Monday, May 1, 2023

          We find a one-of-a-kind encounter in Numbers 22.  I will bet you have never had a conversation with a donkey.  You may have thought some people you have talked with acted like donkeys or maybe you have been guilty of acting like a donkey too.  But we do not engage in conversations with donkeys or deer or goats or giraffes.  Animals do not possess conversational English language skills like we do.  We read about Balaam’s exchange with his donkey in Numbers 22:28-31, “Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’ Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.’  The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?’  ‘No,’ he said. Then 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.”
            Perhaps the key phrase is “then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes.”  We have all had moments where God has opened our eyes to some particular truth or reality.  There are times where we would not see what was plainly before us if God did not open our eyes to it.  If you have not had such a moment, give it time.  You likely will.  God often has to open our eyes so we can see ourselves, His Word, His grace or where we are in life.  We may often be shocked by what we find or see when God opens our eyes.  That shock could come from sins we have committed or those times where we have dismissed God from our lives.  Repentance often begins by seeing ourselves as God sees us.    
            When it comes to opening eyes, we are reminded of Jesus’ healing of a blind man in John 9.  Jesus is the light of the world so it makes sense that He possesses the power to restore sight to eyes that were once blind.  When the man was asked about what Jesus had done, he replied, “I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25).  Often it can be stated as simply as that.  The gospel opens blind eyes to salvation.  The Holy Spirit often opens our eyes to the things that have blinded us—resentments, bitterness, anger, envy, jealousy and pettiness.  We have often been blinded to relationships that have been broken and to words we spoke that we should not have spoken.  We have often been blind to situations where we should have asked for forgiveness or granted it to someone else.  It is a powerful testimony today to say “I was blind, but now I see.” 
            When the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, he bowed low to the ground and even fell facedown.  Seeing truth for the first time has that kind of an impact.  We can be stunned when God lifts the veil from eyes that have been blinded by indifference or sin.  Acts 9 says that “something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes (Paul) and he could see again.”  And Saul became Paul who proceeded to become Christianity’s greatest preacher, theologian and church planter.  When God opens our eyes and we begin to see, good things inevitably come.  Perhaps you would ask God to open your eyes today.  Perhaps your eyes have been opened recently but you need God’s grace and strength to act on what you have seen or discovered.  If God has opened your eyes, you can trust that He will help you to become and to do what He has for you.  Have a great Monday.  Remember you can share our worship any time at    

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