In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov.3;6 ב”ה
Phinehas and Balak, Satan’s and Spirit’s 5777
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.Tehillim 139:2-10
What is The Spirit of God? How are we to be Spirit led? How can we discern which spirit is leading us? I have witnessed many unfortunate examples of believers exploiting and manipulating what they have identified as the ‘Spirit of the Lord’ in order to serve their own whims and verify selfish choices in God’s Name. What do I mean? “The Spirit showed me I needed to stay away from the community and accomplish my own undertakings- forsaking gathering together because the Spirit is behind my own project.” “I just couldn’t feel the Spirit so I didn’t want to join the group.” “The Spirit told me that there was something wrong with this person so I made a judgment.” “ I was moved by the Spirit to do this…or not to do that.”
I have seen people throw away truly genuine and Godly fellowship, friendship, community, relationship and responsibility in the name of being “Spirit Led.”
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
- “You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, And You gave them water for their thirst. Nehemiah 9:20
It is my understanding that the Holy Spirit is ever active. That He is the teacher and applicant of the Divine Word of God upon our hearts and we are to be driven by Him through our actions in life. Without the scriptures the Spirit has no function. Without the Spirit the Word has no (applicable) real Meaning. The Spirit is not the Flesh. Therefore He cannot be subjected to being bound with a “feeling” someone has, this is contrary to the Scriptures. The Spirit is not an emotion, He is not contained in a warm fuzzy, He is not bound by a sensation causing crying or joy. He is working all the time to convict and move in all men.
To say that someone who does not “know God” doesn’t have the Holy Spirit seems questionable, for when someone is called to God…Who applied that conviction to leave a sinful life? The Spirit. When a believer stumbles and falls does the Spirit leave him? I believe the remorse and regret someone realizes…often through reading the scripture, is by the Spirit even in his sin. It is not as though the Holy Spirit excuses himself when a child of God is being bad and then returns when he is behaving more holy and righteous. This is why He is called the Helper, because He remains to guide us inside of our waywardness, inside of our pain, inside of our troubles.
- John 15; 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love….16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you….26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
The Spirit never leaves…the Psalm above explains that even in Hell is the Spirit and Presence of Hashem. It is only WE who TURN off our hearts from being sensitive to the Spirit’s breathing in our lives. Only WE who make decisions to TURN away from Him.
Romans 8;1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Yeshua Messiah. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Yeshua Messiah has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Yeshua Messiah from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
In the parasha of Balak we meet a prophet of the nation’s named Bilaam who was absorbed with pride and greed and yet he was able to communicate with Hashem and Hashem chose to administer some of the most profound, prophetic oracles through him. Truly Bilaam was a counterfeit. With one side of his mouth he feigned obedience to Hashem and His Word and with his heart he ran after his own plans, toward wickedness. There are spirits at work and our goal is to discern which is of God and which are from the deep hidden desires of our own hearts.
2 Thessalonians 2;1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Yeshua Messiah and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter presuming to be from us and alleging that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (the son of destruction) is revealed. 4 He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.5 Do you not remember that I told you these things while I was still with you? 6And you know what is now restraining him, so that he will be revealed at the proper time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now restrains it will continue until he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and abolish by the majesty of His arrival. 9The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, 10 and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. 11 For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, 12 in order that judgment will come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness.
Balaam’s delight, his inner desire and the wish of his heart was to curse am Yisrael. But instead he spoke blessings from Hashem over them and he did this by the power of the Holy spirit. (3rd)
- Bemidbar 24; 1 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe;&the ר֥וּחַ אֱלֹהִֽים Spirit of God came upon him.
#7306 (v) riyach רִיחַ – to breathe, blow,smell,feel, to smell with pleasure, delight in, sweet smell.
- B’reshit 8:21 The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
- Devarim 4:28 “There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.
#7307 (fem n) ruach רוּחַ – spirit, breath, air, wind, vital breath, will and counsel.
