Donkey and Lion
“Then he went out and found the body
lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it.” 1 Kings 13:28
It was very unusual that the donkey and the lion, which had mauled the man of God to death,
were both still standing by the body. Naturally, the donkey would have run for
its life when its master was being attacked, but it didn’t happen that way.
There was no obvious reason why the lion remained with the body, as if it were
guarding the man whose life had been prematurely ended by the beast.
It only goes to show what happened to the man of God wasn’t by accident; it was by design.
Both the donkey and the lion were instruments by which the Lord carried out his
plan. The man of God defied the word of God, and the divine punishment was
Was the punishment too severe? Perhaps. But the man of God had a choice to avoid the
tragedy by doing that he was told to do. Therefore he himself was to blame, not
The whole incident could have been perceived as random, for such accidents did occur in
those days. However, people couldn’t have drawn such a conclusion, since both
the donkey and the lion still remained with the body, revealing to them the plausible
cause of the event. The man must have done something sinful to cause such an
awful thing to happen to him.
Things that we consider random may not be random at all. If all things that have ever
occurred are preordained by God, then all things that happen do have definite
causes, for God isn’t a capricious God who does things randomly.
The donkey could have run away, but it didn’t; the lion, which was responsible for the
man’s death, could have scampered away after the job was done, but it didn’t,
leaving us an inkling of the cause and effect of this particular tragedy.
All things seem to happen to us randomly every day, leaving no trace for us to reveal their
meaning. Should we just act as if they are meaningless, since they are clueless,
or should we make a conscious effort to search for the lion and donkey behind
I didn’t have a good day yesterday, why?
“As your days, so shall your strength be.” We read in Deuteronomy.
I guess I can easily locate the donkey and lion behind my not
having a good day: I didn’t spend my day bringing glory to God in all I did and
thought; that’s why I was having a bad day. My day was mis-focused and misled
and before I knew it, I was having a depressing day.
“Your life seems to be more abundant than mine,” I said to my
wife during our meal.
“How so?” Kathy was a little puzzled.
“Well, you have spent your entire day working and you ended your
day having great fellowship with your book club sisters.”
I wish I was more like my wife, whose life is focused and
well-defined, quite contrary to mine, which is more of a go-with-the-flow type
of thing. I can’t really blame anybody if I am not having a good day. It’s
really not all that hard to find the donkey and lion in what has occurred in
our daily life. We just don’t bother to find them, period.