The Five Donkeys

“The Five Donkeys”
Exodus 34:20


  • It’s truly sad today that we have to watch our words in what we “used to say” and what is “now we cannot say.”
  • Take a look at these words that we used to say, and now it means something different…
  • JOINT – Bad place to be, NOW means…something you smoke
  • GAY – Happy go lucky attitude, NOW means…homosexual
  • ASS – Jack ass or donkey (not a mule), NOW means…derogatory term describing a person who is being stubborn, obnoxious, or rebellious.

A) Looking at a Donkey

  • In America, a donkey is an odd animal, not really a desired animal, and not used by most people, and certainly not owned by the upper class.
  • They have an odd sounding cry or yell, long floppy ears, and a stubborn attitude.
  • Donkeys in America are not really considered as a valuable asset.
  • In the Middle East, a donkey is very valuable to every poor person.
  • A man in the east may kick a chicken or his dog, and maybe yell at his wife, but he loves his donkey.
  • In the East, you may see a donkey with big amounts of items loaded on their backs of food, tools, materials, etc.
  • Donkeys are a valuable way of transportation in the eastern country.
  • Many times you will also see a man riding his donkey while the wife walks behind carrying packages.

I. The Delivered Donkey

A) Jewish Donkeys

  • Jews had a strict dietary rule that God had set for them as a standard of living and obedience to the Law was rewarded with blessings.
  • There were two kinds of animals, clean and unclean.
  • Donkeys were considered to be unclean.
  • From the moment of the birth of a donkey, it is condemned.
  • We like donkeys, are condemned at birth because of Adam’s sin and our father is the devil.
  • Jesus said in John 8:42 (KJV)…Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
  • Many preachers and pastors may say… These verses only apply to the Jews. This is totally correct! BUT, wouldn’t God have the same standard for all His children and not just the Gentiles or Jews?
  • The problem with the Jews here is that they do not accept God’s Son (Jesus Christ) as Jesus pointed out “…If God were your Father, ye would love me:”
  • How did Jesus know that they did not love Him? Some would say… “He’s God He knows everything.” Yes, that would be true.
  • BUT, Jesus wanted them to see themselves as they are…naked without Christ (unclothed with the righteousness of Christ), “donkeys” (Stubborn in their beliefs, rituals and traditions not considering the Christ of Calvary).
  • These Jews were donkeys that needed to be delivered from hell for not believing in God’s Son Jesus Christ.
  • Christ became the ultimate sacrifice that would bring the Jews or Gentiles relief from having to sacrifice animals for the redemption of their souls.
  • Christ revealed their sin to them and I want to reveal that same sin in you donkeys this morning!
  • Jesus said in the following verse of John 8:44 (KJV)…Ye are of your father the devil, meaning that they were sons of the devil.
  • Do you know what son’s do? They emulate (copy) their fathers. What the father does, the son does.
  • A son will have if not all but some of the characteristics of the father.
  • In this case, Jesus said they emulate the sin of their father “the devil.”
  • The Jews claimed to be “sons of God,” but their actions proved to be otherwise.  
  • Now then, Jesus lists their actions/sins…
  • “…and the lusts of your father ye will do.” The word “lust” means to have a strong passionate desire for bad or evil things. It is kin to the word “covet.” Remember the Law of God established in the 10 commandments… Exodus 20:17…”thou shalt not covet…” The word “covet means to have a strong desire for something that does not belong to you.  God is sinless. Sin does not belong to God. Since we are His children sin does not belong to us either.
  • “He was a murderer from the beginning,” Who did Satan kill? Adam and Eve. He did not shoot, stab or physically kill them. Satan killed them “spiritually.” God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:17…But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. God did not mean “physically die,” he meant “spiritually die.” The spiritual relationship with God was damaged, not as close as before, trust was ruined, love was hurt, the close bond was now loosened.
  • QUESTION; Who did the Jews murder spiritually? The Jews and Gentiles converted from Judaism to Christianity. Like Saul of Tarsus, they kept telling them that they were following a false prophet. The Jewish leaders denounced every doctrine Jesus taught.
  • “…and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Every word out of their mouth was a lie. Has anyone here experienced meeting a person like that? You cannot have a relationship built on lies because you cannot trust anything they say. It creates doubt in everything they say and do. Satan loves to create doubt, especially in new converts.
    “…When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” God is not a liar. God is truth.

B) A Redeemed (delivered) Donkey

  • Where does the “donkey” mentioned in Exodus 34 fit in all this? Let us look…
  • This is the Law of God established for the Jews to follow in Exodus 34:20a…But the firstling of an ass (donkey) thou shalt redeem with a lamb: STOP right there!
    • the firstling means …the first born male of a donkey.
    • “thou shalt redeemmeaning that you have to buy back his relationship to you. You must rescue his lost relationship by paying a price to bring it into the family.

This was a requirement of the Jews first born male baby as well. Look at verse 20d… All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem.

  • This Law goes back to Exodus 13:1… And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2) Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
  • Do you remember right before this law was passed that God had sent His last plague upon the Egyptians for Pharaoh’s stubbornness (Like a donkey) and kill all the first born sons.
  • What would redeem the first born sons? The blood sacrifice of a lamb put on the doorposts of their house.

C) Unredeemed Donkey

  • Now look at Exodus 34:20b…and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
  • This sounds cruel to “…break his neck.”
  • Today the animal activists would be all over the high priests for their actions.
  • Understand this…a redeemed person/donkey belongs to God. An unredeemed person/donkey belongs to Satan.
  • To not break the donkey’s neck is to allow him to “live.” Jesus Christ our redeemer has purchased our sins with His blood on the cross to DELIVER our souls from “death” (separation from God, doomed for hell).
  • If we do not believe in Jesus Christ, our necks are broken, we are dead to God. Separated from Him.
  • The donkey is delivered from death, by the sacrifice of a lamb.
  • The Donkey is delivered from “death” unto “life”

D) Are You a Delivered Donkey?

  • Just as a lamb had to be sacrificed to deliver a donkey’s life, so did the lamb of God (Jesus Christ) have to be sacrificed to deliver our souls from death unto life.
  • Mark 9:31…For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
  • Did you know…
  • Donkeys have a cross on their back.
  • Mary rode on a donkey into Bethlehem to deliver the Son of God who would deliver man’s soul from hell.
  • Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem right before his death on the cross. Jesus had to fulfill all prophecy of the Messiah promised to the Jews. One of the prophecies was found in Zechariah 9:9 (KJV) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

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