In my annual watching of Gone With The Wind, something stood out to me that I have heard, and read, dozens of times but never hit me until this time! Mammy said something to Scarlett, which described exactly what she thought of the way that she and Mr. Butler were acting, “putting on airs”, she said they were acting like “a mule in horses clothing”! I gave some thought to that, then Googled “mule”.
I found that a mule is not such a bad thing to be. They are “more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.” Mules can carry more than 30% of their own weight, and go far distances without having to eat. Mules don’t receive medals and ribbons for their sleek, shiny bodies, or for their ability to jump the high hurdles, and they will never wear the wreath of roses at the Kentucky Derby, but if you need a reliable animal, one that can carry the burden, you call on the mule.
I looked to see if the mule was mentioned in the Bible, I was sure I would find some reference, possibly in the Proverbs, but no, nothing. What I did find was the reference of the lowly donkey. This wonderful, dependable mule is the offspring of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare). A horse has 64 chromosomes, and a donkey has 62. The mule ends up with 63. Mules can be either male or female, but, because of the odd number of chromosomes, they can’t reproduce. Their offspring, less than a year old, if a male is a colt and the female is a filly. (I found that in Wikipedia! Another fun fact is that a female donkey is called a Jenny!) OK from Wiki to the Bible…
In Numbers 22:22-25 But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord 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. Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 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. 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. “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!” “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. 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.”
This donkey was smart enough to see the Lord’s angel when his master was not. Then Matthew, Mark and Luke all recorded the story of Jesus asking the disciples to find the ass standing with a colt, He asked them to bring them to Him, they did, they put their clothes on his back and Jesus rode into Jerusalem to waving palm branches! This fulfilled the prophecy given in Zechariah chapter 9!
Someone might ask, “What’s the significance?” Next time you’re called a jackass, take it as a compliment! You come from good, strong stock, and your ancestor loaned his back to our Lord! What could be a better heritage than that? To be worthy to carry Jesus, it’s all good! Blessings to all you donkeys out there!