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    Hitting the donkey – Balak

    When Bilam got annoyed with his donkey he hit the animal (Num. 22:27).

    This reminds me of the time, years ago, when I was called upon to compose a prayer for the welfare of animals. I had the Bilam story in mind when I wrote, “Teach us to fulfil Your command in Scripture, ‘A righteous person knows the needs of his animal’ (Prov. 12:10)… Teach us to treat animals with kindness and concern, admonished by Bilam’s ass which rebuked its master.”

    God made human beings the pinnacle of His creation, giving man priority over other creatures. Animals were placed at the service of man but had to be treated properly, for example being fed before their human masters.

    The messianic dream is that “the wolf shall lie down with the lamb and the leopard with the kid, and a little child shall lead them” (Isa.11:6-9).

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