The Bible tells us about two kinds of Asses, one in the OT, the other in NT.
What did I learn from the Ass in the Old Testament?
And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. (Numbers 22:23)
In a believers (followers) relationship with a Pastor or servant of God (leader), there comes times when the leader is obstinate about doing something out of their own passion rather than waiting to receive God’s command. That is never good, because obedience is always better than sacrifice. If the leader has been blinded by his own passion then God uses the follower. The ass saw the angel of the Lord blocking the way, and it turned aside. Not knowing why the ass did so, Balaam beat the ass. Leaders, often, when consumed by their own spiritual pride, will hurt the follower. It takes quite a humble follower to bear his master’s yoke.
We see this beating repeated in the next few verses, till 29, when eventually God opens the mouth of a dumb ass.
And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. (Numbers 22:30)
The ass was beaten thrice, for no fault of his, as he tried to turn away from the angel blocking the way. This was the first time he seemingly was disobeying his master. He wasn’t going in the way his master was leading him. Why? Because God’s word was in the way of Balaam’s way. Yet, the ass had a good testimony before his master because he had never gone against his master ever before. Except now, when God placed his angel in the way to get Balaam to see the light.
And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. (Numbers 22:32, 33)
The angel of God would have slain Balaam if the ass would have moved forward. When God opened the eyes of Balaam, he saw the error of his ways. The ass loved Balaam, and was faithful to him. His faithfulness, and love for Gods Word saved Balaam.
Sometimes, our leaders will go against the word of God. We must be relentless, and be faithful to Gods word despite the leaders beatings or accusations. We must keep Gods word because it has the power to save the very leader who was called by God for us.
Be an Ass who loves the Lord, delights in His Word. Be humble so the Lord will lift you up in due time. Trust in God, lean not on your own understanding.