- B’reshit 1:2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
The first time in the Torah that the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of the Lord, the Divine, Spirit of God) appears is when Yosef, who is a foreigner to the Egyptians, is enlisted to interpret Phar’oh’s dreams. The ‘local’ diviner’s could do the job so, somewhat like with Bilaam they outsource.
- B’reshit 41; 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a ר֥וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֖ים divine spirit ?” 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
The next time in the Torah the Ruach Elohim appears is to direct and oversee the entire work of the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Notice that just as Phar’oh’s declaration regarding Joseph was directly connected to WISDOM, so too in this context the Divine Spirit is connected with the Wisdom (Word) of Hashem.
- Shemot 31; 1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the ר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֑ים Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all craftsmanship, 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 5 and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all craftsmanship.
Understand, that while Bilaam was ‘overcome’ by the Spirit of God he saw things the way they really were. He, like everyone else, has the choice to continue hearkening to that Spirit and functioning in the present Wisdom which comes from the Word of Hashem (His word is the expression of His Divine Will for our lives.) or to allow ourselves to be overcome by the sin at the door, which is always ‘after’ us. Remember that we are judged by what we DO, not by how we FEEL. “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Bereshit 4;7
Bilaam had the potential to be a prophet for Hashem and yet he turned from any potential for continuing goodness and absolutely succumbed to the desires for wealth and the rising of his own welling pride. The intentions of his heart truly were for evil. To destroy the Jewish people in the ‘Spiritual” plane. This is why he advised for the attack upon them to be through spiritual destruction- harlotry leading to idolatry.
- Bemidbar 25; 1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. 2 For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.
- Bemidbar 31; 15 And Moses said to them, “Have you spared all the women? 16“Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD.)
The angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary לְשָׂטָ֔ן(satan), because YOUR way was contrary to me.’ – Bemidbar 22:32
What is the ‘evil inclination’? What is the role of ‘the destroyer’? We spoke last lesson about the lie the serpent tells, “You wont die!” A ‘satan’ acquires this power by deceiving the individual into thinking how he or she thinks, feels, or desires (the basest of our inclinations) is the truth, not “It is written.” This is frequently accomplished with the seemingly innocent musing:
“Did God really say…?”
Job teaches the irony of satan. His great power is in accusation, but his power is limited by the One whom the servant of Yeshua serves, Hashem. Demons obey Yeshua. When we live lives of righteousness, satan’s accusations shift from accusations of sin to casting doubt on the seriousness of one’s commitment to the Father and His covenant. One who lives a life of sin becomes his own accuser, his own satan. One who lives a life of righteousness has an advocate with the Father, Yeshua, who intercedes in the disciple’s flounderings in the tests.
A satan is an adversary, an obstructionist to meeting the goal.
The goal is life, the ‘end’ of your faith, the salvation of your soul.
Like Balak, whose name means Destroyer, Waster, a satan destroys and wastes plans, both good and bad.
#7854 (Masc N) Satan שָׂטָן – adversary, enemy, satan, the devil.
- 1Ch 21:1 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” 3 Joab said, “May the LORD add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?”4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David. And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword.6 But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab. 7God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 9 The LORD spoke to Gad, David’s חֹזֵה seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’”
# 2374 (masc n)- a seer, a prophet, vision…
#2372 (v) chazah חָזָה- to see, behold, to see God, to look upon, contemplate, to perceive, feel, have experienced.
- Bemidbar 24:4 The oracle of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,….16 The oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.
(note any parallels to Parasha Balak within the Job context)
Job 23;1 Then Job replied, 2 “Even today my complaint is rebellion; His hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 “Oh that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! 4 “I would present my case before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. 5 “I would learn the words which He would answer, And perceive what He would say to me. 6 “Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me. 7 “There the upright would reason with Him; And I would be delivered forever from my Judge. 8 “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. 10 “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 “My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. 13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. 14 “For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him. 15 “Therefore, I would be dismayed at His presence; When I consider, I am terrified of Him. 16 “It is God who has made my heart faint, and the Almighty who has dismayed me, 17 But I am not silenced by the darkness, Nor deep gloom which covers me.
