13.1-16 God uses Donkeys


We left off seeing 600,000 men – or close to 3 million people counting women & Children – Dressed like Backpackers leaving Egypt .

  1. Described in Ch.12 as having their Loins girded = readiness
  2. Walking Sticks in hand / Sandals on their feet / On their backs were their cooking stuff / Kneading Bowls – their Dough


  1. That is exactly what they were doing – heading off on a Journey to the land of Promise !!!! Pilgrims & Sojourners

  1. Saw last week first place was SUCCOTH = BOOTHS or TENTS

It is what we might call TENT TOWN !!!!



  1. If they would have went straight from Egypt to the Promised land – it would have only taken 11 days
  2. But the Lord intended that the Journey would take one full yr. – because there were 7 different stops / 7 campsites / including 3months @ Sinai

  1. At each one there was a Lesson to be Learned / Stretching & a work to be done !!!!

  1. See it was one thing for the Lord to get His people out of Egypt – that was Easy – ( few Plagues Etc. )

  1. Easy thing to get His People out of Egypt / but it was another thing to get Egypt out of His People

  1. That was going to take some time – that was going to be a Process – that God was seeking to work in them – On this Journey

What was True for them is also true for us

  1. Egypt is a type of the World / flesh/ easy to get us out of the World
  2. God did that when He sent His Son !!!( Jesus did the Work)

  3. But getting the world out of us to the point where we learn to walk in the Spirit & not by the flesh that is a whole another thing

  1. Process that we call Sanctification !!!

  1. John 14 – Going to prepare a place for You ( what He has done )

  1. But presently He is preparing us for that Place !!!!

  1. That is a great thing for us to Understand - / that is a fundamental truth / this life is a Journey ( Pilgrims & on this journey – lessons )

  1. refining - / fine tuning – all the while The Lord is Preparing us for Eternity !!!!

  1. Fail to see that this life is going to be Confusing & Depressing & every Challenge that Happens every Obstacle we face(wondering where is God)

  1. But if I understand this I can view everything that happens through that Lens of – this is happening to Prepare me for Eternity !!!

  1. The Trial the Difficulty is all a part of His Plan to make me more like Jesus !!!!!!


So the initial journey was to last a year 7 stops / campsites /7 lessons

  1. But once they did reach the Promised land – they doubted – ending up spending an extra 38 yrs in the Wilderness !!!!
  2. READ V.1,2

  3. Why the First Born ? -

  1. Think just left Egypt where the whole nation was mourning the death of the First Born

  1. But the Lord had told Pharaoh Israel is my First Born

  1. God wanted them to Remember this by Consecrating their first born to Him

CONSECRATE - Means to set apart for a sacred use

A) It was God's intention that the ELDEST son would be consecrated to serve the Lord

B) It was God's intention that the first born son of every house in Israel

would serve in the priesthood

  1. But later on in the Book of Exodus when the Israelites defiled w/ the golden calf – 3000 thousand were struck dead

C)The Lord asked for men to step forward & clean up the Situation & deal

w/ those who sinned – Levi’s were the ones who did

  1. From that time only the Levites could serve as priests in Israel

  1. But initially it was the Lord’s Desire that the First Born would be set apart for the Ministry !!!


  1. He wants and deserves the FIRST and the BEST that we have
  2. So this speaks to us as parents to be Consecrating our Children to the Lord for His Service

  1. So grieved by those parents who say – I don’t want my Son to be in Ministry / my daughter marry a Pastor Hard work / Long hrs/ low Pay

  1. All that is true – but – eternal Benefits are tremendous

  1. If God so calls – our Kids – I don’t want to get in the way of that

  1. Your Son / Your Daughter is not going to be happy & fulfilled Unless & Until they are Doing what God called them to do !!!!

  1. Me College – Best advice my dad ever gave me !!!!

So it speaks to us of our need to Consecrate our Children for the Lord & for His service – Full or part time

2nd It speaks to us as believer because we are untied to Jesus whom the Scriptures call Rom. 8:29 the firstborn among many brethren.

A) There is a DIGNITY and a RESPONSIBILITY that belongs to us in our union with Jesus

B) The responsibility is for us to be sanctified Set apart for the Lord's work

  1. Jesus said – John 12: 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

  1. He is the First Born among many Brethren – Born much Fruit – He desires that we would follow in His example – bearing Fruit

1) Dying to Self – Living for Christ -



So the Lord says before we pack up – Consecrate the First Born & Remember the Passover the Feast of Unleavened Bread

  1. Talked about this last week how it was to be an opportunity for INSTRUCTION- teach the Kids
  2. Note v.9 again - "It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.
  3. Combine this w/ Duet.6:8 – We get some neat insights into how the Lord desires that we keep His word – part of our Lives



6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Be in Your Heart : Meditation:

  1. God's words must be laid up on our heart, that our thoughts may be daily conversant with them and employed about them ( Influences our actions)
  2. Psalmist – Delights in it day & Night – Love studying the Bible He that loves God loves his Bible. M.H.
  3. Look for how it points to Christ - / His work !!!!

