Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. (Psalm 32:9)
Picture God’s people as a farmyard of all sorts of animals. God cares for his animals, he shows them where they need to go, and supplies a barn for their protection.
But there is one beast on this animal farm that gives God an awful time, namely, the mule. He’s stupid and he’s stubborn and you can’t tell which comes first — stubbornness or stupidity.
Now the way God likes to get his animals into the barn for their food and shelter is by teaching them that they all have a personal name and then calling them by name. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go” (Psalm 32:8).
But the mule will not respond to that sort of direction. He is without understanding. So God gets in his pick-up truck and goes out in the field, puts the bit and bridle in the mule’s mouth, hitches it to the truck, and drags him stiff-legged and snorting all the way into the barn.
That is not the way God wants his animals to come to him for blessing and protection.
One of these days it is going to be too late for that mule. He’s going to get clobbered with hail and struck by lightning, and when he comes running, the barn door is going to be shut.
Therefore, don’t be like the mule. “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle.”
Instead, let everyone who is godly come to God in prayer at a time when he may be found (Psalm 32:6).
The way not to be a mule is to humble ourselves, to come to God in prayer, to confess our sins, and to accept, as needy little farmyard chicks, the direction of God into the barn of his protection and provision.