Job 1; 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”
Balaam’s way was his own way, not the will of Hashem. When we violate the will of Hashem, He may send a satan to oppose us. This is for our good, and it can save our literal or spiritual lives. God does not send a great revelation in order to feed our pride or cause others to admire us…if needed he will send a messenger of satan to keep us level headed and humble.
- 2 Corinthians 12; 7…So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Much like Pharaoh (“Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.” Shemot 1;9-10), Balak lies about Israel being a threat. He lies to his people in order to justify any action he might seek to take. Israel have been commanded not to mess with Moav or Ammon as they were descendants of Lot. Midian, is a descendant of Abraham through Keturah.
- Devarim 2;9 “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.
- Bereshit 19; 36Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.
- Devarim 2;19 When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’
Balak likens Israel to a beast, degrading them to a subhuman level looking down on them from the idolatrous mountain from which he stood. He also flatters Bilaam with the same words Hashem used in the Covenant with Avraham, in effect feeding the pride of Bilaam saying that by his power of speech he can undo that promise!
- Bem. 22;1 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak …sent messengers to Balaam… “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. 6 Now, therefore, please come, קָבַב curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you קָבַב curse is קָבַב cursed.
Balak’s fear and resentment of the Children of Israel was not verifiable, Israel was encamped not attacking or preparing for invasion. Israel had been told not to take Moav’s lands. But the more something irritates you, the closer it gets to you, the BIGGER IT SEEMS. The lesson?
Distance yourself from that which provokes you to fear, anger.
Distance yourself from counter productive worry.
Don’t push away (potential) friends.
Don’t neglect the CENTRAL value of family and community.
Bemidbar 22; 22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary לְשָׂטָן against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
What is the message of the donkey speaking?
The donkey speaks.
The donkey is prevented from continuing on the path she was on.
Three times the donkey is stopped.
Bilaam has the ‘gift’ of speech.
Bilaam is prevented from cursing Israel.
Three times Bilaam gives over blessings where he sought to curse.
Think there is some earned honor or elevation in today’s
so called ‘spirit led’ ‘prophets’?
‘ Don’t be so proud. I can make anything speak.’
I find it of note how often the term “the way” is used in this passage. On the simple level the Hebrew word in this context means “path” or direction. We can see that on a deeper level there is one “way” (Divine Moral Code of Living) that Hashem has set out for ALL the people of His unified Kingdom. The early believers of Yeshua were known as people of “The Way”. No matter how the world tries to curse Israel and the Jewish people, like Bilaam, no matter which route they choose to attempt ‘demonize’ Israel it will NOT go the way they have planned.
#1870 (masc n.) דֶּרֶךְ Derek – a going, a journey, a way or path, mode or course, way of living or acting, mode of worshipping, lot.
– Bereshit 3:24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
- Bereshit 6:12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.
- Bereshit 18:19 “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
What is fascinating about these oracles of blessing and prophecy is that they are the very first time that God’s ‘kids’ can hear from a ‘third party’ just what Abba thinks about them. What is the most meaningful thing to a child, when the parent says to them directly “Well done. You are loved.” Or, when a child overhears the parent speaking with someone else, perhaps even an “enemy” about them… “My child has done well. My child is treasured!” These are Hashem’s visions of HOW HE SEES HIS PEOPLE. His people so very much needed at this time to be encouraged, to know where they stood in the heart of God. After so many mistakes, so many losses…where did they really stand? Through the mouth of an enemy they find their potential.
- Bemidbar 23; 8 “How shall I קָבַב curse whom God has not קָבַב cursed? And how can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? 9 “As I see him from the top of the rocks, And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations. 10 “Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel?
