Against the Wind

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. The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. – Numbers 22:31-32.

The story of the talking donkey is recorded in Numbers chapter 22 and is a warning to all those who oppose God. Balaam was walking on the edge trying to please God and at the same time please himself by helping the enemy of God’s people. Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel and Balaam had hopes that God would allow him to do so. Of course, it would never happen. Balaam was walking this fine line because of his greed and his hopes of receiving monetary gain from the enemy. It was a dangerous and as the Bible says a “reckless” path for him to take. Balaam received some indication of this when his donkey talked to him and his eyes were opened so that he could see what the donkey could see. What could the donkey see? “…he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn.”

There is an old Bob Seger song called “Against the Wind.” Here are some of the lyrics:

Against the wind. We were runnin against the wind. We were young and strong; we were runnin a-gainst the wind.
And the years rolled slowly past.
And I found myself alone.
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends.
I found myself further and further from my home. And I
Guess I lost my way.
There were oh, so many roads.
I was livin’ to run, and runnin’ to live,
Never worryin’ about payin’, or even how much I owed.
Runnin’ 8 miles a minute for months at a time.
Breakin’ all of the rules that would bend.
I begin to find myself just searchin’…
Searchin’ for shelter again and again.
Against the wind. A little somethin’ against the wind.
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind.
Well those drifter’s days are past me now. I’ve got
so much more to think about.
Deadlines and commitments.
What to leave in, What to leave out.
Against the wind. I’m still runnin’ against the wind.
I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind.

To follow the path of Balaam which is opposition of what God wants is a “reckless” path. It is a path that is “runnin’ against the wind.” The Bible tells us more about the danger of such a path in 2 Peter 2:12-17, “But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

Are you “runnin’ against the wind?” Are you engaged in willful disobedience to your Lord? You know what you ought to do but you still do what you know you should not do. Are you engaged in adultery, or sexual sins, or use of illegal substances, or abuse of alcohol, or robbery, cheating, stealing, deception? Or you can fill in the blank of what it is you know you are doing that you should not be doing. If so, you are on a dangerous and “reckless” path and the Lord will oppose you every step of the way. You will not succeed. You will fail. You will come to a desolate end when you run against the wind in opposition to the Lord God. Ask God to open your eyes so that you can see the truth of your situation. It may be that God will use a donkey to talk to you or more likely a friend, or a stranger. God will speak and you will know the truth.

(Willful disobedience to the Lord is a dangerous and reckless path.)

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