In the Book of Numbers, the story is told of King Balak (of Moab) who wants a curse put on the Israelites who are in their wilderness trek towards the Promised Land (Canaan).
He calls the semi-godly and semi-pagan prophet Balaam, to come to him and curse Israel in their presence. He will pay Balaam handsomely and honor him extravagantly. “Just come and do it,” said the king.
Balaam answered “no.” But the king persisted.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? King Balak is afraid of Israel after hearing of the destruction of a large area of Amorite cities and villages--recent military triumphs of Israel. And he is angered that the nation Israel should travel so close to Moab’s territory.
So…the prophet Balaam prepares to go to the Moabite king, thinking of the remuneration and prestige. He will put a curse on the Israelites.
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The State of Israel is despised and feared, so a curse must be placed upon her…. not just be victorious in warfare with Israel, but be RID of Israel! Curse them!
THIS IS A TALE OF TODAY.
Similar to….. Black Lives Matter--its platform in August of 2016 in which it accuses the State of Israel of perpetrating genocide against the Palestinians. They’ve labeled Israel an “apartheid” state and want Israel as a state gone.
Similar to…. Palestinian Sheikh Nasser Maarouf of the Palestine Islamic Scholars Association, in a July 3rd interview who said that the millions of people who were killed in the World Wars died because of the Jews who, he said, tyrannize and corrupt the world, blaming them for world poverty, bloodshed and the violation of women’s honor all over the world. They feed and finance corruption wherever they are. This is very typical of Muslim cleric slander.
And then, there is much of the American academic community which is calling for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
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BUT…BACK TO OUR STORY
Balaam, the semi-Godly, semi-pagan prophet, is given permission by God to go to confer with King Balak who wants a curse on Israel. Nevertheless, God expressed His displeasure by making Balaam’s donkey stop cold in his tracks. When Balaam strikes his donkey, the donkey TALKS….rebels.
Whoa! Balaam now knows that even though he has God’s permission, that He is displeased. An angel appears to speak the words of God:
“Behold, I have come out to oppose you, because your way is perverse before me.”
GET THIS NOW: Balaam says, “If it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” Well, duh. The Lord, in the first place, told him not to go. Nevertheless, the Lord through the angel now tells him to go on. Why? God has His reasons.
NOW THE PROPHET BALAAM MEETS KING BALAK. He is present with all his princes. A great Middle East summit meeting.
The prophet had warned: “The word that the Lord puts in my mouth, that will I speak.” (Good for him) And now at their meeting, on a summit viewing the camped Israelites, the prophet Balaam paused as he viewed the encampment of God’s people….paused to listen for the divine voice, and this is what he heard:
“Behold, a people dwelling alone,
And not counting itself among the nations!
Who can count the dust of Jacob,
Or number the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright,
And let my end be like his.”
Ah, remember what God told Abraham: “Look toward heaven and number the stars…So shall your offspring be.” Fertility was the promise. Here that fertility was seen.
Balaam was so impressed that he desired to die among God’s people. Hm-m.
All right. That wasn’t working for King Balak. He wanted to try a second time to get a curse from Baalam. So he, Baalam, and the princes went to a different vista to try again. “Perhaps it will please God to curse them there,” he said. Remember, he’s very afraid of this nation of people.
And again at that place, Balak anxiously asked: “What has the Lord spoken?” And Balaam said this to the king: “Rise, Balak, and hear:
“Behold, I have received a command to bless:
He has blessed, and I cannot revoke it….
For there is no enchantment against Jacob….
The Lord their God is with them…
Now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
What has God wrought!”
“What has God wrought!” The prophet is overwhelmed with awe! He’s so impressed.
King Balak was overwhelmed too, but with anger. He struck his hands together. But Balaam retorted: “Did I not tell your messengers….that I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord?”
Now the final oracle that Balaam gave, not really wanted by Balak was this amazing prophecy:
“The oracle of him….who knows the vision
of the Almighty….I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come out of Jacob;
and a scepter shall arise out of Israel.”
What is being conveyed in this oracle or prophetic utterance?
This indeed is what will come out from Israel--out from the Chosen People: The Chosen Man—the Messiah. God’s blessing on Israel revealed here includes even this!
This is the plan of the eternal God of Israel. This is why God permitted Balaam to go to the summit meeting with King Balak—to speak His very Word.
Balak the king, stands for the nations that wish and work to defeat Israel. But Israel will not be vanquished. Israel will not be cursed. And Israel will be blessed.
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Israel is a nation that stands out. It is an unperfected nation as the incidents in the Book of Numbers before and after this one show. But it exists in a covenantal relationship with the Lord, and He will bring it to perfection after He cleanses Israel from her filthiness.
Those who wish to annihilate Israel, or slice off more land from her to allocate it to her enemies, or issue slanderous anti-Semitic declarations, or isolate and delegitimize her, or boycott her products, or continually attack her population with rockets, or issue sanctions against her, or issue unfair accusations in the World Court, the tribunals of the world and the United Nations Human Rights Council or the U. N. General Assembly will only hurt themselves and their own people. For God is not pleased.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.