It doesn’t take very much imagination to read what the Father is saying to His son Israel- After everything that has happened, I know what it may seem like- like you’re cursed. But you are not cursed. I have not denounced you. I have set you apart and this is why there was a sifting. You will be as I have promised, innumerable sand upon the seashore.
- Bemidbar 23;19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good 20 “Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it. 21 “He has not observed misfortune in Jacob; Nor has He seen trouble in Israel; The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them.
God is verifying His promises to His people through Bilaam. He is reminding the nations assembled to curse them and His Children that He is not like a man prone to bless one day and curse another…prone to change and variance who might shift His terms of covenant in different dispensations. Who His kids are today…grubby from playing in the mud, scraped up and jaundiced from the slings and wrestlings of growing up…is not how He looks into them. He see’s them spotless, blameless and bedecked with finery under the wedding canopy, matured, prepared, perfected- WHO THEY WILL BECOME IN THE END.
We learn who we are from our enemies.
How many times have we thought that a ‘satan’ or a situation was meant for our detriment, how often have we perceived “bad” when later looking back we saw how essential that “bad” was. Sometimes the most challenging and difficult experiences are the very things which define our fortitude. What our enemies try to do to us is one thing, they may have the intent to curse…but in then end how often do great blessings come out of it? When encountering the “satan’s” who arise as potential hindrances to our faith, to our pursuit of the Way of Hashem… practice declaring the glory of Hashem’s foresight and Wisdom in our lives through the words of Yoseph:
“As for you (destroyer, enemy, challenge, woe),
you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good
in order to bring about this present result…
(I will choose trust Him.)”
Parasha Phinehas comes immediately after Balak for a reason. Phinehas embodies the one who takes action. When the curse of Bilaam is realized and the (Moabite and) Midianite women (princesses) are dispatched onto the mission to destroy the Jewish people he stands up and acts upon what He believes Hashem (and His Spirit) would have him do. Is this a dangerous question? Could Phinehas have been moved by the Spirit of the Lord to administer the death penalty without a trial or asking Moshe? Phinehas sought to act and acted by a righteous indignation, his actions were ‘blessed’ by Hashem through an eternal covenant of Shalom.
- Bemidbar 25;1 the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. 2 For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel… 6 Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. 9 Those who died by the plague were 24,000. 10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’
Just grazing a few points: Pinchas comes to teach us many things, one of which is “if it bothers you, don’t just sit there and cry.” DO SOMETHING about the atrocities going on around you. Phinehas realizes that the people can’t just go in to Israel, “Ok, I served my time; 40 years is up, now lets go in.” We have to be ON FIRE going in. When Bilaam proclaims the famous verse: ‘How lovely are your tents oh Jacob!’ and then proceeds to direct what leads to the blatant defamation of the Ohel Moed, the Tent of Meeting of Hashem Phinehas sees that this curse needs to be reversed. Not only reversed but that the people would be set ablaze with the recollection of the entire mission’s purpose, destined from Avraham Avinu’s Promise:
Take the Torah to eretz Yisrael,
Build the Holy Temple and from that very Place,
bring to the nations the Light of Hashem.
This being said, before one acts with religious zealous, before we decide assign His Name to our ‘deeds’, before we act and claim the Holy Spirit moved us thusly…let us be 110% sure that our actions and our words will be reckoned unto us as righteousness.
Tehillim 106; 30 Then Phinehas stood up and interposed, And so the plague was stayed. 31And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, To all generations forever.
One more piece of proof that the movements of Phinehas are directly related to the intention of Balak and Bilaam toward Am Israel is found through the contexts of the term קֵבָה kevah.
Found only here and in Dev.18;3 # 6896 (fem.n) קֵבָה kevah– defined as…stomach or belly… comes from the shoresh: #6895 קָבַב kavav– to hollow out, to pierce, to curse. This root is found only in the context of Bilaam’s ‘cursing’ and Vayikra 24:11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother’s name was שְׁלֹמִית Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.)
