A Sunday Poem from Janell
Based on Numbers 22: 1-35
It was back in the days when Balak was king
And Israel, fresh out of Egypt was camping
In the Moabite plains, across the Jordan
Balak looked over that Hebrew horde’ n
They’d just licked the Amorites, left most of ‘em dead
A matter of fact that filled Balak with dread.
King Balak couldn’t buy a clue
As to how to defeat them, or what he should do.
So after he gave it considerable thought
He came up with a rather despicable plot:
He fired off a memo to Balaam of Pethor
A Midianite Priest he’d dealt with before.
He said, “You ought to see all these Israelites here!
They came out of Egypt and I’m up to my ears!
I know that there’s way too many for me
To take the offensive and cause them to flee.
So I’m asking your Spiritual help with this mess
I’ll pay you to curse them so I can be blessed.
So if you’re not busy day after tomorrow,
Please come over here, help me deal with this sorrow.”
He sent the note with his most trusted men
They spoke to Balaam, who said, “Wait here.” And then
He said, “With God I must discuss this bribe,
We’ll see what He says in the morning light.”
God came to Balaam and said, “What’s this?
Who are these outlaws you’re calling your guests?”
“They are messengers sent by the Moabite King
He wants me to help him to break up the ring
Of the Israelites camped in his back yard,
To curse them, he thinks, for me won’t be hard.”
God shook His head and said, “Don’t you dare do it.
If you do, I will see that you do not live through it.
If you try it you only will make a big mess,
These children of Israel by ME have been blessed!”
So Balaam got up the next day and said
“Go back. I do not wish that I was dead.
Tell Balak I won’t be involved in this thing,
I don’t care if he is the Moabite king. “
Then Balak sent Balaam a large delegation
Of the noblest Nobles of his generation.
They increased the ante, then sat down to wait
For the greedy Balaam to jump at the bait.
The offer was rich and Balaam was swayed,
So he saddled his donkey the very next day.
And headed for Moab, with two servants in tow,
When all of a sudden, that donkey wouldn’t go!
Now the donkey saw plainly an angel, armed
And she didn’t wish to come to harm,
So she veered to the side and ran into field,
Balaam then beat her, and she had to yield.
Then through a vineyard, with walls on both sides
The angel appeared, disrupting the ride.
She cringed in fear against the wall
Crushing Balaam’s foot, making him bawl.
He beat her again, so she had to move forward
Til the Angel came back, still wielding a sword.
This time, the donkey just laid herself down,
Making Balaam look just like a clown.
God opened her mouth and she looked up and said,
”Why do you hit me so hard on my head?”
(Now wouldn’t it make you sit up and take notice
If the donkey you rode could suddenly quote us?)
“You made me look stupid!” was Balaam’s reply.
“If I had my sword, you’d have to die!”
She said to him, “I’ve carried you faithfully your whole life through,
Have I ever so much as jostled you?
Would I stop if there wasn’t some thing in the path?
I’m trying to save us from God’s Holy wrath?”
The truth of this statement, he had to admit,
She’d never before given him reason to hit.
Then God opened his eyes and he saw it, too,
He fell on his face and the day he did rue.
“Balaam,” the angel wanted to know,
“Why would you mistreat your faithful mount so?
If she hadn’t seen me and done what she did,
I would have struck you and now you’d be dead.”
“I have sinned,” he confessed, his head hanging low,
“I’ll go back where I came from if you’ll let me go.”
The angel replied, “You can finish your work
Next tome, don’t be such a hard-headed jerk!”
So let this be a lesson whenever you ride,
Unless you’re declared to be on God’s side,
If it’s a despicable deed you‘re about
Always listen to your mount!