Nintendao

Don't beat your donkey in front of an angel

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Posted (edited)

The Bible shows us that when animals behave strangely, we should take into consideration that they may be reacting to something invisible.

 

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Balaam and His Donkey


21 So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along, 23 Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. 27 This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.

 

28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.

 

29 “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”

 

30 “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”

 

“No,” Balaam admitted.

 

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.

 

32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”

 

Numbers 22:21-33 NLT

 

 

What do you think of this story? Have you heard or experienced other accounts of animals doing mysterious things, especially to protect their human from something unusual?

 

Even if you don't believe in angels and other such creatures, I have another guess. Was his animal somehow picking up on subconscious cues from Balaam, who in his heart did not really want to go with these people? (The rest of the story is about the king trying to get Balaam to use his magic for military purposes.)

 

 

Edited by Nintendao
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Great story! Thanks for sharing.

 

My view of the story is sometimes the universe or, in this case God, has other plans for us.  There will be subtle cues that try to steer us in the right direction... sometimes we can pick up on those cues and other times not.  If Balaam was more sensitive to such things, perhaps he would have listened to his old friend the donkey.  But his ego got in the way ("make me look like a fool") 

The angel tells him "You are stubbornly resisting me"  How could he resist that which he does not see?  I think it has more to do with resisting God (the universe's plan) and following your Ego.  

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here is the thing ;

 

If it was a dog, and the man was hunting, he would follow any and every hint the dog gave of their ' ESP ' .    ;) 

 

 

One night, the possom wasnt going to let me inside ;  I came home late, walked down the path and he was on the roof, over the door growling.  I was  " What's with you ? " and he growled more .   (Mind you, we usually have a very friendly relationship - not this night ! ).

 

Being tired , I just wanted to go to bed, so I kept going, he leaned out over the roof, more growling.

 

" Hey Dude !  I LIVE here, back off ! "  and went to walk under him and he leaned over and starts swiping at me with his  claws and making a horrible racket .   Only time its ever happened .

 

" Okay... okay !   I go up the back yard and sleep in the caravan  !  "    - which I did .

 

Dont know what that was about    .....    :huh:     - never happened before or since .

 

 

... but I was going to take his 'advise' .

 

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Posted (edited)

... and here I was   ( after just reading the title of this thread )   thinking it was a religious  guilt complex about masturbation .

 

 

:) 

 

 

Edited by Nungali
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Posted (edited)

Pay attention to the wind, the sky and the behavior of animals around you.  Their senses are much keener then ours.  Who's to say they don't stretch into other dimensional realms.

 

On the other hand I take ye olde biblical stories with a dash of salt and tequila.  One Sunday school teaching postulated that the donkey in the story was a singular beast created just for thatstory.?!  That has some problems beyond the logic to it.  And then there's Balaam, in the 5 Books, a very powerful non-Jewish prophet.  Lots of apocryphal/legendary writings to explain that. 

 

On the third hand, It may be the more outrageous, illogical stories are the real ones, the remains of 3,000 years of 'pass it on'. 

Edited by thelerner
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Potentially interesting to note that the angel in the story was playing the role of The Shaitan... "The Adversary, The Opposer, or one who terrifies and opposes you to shy you away from a dark and destructive path.  Any angel could play this role when required.

 

As the stories developed, this role played by many angels morphed into the modern notion of the one devil adversary of god.  One angel who opposes god and is an adversary of god and righteousness, instead of any angel appearing in terrifying form to serve god and shy one away from an undesired path.

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4 hours ago, silent thunder said:

the role of The Shaitan... "The Adversary, The Opposer, or one who terrifies and opposes you to shy you away from a dark and destructive path

 

When was that ever the purpose of Satan/the Adversary? I can't think of any story in which his motive or purpose is ultimately good, like as described in the bold. It was always to tempt you toward a dark and destructive path.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Aetherous said:

 

When was that ever the purpose of Satan/the Adversary? I can't think of any story in which his motive or purpose is ultimately good, like as described in the bold. It was always to tempt you toward a dark and destructive path.

 

I've heard it said that such tempting spawns a greater calling for a return to God.  Whether or not such a being is aware that they are operating as a tool for the divine is unclear... but to think anything is completely "separate" from God is an illusion in my view.  Even the most vile creatures are still part of God, and play a role in the divine play.

 

I can't think of any stories to back up my view... so take it as UPG :)

Edited by Fa Xin
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4 hours ago, Aetherous said:

When was that ever the purpose of Satan/the Adversary? I can't think of any story in which his motive or purpose is ultimately good, like as described in the bold. It was always to tempt you toward a dark and destructive path.

 

An interesting argument. A shrewd enemy will more likely swindle someone into a wrong action by promising some reward (encouragement), versus simply trying to convince them not to do something good (opposition). On the other hand, a parent firmly telling a child "no" might be thought of as being a big meanie, but may really be trying to prevent something harmful. This could get really hairy when dealing with something like warring nations, both seeing the other side as evil.

 

Perhaps @silent thunder has touched on a deeper aspect of devilry necessarily embedded in the persona of a jealous and wrathful God. A truly all-powerful being must reconcile both creative and destructive faculties. Good vs Bad is too one-dimensional. Look for instance at the "Curse of Greyface" from Principia Discordia: Order is often thought of as beneficial, and disorder as undesirable. However, an eclectic disorderliness can give rise to superb creativity, just as an over-imposed orderliness can be debilitatingly oppressive. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/20/2019 at 6:49 AM, Nintendao said:

The Bible shows us that when animals behave strangely, we should take into consideration that they may be reacting to something invisible.

 

 

 

Quote

 “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.

 

29 “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”

 

30 “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”

 

 

cowboy angle answers 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by windwalker
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On 7/20/2019 at 5:41 PM, Nungali said:

... and here I was   ( after just reading the title of this thread )   thinking it was a religious  guilt complex about masturbation .

 

 

:) 

 

 

Well, isn't that pretty much a prerequisite for the pursuit of theological diversions? That, combined with an unshakable suspicion that one is in constant contact with otherworldly beings whether aware of it or not.

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Animals, in particular birds, seeing what human can't is a common trope in traditional tales of Brittany. They usually know and tell about death in particular.

Oral tradition even recalls that there were people known to understand the language of animals up to the  XVIIIeme century.

 

One story I like tells about this noble Breton peasant, fair and knowledgeable, who goes to the fair to sell two of his oxen, a job he does often and for which he is known to be good. But this day, he fails to sell any of the beasts and in the evening brings them back to the farm. The oxen are walking slowly, and as the man tries to hurry them one ox tells him "You should be the one to hurry, because you will be dead before midnight".

The man then instruct some child to run to the village to order a coffin and a mass, and indeed he dies soon after he is back at home.

 

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Crows are remarkably smart birds (Grey parrots even more so).  Not only do they recognize people they also can hold grudges against them.  I believe I read one story where a man was repeated flown at each time he'd leave his car by the same crow.  One day he put on a mask and parked further, but couldn't fool the bird, it still flew at him. 

 

I'm sure animals run the gamut of intelligence, like people, but there were some Grey parrots (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/alex-parrot-posthumous-paper-mathematical-genius/)that had remarkable vocabularies and seemed to have some basic understanding of what was said.  Certainly there are dogs that seem to understand english, though much is conveyed through training, tone and body and face gestures. 

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