“When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.” [Numbers 22:23]
Dumb Donkey Spoke with a human voice Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”
The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said.
Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
In several ways, the false teachers resemble the prophet Balaam the son of Beor. They falsely pose as spokesmen of God. They induce others to sin. But the chief likeness is that they use the ministry as a means of financial enrichment. Balaam was a Midianite prophet hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel. His motive for doing this was money.
On one of his attempts to curse Israel, Balaam and his donkey met the angel of the Lord. The donkey repeatedly refused to go on. When Balaam whipped it, the donkey rebuked him in human language. This was an astonishing phenomenon-- a dumb donkey speaking with a human voice (and showing better sense than its master!). But the miracle did not shock Balaam out of his madness.
Balaam is a fearful example of a man, who was "a prophet," whom God told what not to do, whom God hindered in his wrongdoing by even letting a dumb donkey speak to him, but who in spite of everything secretly clung to this love for what he thought he could get out of unrighteousness, and so perished."
God does not rebuke by dumb animals today. But there is every reason to believe that in other ways He often rebukes, to turn to the right way, which is Christ.
“But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.” [2 Peter 2:16]