by Tom Brennan,
Bible readers and students are familiar with the narrative of the Oracle Balaam and his assignment to curse the oncoming Israelites. Led by Moses, inspired by The Almighty the huge migration of Israelites, journeymen and aliens to the camp were on the march to return to the place given in all perpetuity to Abraham and his descendants. Jacob had responded to an invitation from Pharaoh to dwell in Egypt after a famine had devastated the land. As they would in Babylon later, the land in Egypt agreed with them and they stayed and “increased and multiplied” until a Pharaoh (most likely in reaction to the recent expulsion of the Hyksos invaders) disenfranchised the 12 tribes and placed them in an apartheid like position. Little is known of this time with no prophets or leader but the tribes maintained their identity and coherence until Moses entered the scene and under the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night led them towards their destiny at Sinai.Balaam was an oracle, a pagan priest/ seer who was called by King to curse the advancing and victorious tribes. A suitable “love offering” was given and the Oracle set off on his donkey to deliver the curse. I work with donkeys. They are intriguing, intelligent and mysterious. They seem to hear what we don’t, see what we can’t and perceive what we don’t perceive. Or maybe we just think that.
The donkey saw an angel standing with a sharp sword, blocking Balaam’s way. Trying to go left or right didn’t work. The donkey stopped and would not move. Balaam did what most poor riders do; he hit the donkey with his stick. The donkey “spoke” to Balaam and said “why are you hitting me, dumbbell? Don’t you see the big guy with the wings, and the sword?” (Or words to that effect).
Mostly Balaam tried three times to curse the Israelites and each time the curse tuned into a blessing. His customer, the King, was not amused. The Kingdom eventually fell and the Oracle went with it. His short term in service to The Almighty was all he was known for in the end. He did a pagan Oracle of Peor.
Other pagan priests saw moments of being called to deliver a message. Melchizedek and Yitro (a priest of Midian, Moses father-in-law) entered the world of belief and left their pagan heritage behind. God uses the most unlikely sources of change and causes of change. Is “The Donald” one of these?
Donald J. Trump is no saint, prophet or preacher. He has multiple divorces, is arrogant, vain and less than “nice”. Yet, The Almighty is the great Unknowable. The American Lakota call Him “the Great Mystery”. The Obama Administration has been the most anti-Israel and anti-Semitic in modern history. A Clinton Administration promises to continue the same. Will “The Donald” be Balaam or The Donkey? When Balaam listened to the donkey he succeeded, when he didn’t he failed. Stay tuned, it’s getting interesting.Share this page with your friends
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