Friday, December 21, 2018

A Donkey Talks to Balaam
Balaam and the Talking Donkey is found in Numbers 22:1-41. But, this lesson covers the whole chapter since it explains the events that lead up to the donkey talking.
Balaam was a prophet in the Old Testament. The king of Moab was Balak, and when he became aware that the Israelites, the people of God, had moved and camped in the plains of Moab, he as worried because there were so many people and they had seen what the Israelites had done to the Amorites.
King Balak sent messengers to Balaam and said “These people have come from Egypt and they cover the land! They are living in Moab and the king wants you to curse the people because they are so mighty. Then I can try to defeat them and send them from the land.”
The messengers spent the night with Balaam, and God spoke to him during the night. After explaining what the men wanted, God instructed Balaam he could not curse the Israelites since they were blessed by Him.
They left, but King Balak sent more men asking Balaam to leave with them to visit the king and he would be given great honor if he would curse the Israelites. Balaam ‘s answer was that even if they gave him the king’s house full of gold and silver, he could not disobey God’s command and curse the people. But, they stayed the night and God spoke to Balaam. God said Balaam could travel with the men if they came to him, but he was to only do what God told him to.
In the morning, Balaam didn’t wait for the men to come to him. He saddled his donkey and he left with the princes of Moab. God wasn’t pleased that Balaam went with the men and sent an Angel to stand in the way. Balaam was riding on his donkey and he had two servants with him.
The donkey could see the Angel with a sword in His hand standing in the way. The donkey moved out of the way of the Angel and went into the field. Balaam hit the donkey in an attempt to force the donkey back on the road. There was a narrow path between the vineyards with a wall on each side.
The Angel moved to the narrow path and when the donkey saw the Angel on the path, she pressed against the wall which crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So, Balaam hit the donkey again.
The Angel moved again to a tighter place where they couldn’t move in any direction, so when the donkey saw the Angel, she lay down under Balaam. That made Balaam so angry and he hit the donkey again with his staff!
The Lord ‘opened the mouth’ of the donkey! The donkey spoke to Balaam and said “What have I done that you have hit me three times?” Balaam told the donkey that she had abused him and if he had a sword, he would kill her!
The donkey replied “Haven’t I been the only donkey you have ridden since I became yours? Have I ever done this before?” Balaam answered “No.”
Then Balaam could see the Angel with the sword in His hand standing in their way and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. The Angel asked him why he had hit the donkey the three times when the donkey was just walking around Him. Balaam answered that he had sinned and didn’t know the Angel was there, but he would return home if that was what the Angel of the Lord wanted. The Angel told Balaam to continue, but to only speak the words that God wants.
King Balak went to meet Balaam at the city of Moab and asked why he didn’t come before. Balaam told him that he was there now, but could only say what God wanted him to say.
For the application, I created these concept charts. These are great to use because the teacher can use them for conversation starters and discuss the needs for your own students. I did make general notes in the download on how to use them, but one is to discuss doing what God wants and the other is taking care of animals like God wants. Click here to download.
There are a couple of extra visuals to use for the crowd of Israelites included.
Due to the graphics used to create some of the visuals, some of these did not transfer to pictures to color perfectly. Click here to download the pictures to color.

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