“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise; set your heart to My knowledge (Torah).” Proverbs 22:17
It seems every day the world spins that much faster into chaos and insanity as world and local leaders continue to make utterly insane and deprave decisions, which are destined to fail even before they are to go into effect!
This weeks Torah Portion i.e. ‘Balak’ which is found in Bamidbar (Numbers) 22:2-25:9 is a Torah Portion which once again is very appropriate for this weeks world events! The attempts by various world leaders, enemies of Israel, seeking to find ways to diminish and or destroy Israel’s influence, power and existence in the world!
In this Torah Portion, Balak, the king of Moab, saw all that Israel had become and had done to the Amorites and thus became very frightened of Israel. Balak then seeks out the prophet Bilam and attempts to get Bilam to curse Israel. In every attempt to curse Israel, Bilam instead blesses Israel by the direction of HaShem!
Balak becomes so enraged, at one point the Torah says in Bamidbar 24:1 “….But he (Balak) set his face toward the Wilderness.” What is significant about this? In the Torah, to turn one’s face towards the Wilderness in manner Balak did, is to attempt to arouse the forces of Satan, because the Wilderness is where Satan and his forces i.e. the haters of Israel dwell!
When Israel keeps herself clean and strives to walk in the Torah of HaShem, out of love, devotion and loyalty to Him, she is protected and nothing can touch her. When she keeps herself ready, observant, alert and not become lazy, complacent and distracted, the blessings are incalculable! A concept I hope to quickly cover in this short Op on this Shabbat, 16 July 2022, which also happens to be the 17th of Tammuz on the biblical calendar, a very solemn day which we will acknowledge the following day, the five catastrophes which occurred on this date in biblical history.
As always, it is critical to remember when reading these op’s the eternal characteristics of HaShem:
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
- He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
- He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
- He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13
In this world we live in today, it is now more important, more than ever, that we all, myself included, constantly examine ourselves and make sure we are ready for when the Master knocks for we do not know when exactly that will be! We know it is VERY, VERY close, but as to knowing the day or the hour, only HaShem knows that!
In this weeks Torah Portion, ‘Balak’, there is a very interesting blessing Bilam, directed by HaShem, utters over Israel. He says in Bamidbar 24:5-7 which says “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov (Jacob), your dwelling places, O Yisrael; like creeks stretching out, like gardens by a river, like tents pitched by HaShem, like cedars by water. Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be by abundant waters. His king shall attain eminence from Agag.”
Notice in these verses the various references to water i.e. creeks, river, water flowing, abundant waters, etc? Water in the Tanach (Erroneously called the Old Testament) and the Apostolic Writings, is a metaphor for the Torah of HaShem! In other words, it is from Israel, the Torah will go out to the entire world!
The commentary from Ohr HaChaim discussing these verses above says “The intent of this metaphor is understood in light of the words of the Sages, that every Jewish man received from Sinai a personal share in the Torah. This is the allusion contained in the verse from Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:4 that calls the Torah a ‘morashah’ or a ‘heritage’, which the Sages expound. Do not read this as a heritage, but rather as ‘me’orasah’ meaning ‘betrothed.’ Just as each man has an exclusive relationship with his betrothed, so too, each Jewish man has his own exclusive share in the Torah. Bilam, in this verse, refers to each Jew’s share in the Torah. He thus says here, waters shall flow, meaning that the Jews of future generations will develop new insights in the Torah, and every true idea that they innovate in the Torah is from his buckets, meaning, from the water of Torah that Moshe drew from the Wellspring of Sinai, because everything is hinted at in the Written Torah that was given to Moshe.”
Point for me including this, is in my opinion, the only way we will be able to examine ourselves, make ourselves ready is to constantly strive to study and walk out the Torah of HaShem. Now, I am not saying keeping Torah is what secures eternal salvation!! First HaShem saves and secures salvation, THEN He says, now that I have saved you, here is My Torah, so you will know how to live as My servant. We see this time and time again all throughout His Tanach and Apostolic Writings!
Now, consider what Yeshua Himself taught in Matthew 25 discussing the Parable of the Ten Virgins! I think you will be amazed!
Matthew 25:1-13 which says “Then the reign of the heavens shall be compared to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five foolish. Those who were foolish, having taken their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their containers with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom took time, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard, ‘See, the bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins rose up and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, indeed, there would not be enough for us and you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Master, Master, open up for us!’ But he answering, said, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Adam is coming.”
Now, what is amazing, Yeshua is basing this parable upon a very well known understanding the function of the Temple in Jerusalem and I will quickly explain.
Each morning, the Kohanim (Priests) on duty that week, would have to prepare themselves for serving in the Temple that day. In order to determine who would perform what service, HaShem set up a system of lots which would be drawn. But in order to participate in the drawing of the lots, the Kohanim would have to get up very early in the morning, go to the mikveh (Immerse), put on their garments, and wait for the arrival of the head official for they did not know exactly when the official would come and knock on the door! If the official arrived, knocked on the door, and the kohanim were not ready, they were prohibited from serving in the Temple that day, i.e. ‘Depart from Me….’ Sound familiar?
Consider what is recorded in Tractate Tamid 1.2 from the Mishnah, which says “Whoever (Of the Kohanim) wanted to pick up from the altar got up early and immersed himself BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ARRIVED. And at what time did the official come? NOT ALL OCCASIONS WERE THE SAME; sometimes he came at cock’s crow (The Temple Crier who called out just before dawn), or thereabouts, earlier or later. The official came and KNOCKED FOR THEM, AND THEY (The Kohanim) OPENED FOR HIM. He said to them: ‘WHOEVER HAS IMMERSED (PREPARED THEMSELVES) SHOULD COME AND DRAW LOTS. They drew lots; whoever won, won.”
Can you see the very close similarity to what Yeshua taught in His parable? Again, we see, studying and learning the Temple of HaShem, will open up the Apostolic Writings unlike anything Christendom in its Replacement Theology doctrine teaches! Such as the cock crowing. This was NOT a literal chicken/rooster, it is a metaphor for a specific job a Kohen would do in the morning just before dawn and announce the beginning of that day’s Temple Services and worship of HaShem! There are countless examples I could cite, but will do so some other time.
Remember, Yeshua is the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) in the order of Melchizedek, serving in the Heavenly Temple, therefore, He would absolutely use the Temple and the Temple Services as means to teach the Torah of HaShem to Israel and the world!
So, in summary, for us to be ready for when the Master knocks, we must be striving to study and learn His Torah and His Temple, keeping His Feasts, His Shabbat, eating what He says is clean to eat, etc, because they go hand in hand.
Know Torah = Know Yeshua
No Torah = No Yeshua
Something to consider on this Shabbat. May it be so very, very soon in our days.
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- The Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
- Or HaChaim by Artscroll
- Mishnah Tractate Tamid by Kehati