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Cody F. Miller



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Limited Edition Reproduction, 14" x 7"

Numbers 22:22-31

Balaam was a magician who was summoned by the Moabite King Balak to put a curse on the Israelites before they entered Canaan. After much prodding and pulling by Balak, Balaam starts the journey to visit this king. At one point Balaam’s donkey sees an angel with a sword drawn blocking the path. This animal lies down in the middle of the road with his master still on his back. Balaam, completely enraged, starts beating the beast. He does so not once, not twice, but three times. Then God speaks through the donkey reproachfully asking, “Why have you beat me these three times?” Balaam mumbles something about being mocked and if he had a sword he’d kill the worthless ass on the spot.

God speaks in all kinds of mysterious ways, yet we are often so preoccupied with our busy important lives that it is often all in vain.

Frederick Buechner reminds us:  “Whereas men and women as a rule see only what they expect to see and little more, the animals, innocent of expectation, see what is there. The next time the old mare looks up from her browsing and lets fly with an exultant whinny at the empty horizon, we might do well to consider at least the possibility that the horizon may not be quite as empty as we think.”

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