It should be clear- if anyone seeks to curse Israel, it is in effect that they are cursing the One Who is in Covenant with Israel. This is ‘blasphemy’ against Hashem. What Zimri and Cozbi were doing was defaming the House of Hashem and all that is stands for. Phinehas stood up (amar) like the angel who stood (amar) in the way of Bilaam, Phinehas’ spear pierced the ‘body’ of the curse upon the people. The similarity in terms and themes and context and ‘chronology’ bind these events together.
Similarly, we should note the period in which all these Parashiot are being read. As we approach Tish B’av, the remembrance and ‘mourning’ period for the destruction of the Holy Temple’s and in context to terrible events for the Jewish people, as well as current horrors and terror attacks in Israel… let us remember that Hashem’s word as spoken through the Holy Spirit to the True Prophets will be fulfilled. So may it be that these days of mourning the curses for lack of love, truth and that Shalom Phinehas’ acts were rewarded by be turned into blessings, soon in our days….
Zechariah 8;14“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, 15 so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! 16 ‘These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. 17 ‘Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.” 18 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 19“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth (Tammuz), the fast of the fifth (Av), the fast of the seventh (Tishri- Yom Kippur) and the fast of the tenth (Tevet) months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’20 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21‘The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” 22‘So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ 23“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
May every adversary in your way become a tool for illumination- showing us the beauty and good of Hashem’s Way for each one of us. May we be convicted and helped by the Spirit of the Lord and taught Hashem’s word and wisdom by Him. May we move without doubt into the pursuit of good deeds in order that all people can see His light from wherever we are. May we allow Him to open our mouths and grant us the courage to stand against the defamation of His Great Name, against His people, against Israel, against His Torah the prooftext of His Promises Realized before our very eyes. May every curse in your life be transformed by a blessing and may you be on fire knowing how much He intends to use your life for the realization of that blessing in His Kingdom here and now.
May the Holy Temple be rebuilt soon in our days!
Resources: See Homepage on this blog and find My Resources entry for a complete list.
Much of the content this week for the lesson you see here was learned from Hollisa Alewine http://www.thecreationgospel.com/, Rabbi Ari Khan http://arikahn.blogspot.co.il/ and Rabbi Shlomo Katz shlomokatz.com.
This lesson, our learning and any blessing that comes from it is in memory of my dearest Mirjam. I can not believe it’s already been a month. I don’t miss you any less, I couldn’t love you more than I do today…until tomorrow comes then it will be even moreso. Baruch Hashem.
For Tish B’Av……
Tish b’av-Monday July 31- August 1, 2017
From the beginning….man plays “hide and seek” with God. They (Adam and Chavah) hide from God’s voice. What are they ‘afraid’ of? Nakedness= spiritual vulnerability.
The Dire Straits we may feel separate from God.
Or that God is more separate from us.
Aaron said, “Tomorrow will be a holiday for God.”
The sin of the calf traditionally takes place on this date, Aaron knew some day out the pain would be born closeness.
Fast turned to joy…
Finding God despite the pain- INSIDE THE PAIN.
Mourning the Temple means (like the shattered tablets, not the people) ‘We weren’t destroyed.’ Mourning in Jerusalem means, God still kept His promise, we are here!
The Temple is a physical place, God desires to make His Tabernacle within us.
For Tish b’av REBUILD THE TEMPLE- rededicate yourself to Hashem and make a place where He can STAY.
(1) FASTS DECREED OR MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) on which it is commanded “Ye shall afflict your souls” so that the individual may be cleansed from sins (Lev. 16:29–31; 23:27–32; Num. 29:7ff.); this is the only fast ordained in the Pentateuch.
The Ninth of Av (Tishah be-Av), a day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples (see Jer. 52:12–13 where, however, the date is given as the Tenth), and other calamitous occasions.
