And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. (Numbers 22:21-30)
This donkey had better eyes and better sense than the prophet Baalim. We should write that down in our brains. A preacher is no better than his adherence to the Word of God and we should hold him to that. For several days, I thought about “The Preaching Mule,” but didn’t find a way to begin an article with that. The donkey is always the father of a mule and his mother is a horse (equine) stock and at this point I speak of that broadly to include the Zebra. A mule cannot reproduce another mule.
Please allow me to digress a bit. A donkey is an amazing animal, in my book. On Sand Mountain, where we live when we’re not in Southern Pines, NC, there are a lot of cattle raised in small groups. There is also, usually, at least one Donkey in every herd of cows. That’s because we have a considerable number of Coyotes and a few Mountain Lions that prey on the small calves; sometimes, the larger calves.
The best and cheapest way to deal with this is to put a Donkey in every field with the cattle. The donkeys quickly adopt the cattle as their personal protectors. But..he is not a large animal! No problem. A Donkey will watch a Wildcat or Coyote and quietly move in his direction. When he is close enough, in a split second he will lunge for the cat/coyote and clamp the head of the intruder in his mouth. They have tremendous strength in their jaws. They will pick up the intruder by its head and begin slamming it against the ground. As some point, he will release the head and look at his prey to see if it moves. By this time, the intruder’s eyes may be out of its sockets.
When we’re outside working in the yard we often hear the “head Donkey” bray in the pasture behind our house. I stay on my side of the fence because I don’t know if this Donkey knows I’m his friend. He might think he needs to beat the ground with me. I still think he is a marvelous piece of machinery. One thing for sure, if he lays hold of you, he will turn you lose when he’s ready and not when you’re ready.
This inborn trait is also passed on to mules, although not as much. I saw a video of a pack mule out west in the desert. A mountain lion sprang from a big rock toward the rider. The mule reared up and dropped the rider to the ground. Like lightening, the mule had the mountain lion’s head in his mouth and began to beat the ground with the mountain lion. He turned him loose and stood over him, looking down at the mountain lion. When the mule was satisfied that the mountain lion was dead, he was ready to move on with his rider.
From age eight or so, I rode mules going to and from the fields, and rode them to water. Looking back on those days, I believe the mules adopted me as someone they were to protect and not to attack. Grandpa didn’t want me to go in under the mules because if they swatted at a big horsefly on their belly with a back foot, I would have been history. I don’t think he was ever worried that the mule might bite me…or him.
He was always good to his mules: fed them well and looked out after their sores and put Watkin’s Salve on any bites or skinned places. One thing I overheard during those days, that Joe and Belle could not have any babies. And that’s the big statement God shows the whole world: mules are great workers but they can’t have babies. The evolutionists haven’t figured out how to go around that.
Back to the original Baalim and donkey story. I’ve always liked that story. It teaches me that God doesn’t really have to have me to get His work done. A donkey and one angel is all the Lord needs. We need not think we need to be eloquent and be great Bible scholars to go on a journey for God. If God can make a donkey talk and bring a man under conviction by the crowing of a rooster (the Apostle Peter) I reckon God can use you and me if we will turn loose and let Him be in charge. You think?
Let’s get busy with God’s program of engaging everyone we can about where they’re going to send eternity. It’s up to the Lord what He does with our faithful efforts. John 3:16 is a great verse to pass on. If somebody’s lips begin to tremble or a tear courses down their cheek, then cancel out the rest of your day and work toward praying with them. That’s the program! Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 - THURSDAY
A.M. Proverbs 25-27
P.M. 2 Cor.6
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today:
Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary (4:51) (Gaither Group)
You may need to adjust your volume