn from his lesson and let those trustworthy and godly people in our lives hold the greatest influence in our lives.
Read Numbers 22:18-25 (NLT)
But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”
That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.”
So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials. But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along, Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.