That Ass, Though

So looking at Numbers 22:21.

Here is this highly sought after oracle named Balaam and his donkey, who I’ll call Bridget for story’s sake. She was a female, after all. At least she was according to my Bible version, but you know there are sometimes discrepancies.


One day Balaam was riding on Bridget, blissfully unaware that one of God’s angels came, sword in hand, to end his life. Bridget wasn’t the one opposing God’s will so she had nothing to fear. But still, she saw and avoided the angel to save Balaam’s life.

Keep in mind that Balaam was sitting on her. And making her do all the work while he had his feet kicked up and was enjoying the ride. She saved his life and he beat her. This happened three times.

Three times Balaam’s ass saved… well Balaam’s ass (lol).

And her reward was a beating from Balaam.

Finally, the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes. And he finally saw what Bridget had been doing. All that to make him realize God wasn’t happy with his actions. Some oracle, right?

But the moral of the tale, at least what I got from it, is this:

No matter what your station in life is. No matter if you’re working for or with someone that doesn’t appreciate the good that you do, don’t give up!

The Lord is never blind to righteousness.


54 thoughts on “That Ass, Though

  1. Thank you Rae for an interesting post.

    I’ve checked what the Church Fathers have to say on this passage and I’m summarizing here:

    The donkey knew his Master and Creator – she (yes, she) saw Him. Balaam could not see Him due to his darkened heart. When Jesus was born, the donkey and the ox knew Him at His birth. In the Christmas icon, the donkey stands nearest to Jesus and next to the ox, for they knew their Master and Creator.

    It is good that Bridget saved Balaam (animal altruism again), isn’t it?


    Liked by 4 people

  2. Isn’t’ it interesting that God gives us the pictures of the donkey all through the OT and into the NT. In each case, they are the lowly beasts of burden and yet without complaint. They have been chosen by God to show us the art of submission, the beauty of the heart, the bearer of the Messiah on the road to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We can learn much from the donkey but the supreme lessons for me: When we submit to the Father, He opens our eyes to see Himself just as “Bridget” did. How willing are we to submit to the Master to do his bidding? And if, as one reader noted, that the donkey was nearest to Jesus in the manger, how close are we to Him in our daily walk?

    Liked by 5 people

  3. That’s what I love so much about God. Sure He rewards His followers but He doesn’t look at the rich and famous and pick them. Most times He picks the lowly and humble. He references donkeys and sheep instead of stallions and rams and that’s beautiful to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As a pastor, this story has another meaning for me: Don’t beat the congregation (the ass) when it wants to go in a different direction; it may see more than you do. Thanks for your fresh expressions!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Kautz, Roberta says:

    I enjoyed reading some of your posts, and especially liked this one! Your writing is humorous and from the heart.
    I found you because you found me at when you read and commented on my blog post, “Sabbath Benefits”. I’m glad you liked my post, and want you to know that I liked your post, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad your “like” brought me to your blog! Your name may not be Bridget, but your eyes seem to be open to see the Lord and His truth (and no, I’m not calling you a donkey). Blessing on you as you illuminate His Word through the words He gives you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My favorite Christian singer, the late great Rich Mullins, mentions his fondness for the donkey quite often. The song “He did not have a home” from the Jesus Record-song mentions Jesus riding in to Jerusalem on the back of an ass’s foal/and the world can’t find what it thinks it wants on the back of an ass’s foal. In one of his concerts he mentions God talking to Balaam through his ass – as I remember he told the audience: “I had a prof one time… He said, “Class, you will forget almost everything I will teach you in here, so please remember this: that God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and He has been speaking through asses ever since. So, if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself. And, if on meeting someone, right away you recognize what they are, listen to them anyway.” (Lufkin TX concert ’97) Donkeys sure are an endearing type of animal – everyone who has commented today has been uplifted with humor. Thanks Rae!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. They really are endearing! And thank you for sharing, you’re absolutely right. So was that professor. I think it’s interesting that Jesus chose an ass’s foal to ride. I bet the foal must have felt so honored!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just studied this and I love it, too! And, I certainly can relate. Hopefully, there are eyes being opened right now, though! 🙂 God sure rocks! 🙂


  10. Great post. I think ass refers specifically to a female donkey, so I think you’re right on that. However, you left out the most memorable part — the ass actually SPOKE to Balaam.

    28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

    Don’t you know donkeys everywhere have wanted to speak like this to their masters at some point? And then Balaam talks to the donkey as if this were perfectly normal!

    29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you right now!”
    30 But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?” And he said, “No.”
    (Num 22:28-30 NRS)

    That’s when the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel with sword in hand about to strike him down. The angel then informs him how the donkey saved his life. Don’t you know Balaam felt like an ass at that point.
    I bet that ass got a lot more respect from Balaam after that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When are we going to learn some good things from donkeys? We need to teach our children some poems praising donkeys so that we’ll no longer despise donkeys. Then, we’ll learn from th donkeys. Thanks for praising donkeys. Funny how I was just planning a blog on donkeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When are we going to learn some good things from donkeys? We need to teach our children some poems praising donkeys so that we’ll no longer despise donkeys. Then, we’ll learn from th donkeys. Thanks for praising donkeys. Interesting how I was just planning a blog on donkeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is an entertaining and humourous post. I like the fact that you used Balaam as his story is not so popular these days. His story is the perfect example of what happens when you try to curse God’s people, but at the same time it is the perfect example of showing love to an enemy. God did not have to put that angel there, he did not have to let Bridget see the Angel. Balaam was regarded as a wicked prophet, yet the Lord appeared to him several times and spared him. Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  14. LOVED THIS POST!!! Thanks for “Liking” one of my posts, so that I’d be made aware of your awesome writing.
    Just reminds me again, of all the people who complain about God “riding their ass,” through trials and tribulations, not realizing the He is REALLY just trying to save their ass.
    Wow! If we could only have our eyes opened the the reality of what is going on all around us, how different would be our lives!

    Liked by 1 person

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