Balak בָּלָק - Balak
Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
Reading #7 - Numbers 24:14–25:9
Chapter 25 we read about Israel “joining” with the prostitutes and sacrificing to the gods of Baal. Hashem is angry and causes a plague that kills thousands. Hashem does not like it when we go to worship other “gods”. This weekend I am at a family reunion. Things are done very differently in my extended family. They eat pork, drink heavily, swear, etc. But, I love them. They are very special people. We try to enjoy time with them, but it almost feels like I am hanging with the Moabites. I justify doing things that I would not necessarily do. We need to be careful. We need to choose Hashem over man. I’m working on it.
Phinehas stands up for righteousness. Some people think that he could have risked being charged for murder. But, he did not. Think about the times you have stood up for what was right. Were you willing to risk your life? There have been times where I have tried to defend the defenseless through the pro-life movement. I counseled young pregnant women for years who wanted abortions and tried to show them a different way. I never risked my life, but I did spend a large part of my life working very hard alongside Hashem to save a baby from being aborted. My challenge to you is to take a look at your life. Watch for opportunities to do what is right, even if it costs you something. Then do it. Hashem will stand with you.
Reading #7 - Numbers 24:14–25:9
14 Now, behold, I go to my people. Come, I will inform you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days.”
15 He took up his parable, and said,
“Balaam the son of Beor says,
the man whose eyes are open says;
16 he says, who hears the words of Elohim
knows the knowledge of the Most High,
and who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down, and having his eyes open:
17 I see him, but not now.
I see him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob.
A scepter will rise out of Israel,
and shall strike through the corners of Moab,
and crush all the sons of Sheth.
18 Edom shall be a possession.
Seir, his enemy, also shall be a possession,
while Israel does valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob shall one have dominion,
and shall destroy the remnant from the city.”
20 He looked at Amalek, and took up his parable, and said,
“Amalek was the first of the nations,
But his latter end shall come to destruction.”
21 He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said,
“Your dwelling place is strong.
Your nest is set in the rock.
22 Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted,
until Asshur carries you away captive.”
23 He took up his parable, and said,
“Alas, who shall live when Elohim does this?
24 But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim.
They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber.
He also shall come to destruction.”
25 Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.
25:1 Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab; 2 for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods. The people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 Israel joined himself to Baal Peor, and Hashem’s anger burned against Israel. 4 Hashem said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Hashem before the sun, that the fierce anger of Hashem may turn away from Israel.”
5 Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Everyone kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor.”
6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 7 When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the middle of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 He went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. 9 Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.
Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8
Micah is basically talking about the faithfulness of Hashem. Through defense, through love -- He always takes care of us. And what does He require in return? In verse 6:8 we learn “What does Hashem require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim.” He wants these special things from us. These are traits that Hashem has and that He extends through us. Let us make sure we are loving Him and loving others. Truly loving. Are you?
We are reminded in 6:4 that Hashem has delivered us from bondage. Then and now. Let us never forget that we do not need to live a life of being enslaved to anything. Through prayer and action we can follow Him and be delivered. It’s just finding that path. My challenge to you today is that you praise Hashem for all He has given you and ask Him to help you to be delivered in the areas that you need deliverance. Do it today, so that you can finally find peace and happiness. Don’t give up. Seek Him in this area.
5:6 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod in its gates.
He will deliver us from the Assyrian,
when he invades our land,
and when he marches within our border.
7 The remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples,
like dew from Hashem,
like showers on the grass,
that don’t wait for man,
nor wait for the sons of men.
8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
among many peoples,
like a lion among the animals of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep;
who, if he goes through, treads down and tears in pieces,
and there is no one to deliver.
9 Let your hand be lifted up above your adversaries,
and let all of your enemies be cut off.
10 “It will happen in that day”, says Hashem,
“that I will cut off your horses out from among you,
and will destroy your chariots.
11 I will cut off the cities of your land,
and will tear down all your strongholds.
12 I will destroy witchcraft from your hand;
and you shall have no soothsayers.
13 I will cut off your engraved images and your pillars out from among you;
and you shall no more worship the work of your hands.
14 I will uproot your Asherah poles out from among you;
and I will destroy your cities.
15 I will execute vengeance in anger,
and wrath on the nations that didn’t listen.”
6 Listen now to what Hashem says:
“Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 Hear, you mountains, Hashem’s indictment,
and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for Hashem has a case against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
3 My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you?
4 For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and redeemed you out of the house of bondage.
I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of Hashem.”
6 How shall I come before Hashem,
and bow myself before the exalted Elohim?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will Hashem be pleased with thousands of rams?
With tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my disobedience?
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good.
What does Hashem require of you, but to act justly,
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?
Apostolic Writing: Matthew 21:1-11
Yeshua is fulfilling a “Messianic” prophecy by riding a donkey. The week of His death, He exposes to the public who He is. He is the Mashiach they have been praying and waiting for. Some got caught up in the excitement and welcomed Him. But just a few days later, they forget and forsake Him. They allow Him to be crucified without a fight. Is that all He really wanted? Maybe if there had been even a small display of rebellion against the Romans, maybe just maybe, the Mashiach would have reacted to the support and performed some huge miracle of deliverance. But, people did not defend Him, they just watched as He was crucified. They stood -- being scared of the Romans.
When asked who the man on the donkey was they said He was the prophet. They did not announce at this time that He was the Mashiach. Even though He was fulfilling prophecy by riding a donkey, they still only recognized Him as a prophet. They really didn’t understand yet who He was. I think that is true today. Many people have heard or read about Yeshua but they don’t understand who He was. That is where we come in. It is important that we share who Yeshua was and how He taught Torah. Most important how He pointed everything to Hashem. Many people have not been raised in a family that has taught them about Yeshua, and they have not been to a church to learn. We lead by example and by being a “light” -- so that others want to know why we are so happy and content! We need to help the world to know that Yeshua is Mashiach and is coming back again. Right?
Apostolic Writing: Matthew 21:1-11
21:1 When they came near to Jerusalem and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Yeshua sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The L-rd needs them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
behold, your King comes to you,
humble, and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did just as Yeshua commanded them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them; and He sat on them. 8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The multitudes who went in front of him, and those who followed, kept shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-rd! Hosanna in the highest!” Psalm 118:26
10 When He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”
11 The multitudes said, “This is the prophet, Yeshua, from Nazareth of Galilee.”