Monday, January 23, 2017

God gave her words

I know, y'all are shaking your heads in disbelief. We are supposed to be studying the women of the Bible, as we have for some time now. (Personally, I have enjoyed the studies, since it gave me a chance to really focus on some lesser-known ladies that I have always wanted to learn more about.) But this time, this "lady" is of the furry variety!

Hear me out.

Recently I spent some time convalescing from a bout with the flu. I was reading in the Old Testament, and I tend to get a little crazy when I find some new nuggets in the Old Testament. I mean, not many people really get hepped up when you mention you are studying there. Their perception is that it's kinda dull, has lots of "begats" in it, and is only punctuated by occasional cool stories of God's intervention in human affairs.

Au contraire.
I'm here to tell you, that's just not true. And today's "woman" of the Bible is one example.
Ready to dive in?

I'd like to lay the ground work for our story by asking you to read a rather lengthy passage. I've placed it here for your convenience, but you may want to read in your own Bible or a different translation. That's cool, too.
 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 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, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey 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, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it 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 only 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.32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory.37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”38 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. (Numbers 22)

In the NIV, which I pasted there, the donkey (ass) is referred to as an "it," In the KJV, the verses mention her repeatedly as a female:
And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? (Numbers 22:27-28)

I know it's a little out of the ordinary. But then y'all probably are not surprised at that, coming from me!
I figure this passage is definitely one that we should include. I hope you agree, and that you will join me next time!


Marla's Crafts said...

This should be interesting. I know they put donkeys in a field with farm animals to protect them from wolf's and other animals that are harmful to the stock. So that just proves it with that passage. He was protecting his master.
Off to a day of sewing with my sewing buddies. Nice to have the change of pace. Have a good day. I had to stop and read your post before I left.

Katie Isabella said...

I wish words would be granted to all animals who are abused. Sorry, I know that is not what you are getting at here.