Summary: God wants us to carry our share of the load and not be too comfortable to join in the battle.

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Portions of this message were taken from a message by Dr. Neil Chadwick which can be read in its entirety at

Most scripture portions of this message are quoted from the New International Version of the Bible.

Pastor James May


Sunday, March 16, 2003 PM

How would it feel to you if you were told that you reminded someone of a donkey? That’s actually what happened to a little known man in the Bible. He was a son Of Jacob named Issachar.

Genesis 49:14-15, "Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor. (NIV)

Genesis 49:14-15, "Issachar is no better than a donkey That lies stretched out between its saddlebags. But he sees that the resting place is good And that the land is delightful. So he bends his back to carry the load And is forced to work as a slave. “ (Good News Bible)

It’s interesting to see that we often assign various human characteristics to different animals. Some animals come out looking good, others don’t.

-When we don’t like someone we might call them a "rat", and when life gets very hectic, we call it a "rat" race.

-When someone is busy they’re as busy as a "bee."

-The "fox" is sly, the "snake" is sneaky and deceptive, and the "owl" is wise.

-Often we hear about "puppy" love, mother "hens", and "bear" hugs; but we live in a "dog-eat-dog" world.

-When you "ape" someone, you’re copying them in a mocking way, perhaps while you are just acting like a "monkey”.

-Everyone knows that the "goose" is silly, and an overweight person is like a beached "whale."

-To be "Catting" is to be bad; but we like things which are soft as a "kitten."

-When someone is as hungry as a "bear", they will probably "wolf" down their food, or perhaps even "pig" out.

-Lawyers after insurance money are called "vultures."

-If you’re quick, you’re like a "bunny"; if you’re not, you’re slow as a "turtle" or a “snail”.

-We all know that "bulls" are clumsy, so we would never take one into the china closet.

-If you’re quiet, you’re like a "mouse"; if you’re stubborn, you’re a "mule"; if you’re strong, you’re like an "ox".

-The "eagle" reminds us of majesty, and "elephants" never forget.

-Some people are as happy as a "lark"; if they sing like a "canary", that’s good, but to sing like a "crow" or a “stool pigeon” isn’t so good.

But right now we’re talking about the "donkey" which most people consider as a dumb, hard headed and stubborn animal.

In the Bible, it seems that the "donkey" was often thought of in a different fashion as we do today because it seems that Issachar didn’t become offended when his father, on his death bed, compared him to one. Perhaps Issachar was just “mule-headed” enough to not let anything bother him anymore.

Donkeys didn’t always take the wrap for being a stubborn animal and there were a few times when their stubbornness actually paid off for them.

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