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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You’re absolutely right about this. It’s frustrating that some call themselves Christian but don’t accept the “whole counsel” of the word of G-d. There are prophecies in the B’rit Chadasha (New Testament) that are incomplete without the Tanakh (Old Testament) to help explain them particularly the book of Daniel in explaining Revelation. It’s also frustrating for me to hear people say they only believe what Yeshua said but everything else could be interpreted as coming from man and so could be wrong. Yet, Yeshua never physically wrote about anything He said. As with the rest of the Bible, witnesses inspired by Ruach HaKodesh wrote it. Yeshua, Himself often quoted from the Tanakh thereby confirming its legitimacy. He also met with Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) during the configuration. And what Christian can deny the emotional and edifying impact of Tehillim (Psalm)? Truth is not truth if it is not whole or any part is false. To know the whole truth one must accept both testaments. I agree that “Christian” has become a confusing and practically meaningless term for those who firmly hold to the teachings of the Bible. I think we all need to start adopting some other reference term–follower of Yeshua, Believer, follower of The Way…..something to set us apart. The word “holiness” means “set apart” and that is most certainly lacking in many who call themselves Christian.
Dear Brother and fellow Follower of Yeshua,
Amen and Amen.
I have been told basically the same thing by a pastor of a mega church here in Florida. I think that so many people are saying that they live by grace and continue to live by the worldly standards of humanism rather than following the intimate steps that Yeshua has placed in front of us to follow. Yeshua’s grace is not a license to sin but the power and strength that comes from Him not to sin.
Sorry–meant “transfiguration” rather than “configuration”.
I believe that with Adonai there are no gray areas. He gave us the Torah so we may know who he is and what he expect of us if we want to serve him. Today Christianity look at God chosen people as if they lost their pace in line and they seem to have moved ahead of them because of Yeshua. God says that he never changes. Numbers 23:19 it says” God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind. When he say something, he will do it; when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it. Yeshua said that he did not come to abolish but to fulfill. This is my point Christians condemn the Jews for rejecting Yeshua, but they have rejected God by not following his commandments and honoring the Sabbath. So in reality both are in the same boat, because they reject what God has provided for them to live.
For most of us Christianity has been our stepping stone in finding the truth, and for some they stop searching when they feel comfortable because they see how God can fit into their lifestyle without changing to much about themselves. Knowing the truth is all about changing…about setting ourselves apart from the desires of this world in order to follow in the footsteps of Yeshua. We not only need to reach out to our Jewish brothers and sisters but to our Christians brothers and sisters as well. God is good!