Can Humor Be Serious?

IDOK DEVOTION FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2009

How about something ‘light’ and humorous today? Go with me to Numbers 22.

21 And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the Angel of the Lord stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

23 And the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way and His sword drawn in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey to turn her into the way.

24 But the Angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side and a wall on that side.

25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she thrust herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against it, and he struck her again.

26 And the Angel of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right hand or to the left.

27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam, and Balaam’s anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you should strike me these three times?

29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have ridiculed and provoked me! I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!

30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden all your life long until this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you? And he said, No.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face.

32 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? See, I came out to stand against and resist you, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me.

33 And the ass saw Me and turned from Me these three times. If she had not turned from Me, surely I would have slain you and saved her alive.

34 Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. But now, if my going displeases You, I will return.

Actually this passage is not ‘light’ but I have found it humorous many times. As I read it I can see the donkey and Balaam on the screen of my mind. It’s like watching a funny movie with a serious message. Did you note that Balaam was so fuming mad that he did not even notice that his donkey was talking? He was just answering her as if he were talking to one of his human servants. Maybe this is where we get that saying ‘I am so mad I can’t see straight’. Sorry to say I have seen the time I have been this angry I think. And as it was with Balaam so it was with me – this kind of anger does not overtake us unless we have moved into ‘rebellion’, that is we have willfully stepped outside what we KNOW God has instructed us to do, or not do.

As I read their conversation I am reminded of another conversation between a human and an animal. She was not surprised either to be conversing with an animal. I have my own thoughts about that – that in the time before sin entered the Garden the animals and Adam and Eve spoke fluently to one another. And as ABBA temporarily loosed the vocal cords of Balaam’s donkey, I believe in Eternity Future, He will do it again, permanently, and we will once again talk with the animals. I have some favored animals and I am looking forward to talking with them during the 1000 year reign and beyond . . . but back to Numbers 22. I have heard teachers use this Text to say that getting puffed up because God Is allowing us to speak for Him is really foolish of us because He has used a jackass for His purposes what’s the big deal in using us? And I don’t disagree with that. It usually gets a laugh from the audience. But you know what I really like about this? I am really love that God did an extraordinary thing, giving a donkey voice, in order to get His servant’s attention. That looks like LOVE to me because the Text clearly tells us that ABBA was greatly displeased with Balaam, even to the point that He was ready to give him his exit papers. Balaam was about to get fired, permanently!

One other thing I want to point out before we go to prayer today. Do you see the Capital Letters Angel of the Lord, His hand, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Some Bible Scholars believe this Angel of the Lord to be the pre-incarnate Jesus. Someday we will know for sure but this I do know, when I was stubborn, obstinate, acting like what we would call a ‘jackass’ Jesus came looking for me. And I tried to avoid Him more than a few times but finally I fell before Him. I am so glad I did!! And there are many more lessons in this passage but maybe we will save them for another day.

PRAYER REQUESTS

Adding Marzelle to list today as she is seeking diagnosis and treatment.

Bob Fisher died yesterday (Monday). Thank you for your prayers. I’m sure the family is feeling them.

Doug and Claudia continue to need our prayers

There is a special young woman having a birthday today (17th); pray for Shannon to receive sweet and wonderful surprises from the Lord today.

