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(from Good Word Online):

The Story of Balaam (Numbers 22-23)

TEXT: Numbers 22:26-31

26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. 31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

  • What do we know about Balaam?
  • Is there a contradiction between God’s words to Balaam “go with them” (v. 20) and “I have come here to oppose you” (v. 32)?
  • Is the talking donkey the most surprising element in the story?

TEXT: Numbers 23:18-21

19 God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
20 I have received a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel.
The LORD their God is with them;
the shout of the King is among them.

  • Why is it that Balaam could not curse Israel?
  • Does v. 21 contain a truthful statement about Israel?
  • What does the symbol of a lion represent in the Bible?

Lesson: God’s promises are worthy of our trust.