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Because the Bible is a living book, we can see that our lives are reflected in the lives and stories that are included in it.

In Part One we looked at what sufficiency is, what it means and where it can get cut off. In part two, we can see how Balaam’s world view of “not enough-ness” begins to get him into trouble.

When I allow fear of “not enough” to run my judgey-meter, I end up making big mistakes. I think I have to “do what I have to do” to make ends meet and start calling the shots. Spoiler alert—the money is never what is lacking. What’s really lacking here is my ability to get out of God’s way and wait for God to do God’s part. This requires faith. Faith requires that I sit in sufficiency “in the presence of my enemies” or in the presence of the absence of calm. The exercise with God is to rest and trust when my work is done, I’m smoked, and it still looks like I’m coming up short. IF I can get out of my own way and God’s way IN THAT KEY MOMENT before I panic, and rest in sufficiency no matter what the circumstances suggest…well, that is the goal right?...calm in wind and waves?

So Balaam jumps the line, disobeys God’s request to NOT go curse the nation of Israel at the

request of the Moabites (remind me to swing back for this fact here later because it is huge

that God didn’t just fry Balaam here but seemed to have space for Grace in the Old Testament) and Balaam ends up on Clive the donkey out to live his best life on the way to cursing Israel.

As we all know God will not be mocked even by those with a little bit of spiritual ‘miracle’ juice on them and so Balaam’s whole Blessing and Cursing for HIRE business comes to a screeching halt in the form of a giant angel with a huge sword in the middle of the road.

Long story short—Clive the donkey has more sense than Balaam and refuses to go a step

further after a giant angel with a flaming sword shows up and blocks the road…as you do.

And so, he gets beaten. Not cool. I mean seriously not cool disrespecting the Almighty. Beating your only means of transportation is just plain stupid. Balaam has now officially lost the plot.

God has the best sense of humor. If you don’t believe me, ask the platypus or the virtually

indestructible “water bear” tardigrade. The same God that stuck a duck bill on a beaver gives

Clive (AKA Balaam’s donkey) full agency over the vocalization of thought. (I’m sorry but I will

also have to return to this one later as well because there is just too much juice in this “God’s

sense of humor” muscadine to leave it unsqueezed.)

So…Clive gets a moment here er’body. A really profound, like once in the whole Bible moment. God gives Clive the mic in ancient whatever Balaam is speaking and Clive is like… “DUUUUUUDE stop hitting me!!! I mean What is YOUR DEAL, MAN? Were you dropped on your head? WHAAAAT is your DEEEEAAAAL?”. Balaam is so lost in his own world he starts actually arguing with Clive and is all like “I’ve got important stuff to do and you’re ruining it, Clive. You’re being an inconsiderate ass.”

So now the angel is super not amused. Imagine the angel watching patiently and then suddenly not being so patient anymore and jumping in on Balaam and Clive with a huge, booming “Ummm, yeah hi, I’m the Angel here with the flaming sword and basically, guy, I’m not a fan of yours and if Clive your donkey here wasn’t watching, I might have just chopped off your head.”

Balaam being a man of spiritual power suddenly gets the point that his own personal power is

insufficient in his moment of true need. And Clive just started talking.

If MY power can’t save me even when I’m pretty decent at getting it done and having people

pay me to do so…then I’m back to needing a new source of power. The same Grace of a loving

God that didn’t fry Balaam has kept me alive as well.


Meditate for a moment. Where have you been the recipient of grace and maybe didn’t even

recognize it? Where have we beaten our Clive’s and in the process, hurt ourselves while

disrespecting God all in the name of just making “enough”?


Stay tuned for part 3 with Clive.