Balak Calls Balaam
This Torah Portion, Balak, begins with Israel camped on the border between the Moabites and the Amorites, poised to enter the Promised Land. The presence of nearly 3 million Israelites causes the King of Moab, Balak, considerable discomfort! He is well aware of their military conquests of the nations around him, and he also knows he cannot defeat them. So King Balak seeks to implement the only tactic he knows – magic! He sends for Balaam, the famous sorcerer from the land of the Euphrates River, to curse Israel so they will fall to Balak.
Now Balaam knows God by His personal name, Yahovah, but he’s also on a first-name basis with all the “little g” gods…which is a must in his line of work! So, after a series of negotiations with Balak (and attempted negotiations with God), Balaam travels 300 miles to Moab to seal the deal with Balak. On the way, however, God explains to Balaam very clearly – by speaking through his donkey – that Balaam may only speak to Israel the words that God Himself will give him.
Balaam’s Blessings Upon Israel
Instead of cursing Israel (“whom God has blessed, no man can curse”), Balaam inexplicably blesses them four times:
Blessing #1: Israel will be as numerous as the sands of the sea.
Blessing #2: God dwells among His People.
Blessing #3: Israel will inherit The Land.
Blessing #4: Israel’s King will possess their enemies. (In this fourth blessing is the “Star Out of Jacob” Messianic prophecy, predicting the First and Second Comings of Yeshua!)
The Doctrine of Balaam
Needless to say, Balak is not pleased that Balaam has blessed Israel. The two men depart…but not before Balaam gives Balak some advice that he does use: Balaam advises Balak to populate his nation’s border with Israel with all the pretty, young Moabite girls; over time, they will seduce the young Israelite men, lure them away from Yahovah, and cause them to worship their pagan gods. This co-mingling will bring about decay from within and cause Israel to crumble; the pagan nations will overtake them “without firing a shot.”
The take-away from this Portion is: God uses Gentiles and non-believers to speak and act His Word: i.e., Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, Herod, Caiaphas, to name a few. And, in the future, He will use one more world ruler: Antichrist. So, how are we Believers to know who is speaking God’s Truth? The answer: By their fruit; and to whom they give the Glory!