The 17th of Tammuz, in commemoration of the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem in the First Temple period (Jer. 39:2 where the date is the 9th) and Titus breaching the walls of Jerusalem, and of other calamities which befell the Jewish people (Ta’an. 4:6, Ta’an. 28b, also Sh. Ar., OḤ, 549:2).
The Tenth of Tevet, in memory of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar , king of Babylon (II Kings 25:1–2, Jer. 52:4ff.; Ezek. 24:1–2).
The Third of Tishri, called Ẓom Gedalyah (the Fast of Gedaliah), in memory of the slaying of Gedaliah and his associates (Jer. 41:1–2; II Kings 25:25).
The Fast of Esther (Ta’anit Ester) on the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim (Esth. 4:16).
Besides the Day of Atonement, which is a pentateuchal fast, the other four fast days were also already observed in the period of the Second Temple. Zechariah prophesied that they would be transformed into days of joy and gladness (Zech. 8:19).
On the Day of Atonement and on the Ninth of Av, fasting is observed by total abstention from food and drink from sunset until nightfall of the following day; on the other fast days, the fast lasts only from before dawn until nightfall of the same day. All fasts may be broken if danger to health is involved. Pregnant and nursing women are, under certain circumstances, exempt from observance.
Always remember to think and pray before you fast. Do it with intention. Re-build His Temple.
Behold our affliction, on this the day of our fast for this world is in great distress. Do not pay attention to our wickedness, do not hide your face from us, do not ignore our supplications. Please be near to our outcry; please let Your kindness comfort us- before we call You, answer us, as it is said: “And it will be that before they call, I will answer; while they yet speak, I will hear.” For you Hashem are the One Who responds in the time of distress, Who redeems and rescues in every time of distress and woe. Blessed are You Hashem, Who responds in time of distress.
Avinu Malkeinu is a prayer my daughter and I recite upon breaking a fast. It is an excellent way to hold off intentionally a little while longer to take in the meaning of the fast.
Avinu Malkeinu: Compassionate Ruler
Avinu Malkeinu! Hear our voice.
Avinu Malkeinu! We have sinned against You.
Avinu Malkeinu! Have compassion on us and on our children.
Avinu Malkeinu! Make an end to sickness, war and famine.
Avinu Malkeinu! Make an end to all oppression.
Avinu Malkeinu! Bless us with a good year.
Avinu Malkeinu! Forgive and pardon all our iniquities.
Avinu Malkeinu! Return us to you in perfect repentance.
Avinu Malkeinu! Send a complete recovery to the sick of Your people.
Avinu Malkeinu! Remember us for a good life.
Avinu Malkeinu! Remember us for redemption and salvation.
Avinu Malkeinu! Remember us for sustenance and support.
Avinu Malkeinu! Remember us for forgiveness and pardon.
Avinu Malkeinu! Accepting with compassion and favor our prayer.
Avinu Malkeinu! Open the gates of heaven to our prayer.
Avinu Malkeinu! Remember that we are but dust.
Avinu Malkeinu! Please do not turn us from You empty handed.
Avinu Malkeinu! May this moment be a moment of compassion and a time of favor before You.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for the sake of those who were murdered for Your Holy Name.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for the sake of those who went into fire and water for the sanctification of Your Name.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for Your sake if not for our sake.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for Your sake and save us.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for the sake of Your abundant compassion.
Avinu Malkeinu! Act for the sake of Your great, Mighty and awesome Name that is declared upon us.
Avinu Malkeinu! Be gracious with us and answer us, though we have no worthy deeds; treat us with charity and kindness, and save us.
ki ein banu ma’asim,
aseih imanu tz’dakah
Avinu Malkeinu! Be gracious and answer us, for we have little merit. Treat us
generously and with kindness, and be our help…. B’shem Yeshua HaMashiac amen!