When A Donkey Speaks …

…would you listen?

Some might say that the story of Balaam’s donkey talking is of little importance and it is making much ado about nothing to worry whether or not someone believes it.

Read this first and just see who thinks it is important.

What is your excuse for not believing in a talking donkey?

Balaam listened to his donkey and it saved his life.

Numbers 22:22-34

22 But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road.
24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side.
25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again.
26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.
27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”
30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.
32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me.
33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.”
34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.”

Balaam’s life was saved because he listened to his donkey.

Although today there are many people who say this didn’t happen.

“It is a myth, a fairytale.”

“Rational, objective, thinking people do not believe that a donkey spoke to a man.”

“That is absurd.”

What do you do when these same people claim that because they say they believe in Jesus they will go to Heaven?

This is a much harder concept to grasp:

That God sent His beloved Son to die a horribly cruel death for worthless sinners who hated Him and eagerly killed Him.

Believing in a talking donkey is easy unless you have become wise in your own eyes.

Proverbs 3:5-7
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

Are you wise in your own eyes? Would you use one of the following excuses:

~ rational people do not believe in talking donkeys

~animals only talk in fairy tales

~I don’t believe what I heard

~I don’t have to believe this in order to be a Christian

~ that’s foolish

~ denying a talking donkey in the OT isn’t denying Christ in the NT

~ even if God’s word says that donkey’s talk, I won’t believe it

~ you can’t believe everything in the Bible, don’t you know man corrupted it?

~ “Talking donkeys are easy to believe in.” Yes…especially in a psychiatric ward.

I especially like the last one since it was directed specifically at me. 🙂

Why do I like that one?

Glad you asked!

See Sunday (Resurrection Sunday) I was reading my Bible between church services. My passage that I happened to choose to read was 1 Peter and 2 Peter.

Guess what passage happened to really catch my eye.

2 Peter 2:15-16

15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing,
16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

Did you catch that?

“…a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that and never really grasped the fullness of it.

Come and join Peter and me in the “psychiatric ward.”

I encourage you to decide whether you should believe in talking donkeys after reading the rest – then come and join us. This is what I have learned from that passage.

1. Peter believed in talking donkeys.

2. Peter also was one of the eyewitnesses of the crucifixion, so if you can’t trust that a donkey spoke then you have to question everything of Peter’s.

3. Believing in talking donkeys actually saved Balaam’s life.

4. Believing in talking donkeys kept Balaam from madness.

5. Not only was this story important enough to be included in the OT it was reiterated in the NT. Not many OT events get that much importance. When a Bible text is repeated or quoted it pays to pay special attention to it.

6. As I always say, read for the full context. What is the context of the passage? 2 Peter 2 is about False Prophets and Teachers who are “blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant” (see 2 Peter 2:12).

7. Even if the event had not been in the NT it was still important and profitable, because all Scripture OT and NT is profitable.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.


Believing in talking donkeys yet?


One thought on “When A Donkey Speaks …

  1. I was just looking up this story because recently I have heard two male speakers, (ministers) refer to Balaam’s donkey as a male, saying “he and him” as they referred to the creature who saved the prophet’s life. I distinctly remember this donkey being female in my own study of the scripture because I identified with this donkey! I can only find scripture that leaves the animal genderless, or uses a female pronoun–I was correct! I believe in talking Donkeys! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.