Friday, 25 June 2021
"Now Balak the son of Tzippor saw all that Isra'el had done to the Emori" (B'midbar 22:2, CJB)
Balak saw ... and all the people of Moab were afraid! Balak was the king of Moab, one of the kingdoms past which our people would travel on their way to the Land. His spies and intelligence staff brought him all the reports of the battles that Israel had fought and won: the king of Arad (21:1-3); Sichon, king of the Emori (21:21-32); Og, king of Bashan (21:33-35). Now this people, who has just destroyed the two regional superpowers, were camped on the plains of Moab, opposite Yericho. Balak knew all about it; he had all the details; he saw all that Israel had done - he was afraid, and all his people were afraid. Was Moab next?
So it is with us today. Rav Sha'ul wrote, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12, NASB). We have an enemy, "the Adversary, [who] stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8, CJB), who sees every move we make and hears every word that comes out of our mouths. His spies and intelligence staff bring him reports of everywhere we go and everything we do. Every time we say "Sh'ma" and proclaim G-d's kingdom the demons tremble with fear (Ya'akov 2:19). It is as if we had flashing blue lights on our heads - in the spiritual realms - Yeshua said, "You are the light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14, CJB). But the Scriptures give us the promise: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Ya'akov 4:7, NASB).
However, more are watching us than the powers of darkness. The writer to the Hebrews tells that "we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1, CJB), both those who have gone before and those around us every day. The world also sees everything we do, every unguarded moment, and judges both us and the kingdom of G-d by what they see. Whilst we should not be paranoid, we must always endeavour to remember that we are the visible hands and feet of Yeshua in the world today. What would He want us to be displaying to those around us on His behalf?
Surely, we must show that we are not afraid of the giants in the land, that in G-d's power we can overcome the various trials and temptations that come our way. But more that that, we also have to show that G-d is merciful and loving, "patient, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, NASB).
This is an excerpt taken from the weekly drash for Balak.