The Resurrection and Balaam’s Donkey
Numbers 22.21-35; 24:15-25
At my Mimaws house, I always knew one thing was for certain. Fudge rounds. I banked on getting a Fudge Round. I knew it was going ot happen. As kids we like certainty. It’s good for us. In a way it’s a kind of security. Not just important for kids. It’s also important for adults.
We hear it from Presidents all the time. They make predictions about the stability of Wall St. Old D. Trump claims it’s going to be: “huge.” And the stability of the market impacts your wealth. Investments, your retirement. Grandchildren’s inheritance.
Certainty brings Security. Things that we know will happen are important to us. This Easter, I want to share some other things that I know that will happen.
- God Will Bless His People (22:21-35)
Powerful people (Moab) got in the way of God’s blessing.
Determined people (Balaam) got in the way of God’s blessing.
Evil people (Amalekites) got in the way of God’s blessing.
And God sent his angel, a sword, a talking mule. An unusual and unpredictable solution, and a surprising one.
Reminds me of the story of the man walking with his friend through the woods with chapped lips. And the more he licked his lips, the more his lips chapped. Finally, his friend said: I’ve got a solution for you: I saw some horse manure back there. Put it on, and it will do 2 things – It will moisturize your lips, and I guarantee you’ll never lick your lips again.
Often God’s solutions are unusual and surprising. Here it is. No different. In fact is the attempted curse that God transforms into a blessing. All the scheming of man and the hopes of the Devil to call down curses from Balaam become the very means he uses to promise glory and good for his people.
And so it was with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Powerful people conspired to crucify the Blessed, Anointed Son of Man.
Determined people conspired to crucify the Blessed Bread of Heaven.
Evil people crushed him.
But it was the cross, the curse that became the crushing blow from God against sin, death, judgment, guilt, and shame. The devil and his works were destroyed when “up from the grave he arose.” He’s alive, because nothing can stop the promised blessing of God for his people.
Do you know, beloved brothers and sisters, nothing can keep God from blessing you. Because Jesus reigns now from above, he will come again to rule below. We will walk on Gold. We will bask in glory. We will be unalterably happy. We will be together in a world of unimaginable joys and pleasures.
Look now. Look with me now, brothers and sisters. Look at your God! A Balaam, a curse, and a donkey, and see him reversing the curse into blessing.
Trials. Burdens. Shame. Ghastly things. That crown of thorns is being shaped into the Tree of Life. Weakness into Strength. Have you ever looked around and thought: “This is a mess.” You ever looked at your life and thought: “What a mess.” Marriage, a wreck. Kids, a wreck. Health, a wreck. You know what that is?
Let me tell you what Bob Bumpers told me his illness and amputation is: “I’m just giving God a chance to show up and show out.” I’m making a little room for resurrection to look even better than it was before. I’m giving God a little room for him to operat
We wouldn’t know the power of the rod and staff, unless we had been passing through the valley of shadow and death.
“The best obedience of my hands Dares not appear before Thy throne;” I’m not celebrating how good I am before God. “But faith can answer Thy demands, By pleading what my Lord has done.” I’m celebrating How Good God is to me.
If I must boast, I will boast in my weaknesses. Look at me: prideful, cowardly, silly, rude, arrogant…and I do not deserve his love. Yet he rose from the dead, and gave me his righteousness. O, the wonderful cross, the devil’s curse, is the Lord’s cure. An empty tomb and the power of broken sin is mine, forever and ever.
- Nothing Can Stop God’s Judgment. (24:17-22)
Instead of controlling God to curse Israel, God controls the curse to fall on Moab. In this moment looking over Israel from the mountains of Moab, Balak realizes God’s judgment cannot be stopped. He tried, but God outdid him. In the same way: The resurrection means God’s blessing, and it also means his judgment cannot be stopped.
Acts 17:31 -: “he has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead.”
It’s inevitable because He’s alive, He’s holy, and He reigns.
A dead king doesn’t execute justice.
An unholy king doesn’t care about justice.
A King with no authority or power might be alive and righteous, buthe’s just a good guy with a title. No real power.
But his resurrection means the Almighty King of heaven and earth will deal with unrighteousness. He must; and it will happen.
2004, Indian Ocean, tsunamis. 230000 died. 212,000 people in Birmingham. No warning. September 2015, 8.3 earthquake in Chile, a new high-tech alert system immediately goes across the world warning coastlines. Nothing near the tsunami in India, but the world was on guard. The point is they learned from the tragedy a decade earlier. The wave will come again. Let’s Warn, listen, take it seriously
Listen to me, friends. Learn from the judgment of the King of Moab. We get so busy running errands, getting bills paid, eating, sleeping, that we forget to pay attention to what happened to the Moabites. We don’t learn. Dear man, don’t put him out of mind. Don’t tune me out. The Lord is coming.
Are you ready? Balak heard the judgment and did vs 25 (he went away). Don’t. Don’t. Don’t be Balak. Come. Come to the Lord.
- Nothing Can Stop God’s Anointed. (24.17)
Come to the Anointed. He is the One from verse 17, he is the star from Jacob. He rules the nations with a rod of iron. He is the Good Shepherd. Life, Truth, Light, Eternal life. Pleasures forevermore. He is great and greatly to be praised.
Come to him and let him forgive you. Let him redeem you. Let him resurrect you.
Have you ever thought it odd that Jesus still has scars from the spear and nails? I mean, our resurrection bodies are promised to be renewed, re-constituted, beautified and glorified. What we are now is a shadow of the glory that we will be. But Jesus isn’t quite the same. He’s still got scars. Now, why is that?
I think they are permanent memorials to us through all eternity of who it was that paid that terrible price, a “branding” of the only one who bore our sins on his holy body. And we’ll see those, you see? We’ll be in the new heavens and the new earth, and we’ll see him and we’ll say: “That’s him. There he does. That’s the one. Do you see those scars. That was for me. That’s what happened to my judgment. He’s the reason I’m here.” And each day, we’ll come into with fresh thankfulness and worship, because the Lion of Judah (alive and well) was our Lamb of sacrifice (once dead and buried). And there he is. Walking, smiling, talking…, and we will worship.
Lay down your sins. Lay down your way. You come to Jesus, and love him more. You come to Jesus and let him bless you and bring you up on the day of his coming.