Balaam (Part 07) - (Num 22:24-30) - The Dumb Ass Speaks

Image from For a master copy of the outline, click here: The Story of Balaam To Listen on YouTube, click here: Balaam (Part 07) - (Num 22:24-30) - The Dumb Ass Speaks 3. The angel of the LORD then stands in a path with walls on each side (Num 22:24). A. Balaam had been riding on that broad way that leads to destruction (Mat 7:13) where his ass had room to go around God's roadblock. B. God now tightens up Balaam's path by putting walls on both sides of Balaam so the ass has little leeway to go around the angel. C. As God turns a river of water by its banks (Pro 21:1), God is attempting to turn Balaam from his sin. D. If God can't trust us with freedom, He will take it away to cause us to walk in His paths. 4. The ass sees the angel of the LORD and swerves into the wall to avoid him, crushing Balaam's foot, and causing Balaam to smite her again (Num 22:25). A. Having already warned Balaam to no avail, God now inflicts some pain on him. B. Balaam is unfazed by his crushed foot and smites his ass and forges on ahead. i. Foolishness can't be forced out of fools, not matter how severe the beating (Pro 27:22). ii. One word of reproof will affect a wise man more than 100 stripes will a fool (Pro 17:10). C. Notice how Balaam punishes his ass when he gets chastened for his own rebellion. D. We should always take care to not transfer our punishment to others who are undeserving of it. i. This could be being harsh to your wife after you were reprimanded at work. ii. This could be being impatient or severe with your children because you are being chastened by God for your sin. 5. The angel of the LORD now stands in a narrow place where the ass can't try to get around him (Num 22:26). A. God has now made it impossible for Balaam to pass the angel. B. God is in essence telling Balaam, hither shalt thou come, but no further (Job 38:11). C. If we continue to rebel against God and the knowledge He has given us, He will take away our freedom entirely (Isa 5:13). 6. The ass, seeing the angel in front of her, falls down, and Balaam smites her with his staff (Num 22:27). A. There is a time to fight and time to surrender (Luk 14:31-32; Ecc 3:8). i. To continue with the foolish Balaam would have been the ass' destruction (Pro 13:20). ii. The ass had realized this was a time to surrender. iii. However, the ass riding on the ass was not so wise. iv. Ass n. - 2. Hence transf. as a term of reproach: An ignorant fellow, a perverse fool, a conceited dolt. v. Dolt n. - 1. A dull, stupid fellow; a blockhead, numskull. B. This wise move by the ass didn't go unpunished. i. Balaam intensifies his wrath towards his ass, hitting her with his staff. ii. The ass was wise for not wanting to continue on with this furious madman (Pro 22:24-25). iii. Doing the right thing and not running with the wicked sometimes causes us to incur their wrath (1Pe 4:3-4). iv. The ass was suffering reproach for doing the right thing, and she took it patiently. v. We are blessed when we suffer for righteousness' sake (1Pe 4:14; Mat 5:10-12). 7. The LORD opens the ass' mouth and she asks Balaam why he has smitten her three times (Num 22:28). A. This was the first time in recorded history that a dumb ass spake (2Pe 2:16). i. But it has certainly not been the last time. ii. One merely needs to turn on the TV to find herds of dumb asses speaking. B. Notice how the ass was more righteous than Balaam. i. She didn't reproach or revile Balaam for beating her unjustly. ii. She is a good example for us to not revile back when we are persecuted (1Pe 2:21-23; 1Pe 3:9; Mat 5:44). iii. She meekly asks him why he hit her three times. a. She could see the angel because God gave her eyes to see. b. She didn't know that Balaam was a spiritually blind fool who couldn't see the angel ready to kill him. c. Sometimes children of God naively think that reprobates can see the same things they can, and therefore wonder why they act so wickedly. 8. Balaam answers the ass and tells her that he hit her because she mocked him, and if he had a sword he would kill her (Num 22:29). A. Note: never are you so blind and stupid as when you're arguing with a dumb ass. B. The ass' patience is now being tested. i. She humbly besought her master's favour, but he responds back with vitriol. ii. She is a good example for us to serve our masters respectfully, not just the good and gentle, but also the froward (1Pe 2:18-19). C. Balaam is showing what a fool he is, threatening to kill his ass for no good reason. i. A fool's wrath is presently known (Pro 12:16). ii. A fool utters all his mind (Pro 29:11). iii. Balaam doesn't have rule over his own spirit (Pro 25:28). iv. Being a natural man, Balaam is swift to shed blood (Rom 3:15). 9. The ass responds to Balaam (Num 22:30). A. The ass wisely reasons with Balaam. B. The ass calmly reminds Balaam that she has been his ass on which he has ridden for a long time. i. Notice how she did not respond back in kind, railing on Balaam (1Pe 3:9). ii. Rebuking a fool would have gotten the ass a blot (Pro 9:7). iii. She is trying to agree with her adversary quickly before the situation escalates (Mat 5:25). iv. The ass yielded when her ruler rose up against her and thereby pacified a great offence (Ecc 10:4). C. She then asks him if she had ever mocked him before. i. Balaam had tried to stir up strife, but the ass was slow to anger, appeasing strife (Pro 15:18). ii. The ass's pleasant words helped to heal the situation (Pro 16:24). D. Balaam answers with a calm and simple, Nay. i. A soft answer turned away wrath (Pro 15:1). ii. The ass's forbearance and soft tongue prevailed in diffusing the situation (Pro 25:15). E. Notice the irony in this little exchange. i. The ass gives a rational, reasonable response. ii. Balaam responds with, "Nay."