How Bizarre

by Dec 5, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

Have you ever noticed that sometimes nature is really weird? Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of turkeys walking in a creepy circle around a cat (look it up if you haven’t – it’s pretty wacky!). Animals do some pretty bizarre things.

The Bible has some strange animal stories that seem like they belong in a fairy tale – fish swallowing prophets; bears devouring taunting boys; ravens supplying food. But surely one of the weirdest is the account of Balaam and the talking donkey.

Near the end of the Israelites’ wandering in the desert, the rulers of Moab pay Balaam, a foreign sorcerer, to curse the nation of Israel. As he is traveling with them, God supernaturally blocks his path. Only Balaam’s donkey can see the angel with a drawn sword, and, being pretty smart, she refuses to move. In his frustration, Balaam starts beating her until finally, she opens her mouth and asks why he’s hurting her when she is just trying to save his life. They have an entire conversation and then God allows Balaam to see what his donkey sees. Bizarre, right?

Believe it or not, this weird tale is actually part of the Christmas story. When Moses recorded the first five books of the Bible, he may not have known that some of Balaam’s prophetic words would one day apply to the Messiah. Balaam ends up blessing Israel instead of cursing them. One of his oracles includes these words, “A star will come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall arise from Israel.” Fast forward a millennium and a half and this prophecy will send wise men from the East on a quest to find a child who was born king.

Which just goes to show that God can use any circumstance – even bizarre ones – to tell His story. What strange happening in your own life has God used as part of your own story?

Read Numbers 24:17
For further reading, Balaam and his donkey’s story is found in Numbers 22:22-35.

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