Advent and the Original Ass

Balaam’s donkey (the "original ass") was owned by a pagan prophet who refused a bribe from the king of Moab to curse Israel. God even sent the Angel of the LORD to block the pagan seer's path.

At first, only Balaam's donkey saw the Angel with a drawn sword. When his ass refused to budge, Balaam beat him. God miraculously allowed the beast to rebuke his master
(the "first hee-haw").

“How can I curse whom God has not cursed?” Balaam said to Moab's king (Numbers 23:8). This pagan prophet even predicted the coming of a Promised One, born of a woman, to fulfill God's promise of salvation to Adam and Eve: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Balaam foretold the doom of all the enemies of the LORD and God's people:
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob; a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab.” (Numbers 24:17)

Balaam's prophecy, if widely circulated, may have motivated the Magi to search for the Christ, after they saw a remarkable royal "star" rising over the western skies in Judea.

Twenty-six years ago, I served as the pastor of a community of God’s people whose lives were devastated by hurricane Andrew. Some thirty church families lost their homes. Many were living in FEMA trailers during the Christmas season of 1992.

To make that Advent special — for more joyful reasons — I wrote some “Advent Stories,” delivered as first-person narratives during the Sundays of Advent. Over the past decades, stories have been added, widely shared, and appreciated by friends.

You can download these
Advent Stories here. Share them with your loved ones. Enjoy!

From @IntlBuzz