Everyone knows a donkey can’t talk. But, Balaam’s donkey did talk. The supernatural aspect of this story lends itself well to get kids excited. The problem is that we need to be careful to make sure the kids understand this story is true. They’ve already heard of talking donkeys. Shrek’s donkey talks. So, with this story, we must be very careful to ensure that kids understand this story comes from the Bible, so it is definitely true.
Also, we have a tendency to get caught up in the supernatural aspect of the story. Yes, it is almost overwhelming to our human minds that the donkey talks. But, this isn’t really the purpose of the story. God allowed the donkey to talk to hammer a point into Balaam’s head — not to show us that donkey’s can talk.
Balaam had been approached by the Moabites. They wanted to pay him to curse the Israelites. Balaam knew better and at first he refused. But, then the Moabites offered him more money. Money talks and Balaam hopped on his donkey and set off to meet with the King of Moab.
Of course God was angry and God would not let the Israelites be harmed. So, God sent a special angel with a sword to stop Balaam. The donkey could see this angel and did everything it could to avoid this angel. He ran off the road so Balaam beat him until he returned to the correct path. He got too close to the wall and pinned Balaam’s leg against the wall so Balaam beat him. He laid down on the ground and refused to get up so Balaam beat him.
Suddenly God opened the mouth of the donkey and let him speak, “What’s wrong with you?? Why are you beating me?? Do I USUALLY act like this?? Doesn’t the way I’m acting make you realize that SOMETHING must be wrong??”
With a talking donkey, Balaam’s heart was suddenly malleable. He could see the angel that the donkey had been avoiding. He fell to the ground in repentance.
Follow the links below to see some great ways that we can use this story to teach kids how important it is that we obey God with every choice we make.