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Because the Bible is never ending in its ability to influence and affect us and we can see that

when we examine it through the lens of our own experiences, then we also recognize that it

comes alive for us in a whole new ways. That’s been our experience with the story of Balaam

and the donkey that shall forever be known to me as “Clive.”

Balaam had FOMO. BAD. Balaam cared more about FOMO than he did about listening to the

source of his true power to “Bless and Curse”… God. So, Balaam chose to meet his own needs

from a place of fear rather than faith which then cut off his ability to receive any more blessing

himself from God. Insufficiency produces only more insufficiency. Sufficiency produces

abundance. Enough always leads to more.

Because we serve a merciful God, God will often do for us what we cannot do for ourselves

when we want to take the long prodigal’s walk home. This is one such example. God’s Grace

was big enough that not only did he not kill Balaam for beating his donkey-Clive and being a

serious spiritual jerk face. He actually provides a way for Balaam to meet his own needs from a

place of obedience and sufficiency. Enough-ness based on partnership with God.

God tells Balaam not to curse Israel but to bless them. Balaam has just gotten a preview “come

to Jesus moment” with the angel and Clive as you will recall so he is in a renewed place of

attention to detail in the affirmative. He blesses Israel. And he is blessed.

But that is not the end of the story. Nope. It is not that simple. I mean he STILL had to look at

Clive every day for the rest of Clive’s life. Now the Bible isn’t clear about the rest of their

relationship or if and when Clive’s vocal abnormalities wore off…but imagine how you’d feel if

your donkey had been the only witness to an angel saying he’d prefer to cut your head off for

being a spiritual jerk face. I bet Balaam treated that donkey pretty well after that. And Clive, he

got to know that God cares enough about creation to make sure that every need on the block

gets met. And my personal favorite part of the story—Clive the talking donkey got to become

an archetype in the Kingdom of Heaven by telling his disobedient, greedy, spiritual jerk face

owner where to get off.

Balaam rode Clive off into the sunset with a learned perspective on obedience, compassion and

more-than-enough-ness. As you continue the story of Balaam in Scripture, you’ll find that even

after all that grace and learning, he continues to have many lessons from God. Sound familiar?

Poor Clive.