Summary: I have an ambition... I want to be a donkey. Not just any old donkey. I want to be God’s donkey. Why not make it your ambition as well?
I want to tell you of one of my ambitions today. It is not an ambition that I have told many people about. In fact, it is an ambition that I have only recently had. It is an ambition that God has laid upon my heart. Some of you may feel that I have already fulfilled this ambition, but I can assure you that I have not. The ambition is this... ’I want to become like a donkey.’
You may wonder why, after all, a donkey is not one of the most admired animals amongst Gods creation. They have a reputation for being slow, smelly, cumbersome, insignificant, stubborn, and a bit thick. I will repeat again that I have not yet fulfilled my ambition of becoming like a donkey.
I don’t claim to be able to read the mind of animals, but I can imagine that a donkey probably doesn’t feel all that special. It probably doesn’t think that it has the ability to achieve anything great at all. If any creature has the right to feel down about themselves, then it is probably the donkey. It isn’t beautiful like the butterfly. It can’t run like the stallion. It isn’t powerful or majestic, like the lion. It isn’t a good protector, like the faithful hound. It doesn’t even make a tasty steak. The list of a donkey’s inability’s goes on and on. In fact the only thing that a donkey appears to be good for, is carrying things.
You might feel like a donkey today. You may feel like you have little talent and that you are unimportant. You may feel like you have nothing to offer to God, or to anybody else. If you do, then I want to encourage you today, to see that you can be used powerfully for the purposes of God. In order to do that, I want to look at the lives of two of the most famous donkeys ever. You see it is these donkeys that I want to become like. They are found in the Bible, and as the Bible doesn’t give them names, I will call them donkey Balaam’s Donkey, and Jesus’ Donkey.
Balaam’s Donkey. - A donkey that saved lives.
The first of the famous donkeys is found in the book of Numbers, chapter 22. This is of course Balaam’s donkey.
21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides.
25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.
26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room 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 he was angry and beat her with his staff.
28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
29 Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."
30 The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"
"No," he said.
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. NIV
**Obedience despite circumstances**
The time that this account is set is after the Israelites have come out of Egypt and prior to them entering the promised land. As the Israelites moved on they were conquering those who opposed them.
Balaam was a prophet of that time. He appears to know God, and is known for his power. Those who Balaam bless, stay blessed, and those who Balaam curse, stay cursed. Balaam is called for by Balak, the king of the Moabites. Balak is concerned that the Israelites will destroy them, and so he calls for Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites, so that Balak may destroy them and drive them away.