The Five Donkeys (Dead and Christmas)

The Five Donkeys
Judges 15:15

I. The Delivered Donkey

  • Delivered or redeemed by the blood of a lamb or The Lamb.

II. The Disturbed (Speaking) Donkey

  • What it saw – God’s direction being shown
  • What it felt – The Holy Spirit guiding
  • What it was carrying – a rebellious carnal nature

III. The Difficult Donkey

  • We Christians being the difficult un-surrendered donkey.


IV. The Dead (slaying) Donkey

A) Painting the scene

  • I believe that in order to get the full story here, we need to look back a bit.
  • This account here in Judges was in a time of darkness for Israel when the Philistines had persecuted Israel for 20 years.
  • Now enters Samson on the scene born in chapter 13, and his parents followed God’s leading in that Samson was to take a Nazarite vow.
  •  The Nazarite vow was…
    • Judges 13:4a… Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink,
    • Verse 4b…and eat not any unclean thing: (remember that a donkey was considered an unclean animal)
    • 5a) For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head:
    • Verse 5b…for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
  • The scene is this…
    • A country has sinned against God.
    • A county’s judgment from God was to be under Philistine dominance for 20 years (Judges 14:4).
    • A country needs redemption, a savior (Samson) is sent.
    • The redeemer sins by marrying a Philistine woman which is one of the 7 nations Israel was forbidden to marry.
  • This is an example for us to take note of and apply this to our life.

B) NOTE this

  • As children of God, we will be judged for sin.
  • God has grace and mercy by giving us redemption
  • It only takes one person or one family, or one church, or one nation to change wickedness and sin that is camped at a doorstep.
  • It is not always that a “perfect” person must be used of God to accomplish His will for us, a country, a church, a family, etc.
  • God can use strange things to do His work.

C) Being dead and still used of God  

  • Now look at our text of Judges 15:15… And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
  • What is meant by a new jawbone?” According to all commentaries that I have read, it is a jawbone that is in its putrefied state. Meaning that the donkey had died a few days ago and its body was in decay.
  • God gave Samson the strength to kill these 1000 men who were taunting Samson. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND… this is not God saying it is alright to get even with people who taunt, tease or intimidate God’s children.
  • This is God granting Samson the power to show Israel that He was with them in spite of their lack in trusting God.
  • My question has always been… “Why the jawbone?” I mean, why not use the leg of the donkey that is more like a bat or club?
  • The head of anything or anyone is the place where the brain is, and is considered to be what rules the body. This is why Christ is considered to be the “head” of the church. The president or King is “head” of the country. The husband is head of the family.
  • By Samson using the head of the donkey, it showed Israel that God can use a redeemed dead animal to demonstrate His power to defeat any enemy or threat that Israel might have.
  • Judges 15:16…And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. 17) And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.
  • Once the work is accomplished by the dead donkey’s jawbone, it is discarded (thrown away).
  • This also gives to us the importance of our life to be lived for God.
  • We are to always be used of God no matter what happens and many times our life may be used to continue to bless others after we are dead.
  • A dead donkey can be used to Glorify God.

V. The Christmas Donkey

A) A useful donkey

  • Look in Luke 2:4…And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
  • From Nazareth to Bethlehem was a 75 mile journey which could take up to 4 days traveling in the winter.
  • For a pregnant woman to walk that much could be hazardous to the mother and her child.
  • A donkey would be very useful in supporting an expectant mother.
  • I call this donkey the Christmas donkey.
  • This donkey was more than likely a redeemed donkey used for the purpose of God to carry The Redeemer.
  • This donkey was used to make a burden light, as Jesus too would make our burdens light.
  • This donkey would bring comfort to the mother of Jesus just as Jesus gave us a comforter.
  • This donkey was more than likely a donkey with a cross on its back which signified the cross for which the savior would later be hung on to redeem His chosen.
  • The Bible does not say that Mary rode a donkey.
  • Mere facts prove it as it was a popular way of travel for long distances.

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