Dear Nathan, I was reading and meditating in Joel about God pouring out of His Spirit upon all flesh and it occurred to me that it may refer to all animal life as well. I have never read or heard anyone suggest this before and wondered what you think? We know that when God governs there will be peace and harmony in the animal world – the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, etc. We know that Balaam’s ass spoke after an encounter with God’s Spirit so it’s not a crazy concept. Would be interested to know if you have any thoughts.
I think you are on to something here. The most important pouring out of the Spirit will be on all of Adam’s race, but I do think that there will be significant results in the animal world as well. Since animals are put under the rule of Adamkind, they fell into many calamities when we decided to choose Satan’s way rather than God’s. They were brought down with us, and will be brought back up with us as well. We can see this clearly in Isaiah 11:6-9.
6. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
7. The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
This passage clearly shows the changes that will take place in the animal kingdom when the kingdom of God comes to earth at last. The only question is what causes this? It could very well be the pouring out of the Spirit on the animals. It is hard to conceive of such a result taking place without the intervention of God, and that intervention would be through His Spirit. We don’t know for sure when this will take place, but at the same time that He pours His Spirit out on all Adamkind is a very good guess.
I think Balaam’s donkey talked because it was actually God talking through the donkey. It seems doubtful that a donkey could talk otherwise. I see little reason from the Scriptures to think that God will ever give animals their own voices to speak our language. However, we cannot rule out the possibility completely.
Thanks for the great question. Keep studying the Word!