There is so much emphasis in Luke 19:29-40 (cf. Matt. 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:1-19) about Yeshua’s riding into Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) on a donkey that had never carried a burden and about the proclamation, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.” That donkey’s first burden was a profound burden, and we see throughout Scripture a number of donkeys carrying important burdens that prophetically point toward that triumphal entry.
This chapter has some odd elements: a “man of God” who spoke condemnation to the false-worship altar of the now-separate northern kingdom of Israel, he got tripped up in his mission by another prophet, then his body is watched over by a donkey and a lion. Rather than oddities, these are messages from God about the coming exiles of Israel, the return from exile and the role of the Messiah.
Skeptics like to poke fun at this story because of the talking donkey. Yet sometimes, our way is so set upon evil that a talking donkey doesn’t even phase us and give us pause to turn away from our direction.
Balaam wasn’t ignorant of the identity of the Creator God. He knew YHWH by name, and Balak, the king of Moab knew of Him too. If he knew that, then he knew that God had the power to make a donkey talk. Balaam didn’t fully understand the error of his way until one of the most powerful angels in God’s hosts, the Angel of the Lord, confronts him with a sword in his hand.
We see a pattern of preparation and deliverance throughout the Bible. The book of Judges is one example but the pattern is even more obvious in 1st Samuel. God prepares the people of Israel to move from leadership of judges and priests to the leadership of monarchy.
We are continuing our “Journey to the 10 (commandments)” as our ancestors of old went the first time. We see God’s “high hand” redeem our ancestors from the Egyptians once and for all. Then they continue for three more days until they reached Marah on the 24th of Aviv.
Passages discussed: Exodus 17; John 11:35-57; John 12:1-16
Hindsight can be a beautiful thing but sometimes hindsight blinds us rather than illuminates us. As the people of Israel are ready to leave Egypt for good, they have little idea of the epic journey has in store for them. As we read the story of Yeshua’s life in the New Testament, we have the same benefit and “curse” of hindsight as we read about the last few weeks of his life. We tend to be a little judgmental towards His favorite disciples because of they lacked a true understanding of Yeshua’s mission until after His death and resurrection. Today, ignore hindsight and discover some truths in these stories that hindsight otherwise obscures.
What do the strange references to donkeys, goats, bread, wine and musical instruments have to do with the anointing of Saul as ruler? What do these symbols have to do with the Messiah? Continue reading 1st Samuel 10 — What does Samuel do with Saul?