Balaam
   as told by Carrot the donkey.

Hello, Carrot here.

I was having a think the other day about the number of stories in the Bible that involve donkeys.  There are rather a lot of them; it seems that donkeys are rather important in the Bible.

Or so you might think. Yet it always seems to be the humans who get the attention in these stories; like Moses, David, Jonah and so on. They are the ones that have all the adventures and have the privilege of serving God.

But sometimes, I think people could learn a lot from the animals. And I want to tell you a story about someone called Balaam, who learned a thing or two from his donkey.

Now Moses had just led the Hebrew people out of Egypt; they had seen some great miracles, and God helped them to win battles against their enemies. Because of this, people were scared of the Hebrews - they had a good and powerful God on their side.

So this guy called Balak went to another guy called Balaam and said, "will you please put a curse on these people so that they forget about their God, are not so powerful and we can start winning some battles?"  But  Balaam said, "I'll only do that if God tells me that I can", and , surprise surprise, God said "no."

 Balaam told the men this and said that even if they gave him loads of money, his answer would still be the same.

 But it seems that he later changed his mind and set off on his donkey to catch up with them.

 

God wasn't pleased about this, and sent an angel to stand in Balaam's path and stop him from going. Balaam didn't see the angel, but here's the funny thing; his donkey did. And when she saw it she turned aside and started walking in another direction.  This made Balaam very cross, and I'm sorry to say that he started hitting the donkey, until she had no choice but to go back onto the road.

But it happened again.  Only this time Balaam's foot was squashed against a wall, which made him really mad. But instead of stopping to wonder why this was happening, he decided it was all the donkey's fault, and I'm afraid he hit her again. Some people are like that you know; if something goes wrong, they lash out and look for someone else to blame, instead of calming down and wondering why it happened. Anyway, because Balaam hadn't got the message and wasn't listening to God, it happened again, and Balaam hit her yet again.

Then his donkey spoke to him!

That's right, she spoke.

Now, even though I'm writing this story for you, I'll tell you a secret; donkeys can't talk. I mean we're brilliant in nearly every other way, but we don't speak to humans. But this donkey did. And the silly thing was that Balaam was so mad that he didn't stop to think "hey, I have a talking donkey!" - he argued with her and got quite nasty.

Then God opened Balaam's eyes, he saw for himself that there was an angel standing in his path, and it was his turn to fall down on the ground. God had told him off then and explained that his donkey had saved his life, because she was trying to warn him that he was doing something wrong. After that,  Balaam was allowed to carry on with his journey - but he had to say only the things that God had told him to say.

When Balaam arrived in the city, everyone was really pleased because they thought he had come to put a curse on God's people - and yet they found that Balaam didn't curse them, he blessed them instead.

So they were happy, and Balaam learned that it is better to trust God and listen to him - all because of his donkey.

 

You see, God created donkeys, sheep, fish, even worms, just as much as he created human beings. And he can speak through anyone or anything, to tell other people about himself, his love and the beautiful world he has made.

I wonder if you have ever looked at this beautiful world and thought about God?