ABBA, thank You for having this account recorded for us. Thank You for the mercy and grace that You so lavishly gave to Balaam and to us. Thank You for humor. Thank You for being You and teach us more and more of Who You are so we will love You more and more. We pray tonight for Mrs. Fisher and all the family; You know fully well how hard the death of one we love is to bear and so we know You know just how to comfort and give peace and strength to this grieving family and every grieving soul on our list. And we are adding Marzelle to our list, asking that You enlighten the doctors and give them a diagnosis and a remedy for her. And we are continuing to pray for Your Best for Doug and Claudia and all on this list. And I am still thinking about tonight’s Bible Study gathering at Bay Community and the message we heard. I love what I heard about You and I want You to tend me in all areas. I love that You have ‘wired’ us the way You have and that You desire to tend us and provide and produce in us what You have wired us to do. Oh ABBA, You have so gifted us. Thank You. And thank You for another gift – Shannon – be really sweet to her on her birthday, give her something that will tell her she is loved and appreciated. Protect our IDOK Troops again we pray; keep them safe in spirit, soul and body and please cleanse America as You see fit and revive Your Church for Jesus’ Name Sake. Amen and amen. A SPECIFIC UNSPOKEN. Unspoken Requests – situations so close you can only speak to Father about. Marzelle. KC. Neolle T. Mary F. MH and J. Caleb and his family – Rob, Vaughn, Whitaker and Donoghue. Dora. Mattie. Jarrod. BETTY. Billie Joyce and family. Stack Family. Brenda and her family. Joshua A. Kim T and her parents. Martha McC. Tamra and Family. Rachel and family. Joe and Rose. Darlene’s Sister. Tammy B and Family. Jackie K. Brian T. Ricky M. Linda and Family. Joe. Michael H. Linda W. Debbie W. Mike and Vickie. Natalie. Jacqueline and Sons (River and Jackson). Sandra. Dot B. Julia O. Ann C. Stan and Jowanna and Family Mary. Shay and Emma’s Kids (orphanage in Zambia) Ministry. Susan D. Melissa and daughters. Jason A and his mother. Wayne B. Melinda H. Brennan and his family. Joshua. Mabel’s Aunt Lou. Heather and Brandon. Darlene and Torkel. W C and family. Maggie and Family. DeLois. Katelyn (B) J Lloyd and family. Janet and Steve. Bay and family. Bill and Judy. Doug. Larry and Claudia and family. Callie. Ruth. Cynthia. Allyson and Glyn and family. Brittney and Kersten and family. Sheila and Andy. Carrie and Rachel and Jacob and family. Chuck. Helen and Dan and family. Jen and Larry and family. Mollie and family. Andrew and Daughters. Mollie B.

Every IDOK and every IDOK son and daughter and grandchild.

Every IDOK Pastor and Family. Every IDOK church.

The Peace of Israel.

Revival in America.

ABBA, I am posting this here in prayer as a daily prayer and I am praying as pure in motive as I know how today, asking that You by whatever ways and means You choose, see to the removal from office of every elected Official in Washington and all 50 States that is not sensitive to and is not inclined to work to preserve Judaeo-Christian values and the Constitution of this Nation in its Original Intent. Lord, I am so sorry that many (and thank You not all) offices of this Nation are filled with corrupt, reprobate-minded people who have no regard for You or Your Word and if I have done anything that has contributed to the election of these people, please forgive me and stop me from any further actions that will damage and bring this Nation to complete ruin. I pray Holy Spirit that You will stir the hearts and prayers of enough people to bring this Nation to repentance and will clean and cleanse the offices and the Officials of this Nation. Father God, please have mercy on us. Lord Jesus, clean Washington even as You did the Temple if need be. And Lord some weeks later since this prayer began we have word from one of those Alabama officials that he wants our prayers, that he is mindful of You, that he does love You and obviously he is well acquainted with Your Word. And ABBA I am so delighted and grateful for this man and for others like him, so for each of them (and You know who they are, Lord) we pray that You will anoint and empower them to stand firm and holy in these places of service You have given them and Lord please bring others alongside to stand with them and help them. And as he suggested move us to be involved in the political process with more than just our prayers according to the individual will You have for each of us. Again, Lord, thank You for this news, thank You for what You are doing. Amen and amen.

IDOKs Military Families.

IDOKs Troops (foreign soil) – Ethan. Christopher. Raul. Robert. Billy. Buddy. Mark. Josh W. James. Bryan. Nick. Brant W. Christopher R. Joshua M. Brent. Justin G. Michael K. Bay N. T. Palin. Richard M. Bobby G. (added 12/16/08) Tommy T. Chad B (3/2009) Kyle N.(3/09) [Kyle is having a birthday this month, extra blessings would be appreciated]. Jessica D. (4/09) Sgt. Vince Barrientos (5/2009)

IDOK Troops leaving shortly for foreign soil: Brandon B.

Serving Stateside: Jonathan. Jasmine B. Shaun. Bay. Danny. Lee. George. Travis N. Hawk. Justin G. Tommy W.

Injured: Lukas S. (11/30/08)

Military at home, specifically those emotional-spirit wounds that only God and Time can heal Adam M. Captain Tran. Josh. John L. Drew.

As I post this it is 97°F in Baghdad, IQ (Airport) and the time there is 7:39 AM AST on June 17, 2009.