A dumb donkey, speaking with a man’s voice, restrained the madness of the prophet.
2 Peter 2:16.
Do we know the story of Balaam? Refusing to listen and unimpressed by God’s miracle, he continued on his perilous way. God had initially told him distinctly that he should not go with Balak’s messengers in order to curse the people of Israel (cf. Numbers 22:12).
Balaam had heard of God’s power and how He had delivered His people from Egypt. He clearly feared opposing God; so he at first turned the messengers away. But when they returned, he changed his mind and went with them. Even when God barred his way and made a donkey speak to him with a human voice, he held firmly on to his foolish decision.
Why is it that today some people begin so hopefully, then later turn back to stay on a wrong pathway despite advice to the contrary? Balaam’s motives were wealth and honour, which in the final instance determined his decision. He had no estimation of the people of God, on the contrary!
Wrong motives can prove a danger for Christians, too, although we may not be aware of the fact. It may be a matter of our own honour, material profit or a more convenient pathway than God’s way, which we consider too restricting. And once the enemy has discovered a weakness and notices that a firm conviction of faith and love of the Lord is lacking, he will not cease bringing about the same conflicting situation, until God’s warning through the Spirit and His Word are disregarded. It is therefore important that we examine not only our behaviour, but also our motives and objectives in the light of God’s Word!
Image: By Rembrandt – Mbzt, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23551459