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN: HOW?– talk about it when sit in house when walk by the way / when drive in the car / when lie down / when rise up

  1. Whenever you get the Chance – ( talk about the Word ) talk about what you are reading about – what God is showing you
  2. Great if – kids & us get from just information to application

  1. This is what this means - & therefore it is going to affect my life in that way !!!!!

THEY SHALL BE ON YOUR HAND –Scrolls ( carrying bibles)

  1. Using the word – for situations – hands are a part of daily activity


SIGNS IN THE HOUSE : Pictures w/ Scripture


Get the Picture – let it be always before you !!!!!!

READ V.11-16

So here the Lord Reiterates His instructions about Consecrating the First Born accept for one little twist v. 12,13

12 "that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord's.

  1. "But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.
  1. Even The firstborn of the animals was to be sacrificed UNLESS it was
  2. redeemed with the blood of a lamb

  3. NOTE: The animal singled out...... THE DONKEY

1) The lamb represents – Jesus / Who do you think the Donkey represents ? US

C) I don't think that it was an accident that God established the concept of a Lamb redeeming and the DONKEY

1) The DONKEY is A PERFECT representative of ME and YOU



8 times the DONKEY is mentioned in the Old Testament, and they paint a picture of spiritual reality/ First 7 not a pretty Picture

A) 1st Gen. 22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled

his Donkey

B) Speaks of the ass as lacking liberty/ He is CONTROLLED, He is


Gen. 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad & I will go yonder and worship, & we will come back to you."

A) THE DONKEY was excluded from the act of worship


3rd Gen.49:14 Jacob pronouncing blessing : "Issachar is a strong Lying down between two burdens;

A) The donkey, is HEAVY LADEN

The fourth is right here in our text

These are a clear picture of you and me before coming to Jesus

A) Apart from Jesus Christ, WE lack liberty..... We were saddled with sin

Plagued, controlled

B) We were unable to worship

1) We couldn't move into worship of God in spirit and truth

C) We found ourselves BURDENED down with guilt

The illustration continues

5th Deut. 22:10 10 "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.

A) They couldn't go to the field and work- kept from service

6th 1Sam. 9:3 And the DONKEY’S of Kish Saul's father were lost.

A) The Donkey is seen as lost , wandering off away from there owner

7th Jer. 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

  1. He couldn't be buried in Jerusalem/ So too When we die apart from Christ, we are locked out of the New Jerusalem
  2. Each of these SEVEN illustrations speak to us in light of our condition BEFORE being saved..... But there is ONE more

1) As we consider this last reference we would do well to bear in mind that the number eight is the number of NEW BEGINNINGS

Zech. 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

This is Great That CURSED, STUBBORN, SENSELESS, USELESS BEAST is the one Jesus to ride upon WHY?

A) Because Jesus like to use Donkeys :Because Jesus is saying to ME:

B) "Rob I want to use you" "Even though you are saddled with sin, burdened with guilt, and lost, I want to REDEEM you and use you"

C) You might feel like a real donkey... like God could NEVER love you, NEVER use you

  1. You are too sinful, too stubborn

D)Exactly the type of person the Lord likes to use

Remember Jesus sent His Disciples to get the Colt tied up ( untie)

  1. Tell them that – the master has need of Him !!!!
  2. Jesus could have road on a Stallion – like Romans / but He chose to ride a Donkey – why? - ( Picture for us – ( His Humility )

  1. But Also of How He likes to ride Donkey’s like us

  1. But Note before the donkey could be Ridden it had to be released
  2. Same is true for us – Released –from bondage

1) Before – released redeemed !!!!

VERSES 17-18

There are TWO things to note about our God


A) The Lord says I'm not going to make them go in the shortest route to get to the promised land...

  1. BECAUSE if they do they will get blown away by the sight of the Philistines.... and they can't handle it.. SO I will take them another way

B) God is CONSIDERATE of you- He WON'T blow you away

He KNOWS what you can take

1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

C) Here is the Old Testament picture of that New Testament truth

2.) God's ORGANIZATION- orderly ranks – groups of 5

A) 5 is the number of GRACE in the Bible/ We are to walk in grace

Timothy be strong in the Grace

B) It is also speaks of the need of orderliness/ As we move through the wilderness towards the land of promise we need to remember that Our God does everything DECENTLY and IN ORDER

C) There is NOTHING wrong about STRUCTURE

D) The ORDER and STRUCTURE that God provides is for the purpose of FREEDOM

  1. We have a tendency to do our own thing/ Could you imagine 3 million

doing their own thing?

So As they moved through the wilderness they moved TOGETHER in a certain PATTERN

VERSE 19-20

Joseph PROPHECIED that God would take them out of Egypt and then said:

When that happens, take my bones

But Notice where they camped : at Etham on the edge of the Wilderness

  2. Edge of a Barren Wasteland – Edge of Disaster :

  1. Etham = WITH YOU - Even on the Edge of a Barren Wasteland I am w/ You !!!!

  1. You are Pilgrims & right now the Situation looks Bleak but remember I am w/ You !!!!!
  2. It is so often in those times when we are on the Edge of disaster that we learn that the Lord is really w/ us !!!!

  1. In those times that we learn of His Power / His Presence

E) Hospital Calls / Amanda – Tipping Chair – Pull over

God says here at Etham on the Edge of a Barren Wasteland I am w/ You ? How revealed - v.21,22

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.