Torah Portion: Balak (Bamidbar) Numbers 22-25
HafTorah: Micah 5:6-6:8
NT II Peter 2:1-22, Jude 11, Rev. 2:14-15
This week we look at a very interesting story. It concerns Balak, King of Moab and a Gentile prophet named Balaam. We read of the fear of Balak when he becomes aware of the approaching Israelites. Should he have been afraid? No. Why? The Moabites were descendants of Lot. In D’Varim (Deut) 2:9 G-d tells Israel they are not to disturb Moab because they are cousins and G-d has given them their own land. So actually Balak had nothing to fear. He just didn’t know it. How often we fear what has no real threat because we do not know who we are as G-d’s children. Balak’s response to Israel, in Numbers 22:3, is much like Pharaoh’s reaction in Exodus 1:9. Another parallel we see here is when Balak calls to Balaam in Numbers 22:6 he echoes G-d’s word to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. What is odd is that with Abraham, it is G-d who blessed. Here Balak thought this power rested with Balaam. In fact Balak seals his own fate by trying to curse Israel.