Parashat Balak

Bamidbar (Numbers) 22:2–25:9
Our weekly portion is called "Balak", which is named after Balak, who was the king of Moav during that time. Balak summoned Balaam to curse the Children of Israel. The scriptures are unclear if Balaam was an actual prophet (with questionable character), or some kind of magician. In any case, it is very interesting that the words here remind us of God’s promise to Abraham, and to his descendants. The main difference is, however, that Balak spoke these words to Balaam, who was not a descendant of Abraham. In other words, Balak put himself in the same place as God! That always has troubling consequences...

I would also like to point out that the text reveals that the messengers had heard about the Israelites, and acknowledged their exodus from Egypt. Clearly, Balak knew that Israel were God’s people, yet he still tested God’s faithfulness. Let's see what is written in the Scriptures about this:

So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
Numbers 22:5–6

We see that God directly spoke with Balaam, and He instructs Balaam to not have anything to do with Balak. Even when Balak sends even greater princes to convince Balaam to curse the Israelites, Balaam hints that if he's paid enough, he might be persuaded:

“And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God. ”
Numbers 22:18

Balaam continued to request permission from God, as if God would change His mind about this. One must understand that God promised to bless Israel and to curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12), which means that God will not, cannot change His mind.

Balaam did end up going, and as verses 21–35 show us, God used a donkey to fulfill His will! I believe that this is so important for us to understand, as to the fact that God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His purpose, even a donkey. While Balaam ended up going to Balak, he also ended up blessing Israel, which is yet one more sign of God’s amazing faithfulness. The bottom line is this: God will accomplish His plan no matter what...even through a donkey if necessary.

I love what's written in Numbers 23:18–20; it's so important for us to understand today!

“Then he took up his discourse and said, “Arise, O Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of a man [a human is a better way to translate the Hebrew text here], that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? “Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.”

Our God is faithful to fulfill His promises! Let us also remember that God does not need us to accomplish His plan. He can work through whomever - or whatever - He desires. It is a great privilege to serve Him! We need to make a choice if we are going to be obedient to Him and serve Him with all our hearts. As I said earlier God can use anyone and anything to fulfill His will, even donkeys… will you choose God today?

Shabbat Shalom,

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3 Comments on “Parashat Balak”

  1. Blessed is The L-RD !!! HIS Words fill our minds and hearts that we should not depart from HIS commandments and statutes.

    Thank you for the parashat, Bro Moran.

  2. At one point God does say go, but he tells him make sure you say what I tell you to. So if God didn’t want he to why didn’t he just say no. I feel like there is something in here that he still need to learn. Any comments on this? I feel like God was saying ok you want to be stubborn and go anyway but you will still do as I say. Reminds me of Shaul on the road to Damuscus.

  3. I agree with Maritza, this is one of the multitude of deep rivers running throughout the Jewish Scriptures that must be studied, Prayed over and Meditated on. The most difficult teaching on Scripture is that the Word of YHWH is one continuous context from “In the beginning…” through the very last word of Revelation 22,

    That being so it is imperative that we study acknowledging that the Bible Yashuah ha’Mashiah, Shaul and the others taught Christianity from was and is the Jewish Bible, a.k.a. the Old Testament. There were not any Renewed Covenant writings until the first Saints, all Jewish, began to write their Commentaries on the Teachings of Yashua, Jesus to most.

    This generation has no idea that YHWH performed His Work in this case through a Donkey, they do not even know that our LORD protected Yisrael and that when now Little Israel is dumped on by the entire world, soon, that YHWH will cover them with His Hand as He did in this case and all of them will come to believe on Yashuah, just, as did the OT Saints that waited for His Birth and death in Abraham’s Buxom as seen in Matthew 27:50-53 where the Dead Saints march through the Holy City, on their way into Glory with YHWH,

    Very good teaching!

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