Parashat Balak: Numbers 22:2-25:9
Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone who identified himself with great pride as a “Christian”. It is precisely individuals like this one, who cause me to prefer to identify myself as simply a follower of Yeshua. The term “Christian” is far too inclusive and many people who use it to describe themselves have beliefs which are very different than those beliefs revealed in the Bible. This individual did not respond to something I said, but to a verse I quoted. He said, “I know that the Old Testament says this, but I am a believer in the New Testament”. I remarked that “I believe both the Old and New Testaments, and with proper hermeneutical principles there are no conflicts between the message of the Old Testament to that of the New Testament”. This person believed that with the advent of Yeshua that much of the Old Testament, especially the prophecies of G-d’s judgment, were rendered null and void.
The passage which was the basis for our disagreement was that G-d would judge Edom prior to the establishment of the Kingdom. He believed that all judgment by G-d was complete in the cross and there was no longer any place for those Scriptures which spoke to such condemnation. I believe that only those who receive Yeshua have the benefit of His death as the redemption for their sins.
In this week’s Torah reading, a Gentile prophet received a message for the last days. This prophet was Bilam and the text clearly states that the prophecy he received was for the last days (See Numbers 24:14). Edom will war with Israel in the last days and the nations will join with Edom to attempt to destroy not just the Jewish people, but the very plan of G-d to carry out His desire to bless man by means of redemption. One reads in this parashah concerning Edom,
“And from Jacob One will come down and He destroy the survivor from the city.”
Who is this One? The prophet Isaiah answered this question when he prophesied,
“Who is this coming from Edom, soiled garments from Bozrah? This One is majestic in His attire, girded with the abundance of His power. I am speaking in righteousness, mighty to save. Why is red Your attire and Your garments as one who treads the wine vat? I have alone trampled the wine press and from peoples there was no man with Me. I trampled them in My anger and trod them in My wrath and sprinkled their eternity upon My garments and all My clothes were soiled, for the day of vengeance is in My heart and the year of redemption has come. And I looked and there was no helper, I was amazed there was no supporter and My arm (Son) made salvation for Me, and My wrath supported Me.”
The One who is the subject of this prophecy is Messiah Yeshua. When one allows human reason and intellect to govern theology, rather than the Word of G-d, it robs much of the revelation from the Scriptures. G-d will indeed judge Edom and all the nations who will join with him in the last days to make war against Israel. It is truly an encouragement when one sees how the Scriptures work together and have one clear message of what G-d is going to do.
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