If you know the story of Balaam, you know it's about a talking donkey. Or you probably think that's what it's about. That's what you remember because it's one of those weird Bible stories where you squint your eyes and think, "Did I read that right?"
So when I got to that story in my Bible reading the other day, I squinted my eyes and thought, "The talking donkey again. Not sure what God can teach me from this." But then I kept reading. And I was so fascinated that I read the next chapter. And the next chapter. And I realized that the talking donkey was just a distraction from the most powerful part of the story.
See, Balaam has been called by a scared king to come and curse the Israelites. And I'm kind of curious how this story even got into the Bible because they aren't even the main characters here. They are off doing their own thing--probably rebelling against God and repenting as is their MO--when this king is so scared they are going to come take over his land that he calls Balaam to curse them.
God tells Balaam not to curse them, so he's not planning to, but the king keeps saying stuff like, "How about I make all these sacrifices to God then you can ask him again." They do this three times. And on the third time, Balaam blesses the Israelites.
The king is a little irate here. He called Balaam to curse a nation and the man blessed it instead.
But this makes me a little excited! Because we are God's people. And all we have to do is focus on our relationship with God--most likely rebelling and repenting as is our MO--and God's got us covered.
There are going to be people out there who want to curse us. But nope. We are going to be blessed instead.
I read this passage on a day I really needed it. On a day when I felt like someone was trying to ruin my life. I should have known it would all worked out for my blessing.
Do you ever do that? Get distracted by a talking jackass and totally miss the message God has for you? Miss the fact that he's got you covered. And you just have to focus on your relationship with him and not even worry about those who might be out to get you?
Today I read another verse that fits right with this. "The nightmares of the wicked come true; what the good people desire, they get." --Proverbs 10:24
Our focus is so important. If we focus on our fears and what we are afraid of like this king did, our very fear is going to bring it to fruition. But if we focus on creating something good--like the Israelites worked on forming a relationship with God--then he's going to take care of the rest.