Balaam and His Donkey

The life of Balaam is a complex one. He was thought to be a non-Israelite, a wicked prophet but not a false one. As he grew up in the area where Abraham had lived, it is likely that he had come to know about God in that way. As a soothsayer who foretold the future, the meaning of his name – Destroyer of People was not an auspicious one!

Being gifted and eloquent he came to the notice of Balak king of Moab, who was afraid of the power of the Israelites. The king offered money to Balaam to curse this nation. It would appear that in his heart Balaam wanted to issue this curse but seemed to ask God’s instructions first. Eventually God allowed him to journey along to carry out this cursing. This is where the donkey behaved with the wisdom of a man and Balaam acted with the folly of a donkey.

Balaam ‘s life was saved by the donkey who protected him from the angel with a sword. The cursing turned into a blessing. God was faithful to His chosen people.