This parasha is so significant at this time. Yesterday was the 17th of Tammuz – the fast of the fourth month (Zechariah 8) when King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and three weeks later on the 9th of Av the second temple was destroyed.
We know that from ancient days past, countless kingdoms and nations have aimed their swords at Israel to bring destruction over the land that Adonai Elohim has declared holy unto Him. The times have not changed and just as the kingdoms past have aimed their weapons at Israel and her people then, so they continue to make war with the chosen nation today. Balaks and Bil’ams will appear in every generation and it is for us and the people of Israel, to whom we are grafted into, to stand in unity. Unity is what will bring us under the covering of Father’s glory cloud and unity is what will usher in the coming of Messiah! This story speaks of so many of these aspects of this prophecy and as you read may your spirits be stirred to search out more and more of Father’s treasures and His revelation for such a time as this!
What is so profound to me is how fearful Balak was on Israel – if only Israel had known this – how much their God was feared, perhaps they would have been moved to a greater reverence. SO great was Balak’s fear that he knew he could not attack them with mere manmade weapons or the warfare they had used against so many other nations. Balak also knew that if he cursed Israel, he would be curse himself and so in his earthly wisdom he sent for Bil’am to bring a curse over Israel – passing the buck so to speak.
There are many parallels or contranyms between the story of Avraham and Bil’am and these show us the incredible power our choices wield over our lives and our generations to come:
- Both men saw angels – Avraham through his walk of testing and obedience, Bil’am for his insistence of choosing the wrong path
- Both men saddled donkeys – Avraham in obedience and on his way to offer his son of promise, Bil’am in an attempt to meet Balak to curse the children of promise
- Both men left their country – Avraham in obedience to the voice of Adonai Elohim on route to land of promise and Bil’am to bring ruin to the people of promise
- Both men were tested – Avraham grew in maturity and a deeper relationship with Adonai but Bil’am chose to try and justify his actions and he attempted to manipulate and bribe Elohim to allow him to bring curses on the tribes
Imagine for a moment the state of Bil’am’s heart. How would you respond if you had heard from HaShem? How would you respond if you had heard a donkey speak and met with an angel? I know many of us have longed for such encounters – how many opportunities did Bil’am have to make teshuva and turn away from the path he had stepped on?
What if Bil’am had responded to the call of HaShem? What if he had chosen to align himself with HaShem’s nation of glory and with HaShem himself. Imagine the glory and then see the ramification of Bil’am’s actions – a plague brought about by sexual immorality – a golden beast of another kind – and then we read of the teachings of Bil'am continuing on until the end of days in Revelation 2:14.
Many read Bil’am’s blessings over Israel and yes, these are profound words spoken through the mighty hand of HaShemh could not utter a word of cursing against the land but this did not stop him from bringing war on Father’s children.
I have stopped at this place and considered the many opportunities we have had in our lives to step away from sin. It brings to mind the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]." (AMP)
Every time sin crouches at our door, HaShem has already given us a way out. We may not have physical encounters with angels (although I have heard of a few testimonies of this) but our Father is faithful to watch over us and lead us into paths of righteousness – why do we not take them?
I have had many a moment and been guilty of this myself, when I have blamed the enemy for a situation that he had nothing to do with – it was all based on my decision step into sin. We cannot blame the enemy for the choices we make, we choose our response everyday and it is something we must take ownership of and then just get down on our knees and repent. “It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, Because His [tender] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
We have opportunities each day to turn away from a sinful choice – be they large or small. May we choose wisely each day as we serve our King Yeshua – may we choose His ways overs ours and may we grow in reverence of our King most High that sin will not have an opportunity to consume us.
Baruch HaShem and shavua tov.