Day Forty-Two, Numbers 22-24
In this day's reading, we have the story of Balaam, a GREAT flannelgraph story from when I was a kid. Balak, a king of the Moabites was afraid of the Israelites, so he summoned Balaam to come and curse the Israelites, and he promises to reward Balaam handsomely. At first, the Lord tells Balaam not to go. After Balaam asks again, however, the Lord grants him permission to go. But He is angry with Balaam, so he sends an angel to destroy him as he is on the way.
Well Balaam is going along his merry way, when the donkey he is riding sees the angel and keeps turning off the road, refusing to go ahead. Balaam doesn't understand what's wrong w/his stupid donkey, he keeps beating her, trying to get her going back on the road. After about the third time, the donkey finally speaks to him. Yeah, that's right, a talking donkey. (You thought that only happened in Shrek, didn't you?) I guess this gets his attention, because then his eyes are opened to see the angel.
The angel allows Balaam to go on ahead, but warns him only to do/say what the Lord tells him. So Balaam goes on to meet Balak, and three times he attempts to curse the Israelites. And three times, he instead blesses them, with words such as, "How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom God has not denounced?...The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them...Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted...May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed...A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel..."
Indeed...a Star has come out of Jacob...the One who was and is and is to come.
I'm grateful for Him.