Human beings made in the image of our Creator are supposed to resemble our Creator in the way we think and act, but more often than not we tend to think and act like beasts. There is hope, though: our Creator makes a way for the redemption of beasts.
Exodus 10:1-13:16; Numbers 18:1-20; 1 Samuel 1; Isaiah 43:3-4; Jeremiah 46:13-28; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-9; Luke 2:22-24
Music: “Carnival of the Animals – 8. Persons with Long Ears” and “14. Finale”, Camille Saint-Saëns, Karl Böhm: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Prokofiev: Peter & The Wolf; Saint-Saëns: Carnival Of The Animals, Deutsche Grammophon 1974.
Is there anything more ridiculous among beasts of burden than a donkey? They are hardly the picture of a noble animal. On the contrary, they are loud, obnoxious, stubborn, homely (not exactly ugly, but certainly not beautiful), and they smell bad. It is no coincidence that William Shakespeare places a donkey’s head on the foolishly self-confident Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Neither is it a coincidence that in The Adventures of Pinocchio Carlo Collodi chose to transform foolish boys into donkeys. Walt Disney offered a simple explanation of this process in his 1940 film version of Pinocchio: “Give a bad boy enough rope, and he’ll soon make a jackass of himself.” And then there is the companion of the ogre Shrek: the carefree, friendly, and unbearably annoying Donkey, brought to life by the vocal talents of Eddie Murphy. In the second film of the Shrek series Donkey is changed into a white stallion, but the change is only outward. Inside he is still the same Donkey: kindhearted, loyal, and eager to please, but seldom aware of the chaos that follows him at every step.
With such a pedigree it is a wonder that donkeys receive favorable attention in Scripture. In fact, the lowly donkey and the lamb are the only animals mentioned by name in God’s instructions on how to remember the Exodus.