I Had No Idea

I Had No Idea

27 February 2010

Today’s Reading: Numbers 21-23; Mark 6


Balaam said to God’s angel, “I have sinned. I had no idea you were standing in the road blocking my way. If you don’t like what I’m doing, I’ll head back.” (Numbers 22:34 MSG)

Two things stood out to me this morning as I read these chapters in Numbers. First, God spoke clearly to a prophet from the region of the Euphrates River. This was the pagan culture Abraham had left many years before. Even with a covenant between himself and the descendants of Abraham, even with Moses the extraordinary prophet on the scene, God carried on a dialog with Balaam.

Second, it is important that even the most gifted “prophet” recognize his limitations. Balaam was carrying on a dialog with God and receiving specific instructions from God, but wasn’t able to see God’s angel blocking his way. His donkey saw what the prophet couldn’t see.

When I find myself discounting the possibility that God could be communicating to and through someone else, it’s often because:
• There’s something about them I don’t like.
• They aren’t identified with “my group.”
• I’ve forgotten the little I do know about how good and loving and great God is!

Lessons for me:
• I must not assume that I know and fully understand what God will and will not do.
• I must not presume to know who God will or will not communicate with.
• I must not decide in advance who God may or may not use to speak to me.
• I must realize that even on my best, clearest day, I don’t see the whole picture and I need to be open to learn from others.


Father, I want to grow in my ability to be open to receive and learn from others. I would like to have a little more of your willingness to love and include those who aren’t “of us.” Thank you for the reminder to stay humble, open, and willing to listen for your voice in the most unexpected places. Amen.

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