Saturday, 16 September 2017 – The Need to be Trained (1)
Numbers 22:26 And the angel of Jehovah went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And the ass saw the angel of Jehovah, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam`s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff. 28 And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Matthew 11:11 : Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
John was a mouth piece in the hands of God who was mightily used to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. After preaching the coming kingdom of heaven for only about 18 months, John was thrown in prison and then killed by order of the king. Following this, Jesus made the remark that there had never risen a greater prophet than John.
It is fascinating to remark especially in our day of micro-waved grace, that from the time John was in his mother’s womb he was filled with the Spirit. For roughly 30 years John was being trained, equipped and prepared for a ministry that only lasted a year and a half! Yet Jesus gave him the testimony that never had one arisen, born of women, who was greater than John.
Contrast this with the lowliest of animals, the ass. Balaam was a type of prophet, but was not Hebrew. Nevertheless, he was obviously used of God in his day. The evil king Balak wanted him to come and curse the Israelites as they were making their way to the promised land. Against God’s will Balaam decided to take the bribe. But in going to the evil king the donkey saw the angel of the Lord who was ready to strike down the disobedient prophet.
Three times the donkey protected Balaam, only to be smitten by him each time. Then God opened the donkey’s mouth and the animal spoke to Balaam as though it were a human.
So, my question is: What is the difference between the ass and John the baptist? The answer is simple: 30 years of training!
It is a beautiful thing when God anoints a child in prayer, or uses the faith of a new Christian to bring about a healing or some other miracle. But if you are going to prepare the coming of Jesus, you will have to go through many years of rigorous training. Your only option is to be like this ass, who, by a gift of God, opened it’s mouth and miraculously spoke with intelligence – once!