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The Day a Mule Talked

(flip over drawing below)THEME FROM LIFE: Be obedient to God so He doesn’t have to take drastic measures to correct you. Bible story is from Numbers 22.


1 Balaam’s face outline
2 Chin whiskers
3 Nose/mouth
4 Eyes
5 Leather cap with strap
6 Sprawling beard
7 Flip over


“Jimmy, sometimes you are as stubborn as a mule!” Those were the angry words of Jimmy’s mom as she appeared to give up trying to get him to put away his toys. (Begin to draw step number 1) Perhaps she was just trying to express her frustration for not being able to get him to obey her. But for Jimmy the statement was confusing. Did she mean he looked like a mule…a donkey? And what was this word stubborn? Well needless to say, this did not mean he looked like a mule. She simply meant he had a bad attitude toward doing what he was told to do. He didn’t want to obey.
(Begin to draw the picture of Balaam’s whiskers with step number 2) You see, mules have gained a reputation of being non-cooperative, disobedient. (As you keep talking, draw step numbers 3 and 4, the nose, mouth and eyes) Just ask any frustrated farmer who has ever owned one. A mule may work for a time and then suddenly, without warning, it wants to quit! It begins by just stopping in its tracks and standing still. The farmer may slap it with the reigns, and when that doesn’t work, he may get in front of the mule and try to pull it. It’s just about then the mule decides to sit down, and may even begin to bray with it’s loud “Hee haw. Hee haw.” Then the exasperated farmer may become very angry and get violent, or he may just give up and walk away with a few irate comments. Chances are the mule and it’s unyielding attitude will always be the same. (Draw step number 5, the leather cap with strap) Nevertheless, like Jimmy, if the bad mood continues, a child may grow to be unmanageable, unliked, and unhappy, too. Anyone can have a bad mood, but when it continues or affects others, what’s wrong is that it’s only going to get worse. Disobedience almost always leads to hurts for everyone involved.

(Draw step number 6, the sprawling beard) God’s Word tells us an interesting story about a man and his mule. The man was Balaam. This is what I think he might have looked like. He was a servant of God who was asked by a wicked king to bring God’s blessing on him. God refused to bless the king. Then Balaam was enticed by the king’s rewards and pleaded with God to please let him give the king a prayer of blessing anyway. God was not pleased with Balaam’s stubborn attitude to have things his own way.

Balaam saddled up his donkey to go to the king anyway. On the way God placed an angel in the pathway of Balaam. However, only the donkey could see it and the frightened donkey balked and turned away, for which Balaam struck it. Again the donkey balked, and it was struck again. And a third time the angel stood in the way of the frightened animal and this time when the donkey laid down, refusing to move, Balaam beat the animal hard.

Suddenly, an extraordinary thing happened! It turned to him and instead of going “Hee haw,” the Lord opened its mouth and said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have disobeyed and hurt me! I wish there were a sword in my hand for I would kill you.” Then the donkey said, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours till this day? Was I ever disobedient to you?” Balaam answered “No.” And at that moment the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the angel standing in the way and realized the donkey had saved him from making a terrible mistake. It was a mistake that would have cost him his life for disobeying God. He wanted to do his own thing instead of obeying God! You see, God sometimes says “No.” Like our parents when they sometimes have to say “No” to our requests for our own good, God too, knows what is best for us and sometimes says “No” to keep us from harm.

Now the rest is your choice. When you are being stubborn, do want to be like a…mule? (Pause in what you say so that as you flip over they can see the mule as you say “Mule?”) Or, do you want to learn from Balaam’s mistakes and please God? (Repeat the flip over 2 times so all can see both pictures again and standby for the “Oohs” and “Aahs” from the audience.)

I think we can learn a lot from the mule! Let’s do what we are told to do. It’s very possible God has placed an angel in our pathway to protect us and keep us from harm. The next time your parents have to say “No” to you, you might take a look around and think. There just might be an angel from God giving wisdom to your parent to help guide you to do the right thing, instead of your doing own thing.

(This might be a good time to close your segment with prayer for you message to have had an impact on those who saw it.)

Copyright © Rev. Dave Winchell

This sample lesson is from the downloadable e-book “The Art of Drawing People to Christ Vol. 1.

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