Del Tackett

by Del Tackett


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Bonaire and the Donkey of the Lord

I’ve run off to the somewhat desolate island of Bonaire. Doing some scuba diving and snorkeling. Enjoying time with new friends and old. But I’m here primarily to contemplate and wrestle.

One of the difficult passages in the Scripture is the story of Balaam. For many, it seems that God gave Balaam permission to go to King Balak when he had been summoned. But when Balaam headed out, an angel of the Lord stood in the path with a sword to strike him down because God was angry that he was going. The angel was invisible to Balaam, but not to his donkey. The donkey shied away off of the path and Balaam got angry and struck him. On the way again, the angel then stood in a narrow passageway and the donkey smashed Balaam’s foot up against the wall. The donkey received another blow. After a third time, Balaam was incensed with the donkey and struck him with his staff. The Lord then opened the donkey’s mouth and he told Balaam about the angel with a sword that had Balaam’s name on it. Balaam’s eyes were opened and he realized the donkey has spared his life.

Someday I will write about this event to seek a little clarity in what was going on.

But for now, it is sufficient to note that sometimes when impediments or obstacles arise in our life, it isn’t always clear if it is the enemy, the normal rocks and weeds of a fallen world, or the Lord’s donkey.

I think most of the time it is clear.

I remember the travails of getting the family to church on Sunday morning or the huge obstacles and waves that seemed to continually crash up against us in preparing the Truth Project. When we filmed “Who Is Jesus?” we lost all of my audio and it had to be redone with ADR… a grueling process. In most of those cases it was clear that we were dealing with the curse of the Fall or the enemy. But sometimes something hits you out of the blue with such force that you just don’t know if it might be the Lord.

It is in those moments that we are driven to do what the Lord modeled for us: go off to a quiet place and pray.

So here I am in Bonaire… a rocky, desert-like island contemplating where to go from here. What is abundantly clear from these contemplations is the Lord’s call to do “the Engagement”. I am increasingly assured of the urgency of its teaching. And, I am assured, after seven days, that He is going to open the last big door and we will be on the final leg.

My encouragement to you is that you turn to Him often and quickly. It is easy to scoff at Balaam who was angry because the events in his life were not going according to his script and yet fail to see our own reflection. When this happens it is even easier to lash out at those around you, even those, like Balaam’s donkey, who had been graciously carrying Balaam around for most of his life.

Find a “Bonaire” where you can withdraw. Pray diligently. Seek His face. God does not hide His will from His children. But He reveals it through His ordained means of faith, which include prayer, the Word and Godly counsel.

Don’t despise the Lord’s donkey, for when he smashes your foot against the wall or lies down underneath you, there is a divine reason for it. Don't kick him.

Soli Deo Gloria!

P.S. Coincidentally, Bonaire is know for its wild donkeys that roam the island.

 

Comments

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  • Jo Robbins

    Jo Robbins

    Wow! This is so timely to contemplate the story of Balaam , his donkey and our walk with the Lord. Thank you for your work in the ministry of teaching worldview and wisdom. This post will be shared with many for His glory and our understanding in serving Him. Thank you also for “The Truth Project” and“Is Genesis History?” Life changing knowledge! In Christ, Jo Robbins
  • Marc Fey

    Marc Fey

    One of the hardest challenges in life is to discern what is the source of our trials and/or troubles, and when we cannot, to trust our faithful and loving God as He leads us in His ways, on His terms. Del, I am reminded through your blog here, that whatever the outcome of the challenge--being able to discern or not being able to discern--retreating with God to my own "Bonair" is itself the highest reward of all--to abide with my heavenly Father in the midst of life's uncertainties and mysteries. Thanks, Del, for a timely encouragement.
  • Brandy Anderson

    Brandy Anderson

    Thank you Del for your faithfulness!
  • Sam Hamontree

    Sam Hamontree

    Thanks Del for your story, pursuit and passion. I go on the Quest to find my quiet time to disengage from the world and plug into the Holy Spirit. The story of Balaam is a favorite of mine as it has many lessons to be learned. The versus leading up to Num 22:23 show how susceptible we are to Satan's temptations while following God's will with our will discreetly injected. When God gives us a destination and a path, He requires us to stick to His will, not ours. We can fool others and ourselves, but not God. Here are Clarke's comments on Verse 20 If the men come - go with them - This is a confirmation of what was observed on the twelfth verse; though we find his going was marked with the Divine displeasure, because he wished, for the sake of the honors and rewards, to fulfill as far as possible the will of the king of Moab. Mr. Shuckford observes that the pronoun הוא (hu) is sometimes used to denote a person‘s doing a thing out of his own head, without regard to the directions of another. Thus in the case of Balaam, when God had allowed him to go with the messengers of Balak, if they came in the morning to call him; because he was more hasty than he ought to have been, and went to them instead of staying till they should come to him, it was said of him, not כי הלך (ki halach), that he went, but כי הולך הוא (ki holech hu), i. e., he went of his own head - without being called; and in this, Mr. Shuckford supposes, his iniquity chiefly lay - Connex., vol. iii., p. 115. How many are restrained from sinning, merely through the fear of God! They would gladly do the evil, but it is forbidden on awful penalties; they wish the thing were not prohibited for they have a strong desire to do it.

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