by Tom Brennan,
Those of us who work with horses often have a bemused attitude about donkeys: “cute”. Yet, Scripture gives donkeys a higher place than horses in its readings. My favorite verse about horses is in Job. The narrator captures the strength and bravery of the war horse in a few lines. The horse had his work cut out for him: carry the mighty into war. Ridley Scott’s recent history-fantasy work “Exodus” has a very spry 80 year old Moses on horseback leading the Israelites out of Egypt and a heroic mano-a-mano charge against a raging Pharaoh as the Red Sea rushes towards them. I hope I’m a good-looking at 80 as the actor portraying the Prophet Moses.
Balaam’s donkey is smarter than he is. The donkey sees an angel with a sword blocking g their path as the pagan prophet is being sent to curse Israel. Angels with swords are fearsome and the donkey knows enough to not push their limits. Balaam hits the poor donkey and he says “why are you hitting me, dumbbell? Can’t you see the big guy with the wings and the mean-looking sword?” (or words to that effect). Balaam finally takes the donkey’s wise advice and cancels the trip.
Yosef and Maryam are on their way to their ancestral home, Bethlehem. Maryam rides a donkey because she is pregnant with a Child like no other. Later when that Child and His parents are threatened by a sociopathic King Herod, again the donkey saves the day and extracts the family from certain death.
A few days before He makes the supreme sacrifice for His friends (and all of us); Yeshua rides a donkey (one that has never been ridden) into the city. The Hero Who conquers death rides into the city not on white stallion (like the pompous Romans) but on a colt, never ridden and never saddled. Try that cowboy!
In contrast, The Almighty warns not to trust in princes or horses (Solomon for all his wisdom skipped that one). Paul/Saul is knocked off his high horse by the Messiah he is persecuting. Saul was a Pharisee on the rise, deputized by the Sanhedrin he was authorized to eradicate the heretical sect that followed the Nazarene. Instead the renamed Paul becomes a passenger on ships and pedestrian Apostle spreading the news to the world.
We love our horses. Yet a time with donkeys, gentle, humble and yet so very smart, can teach you about how God loves the humble and gives them abilities and powers beyond our concept of strength. Let all that has breath praise The Lord.Share this page with your friends
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