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10 Characteristics of Yehovah Revealed Through Bil’am

clouds-in-front-of-sun.jpgWeekly parsha #40 includes Numbers 22-25.  Numbers 22 is the account of Bil’am and Balak.  There are so many lessons that can be gleaned from this story and from this parsha.

The main characters of the story are:

  • Balak, king of the Moabites (where Jordan is today on the east side of the Dead Sea)
  • Bil’am, a diviner from up near the Euphrates River (likely in Syria about 400 miles north of Moab)
  • Israel – camping on the east side of the Jordan, just north of Moab
  • Yehovah – orchestrating all these events and revealing his heart to us in this story

This article will focus on the latter – How Yehovah reveals himself in this story.

To set the context of this story, this is the second generation of wilderness Israelites who are on the move to take over the Promised Land. They’ve been conquering kings and their territories throughout the length of what’s now Israel’s border on the east side of the Jordan River, from the Sinai Peninsula, clear through Jordan and up into Syria. In the Bible, these areas were the kingdoms of Edom, Moab, Ammon and Bashan.

To this point they’ve gone around Moab, but now are camped at their northern border not to battle the Moabites, but to cross the Jordan and take Jericho.

But the king of Moab – Balak – gets nervous.  Knowing Israel has conquered all these other kingdoms around Moab, he thinks he’s next. So he calls up Bil’am from Syria, a man who is known for cursing kings and kingdoms in battle to the point of defeat.  In fact, other sources tell us that Bil’am was called in to curse Moab a few years earlier and, as a result, Moab was defeated and their territory diminished. So Balak is a believer in Bil’am.

Bil’am consults Yehovah (the God of the Israelites) and finally agrees to come to Balak. Balak takes him to some of the highest places in Moab, so he can look over the Israelites’ camp and curse them.  But Bil’am blesses them, because he’s consulting Yehovah.  Balak finally gives up on Bil’am, and they part ways.

In Numbers 25 the story returns to the Israelites and relates another incident of rebellion. This time they’ve been seduced by Midianite women and tricked into sacrificing to Baal, which was required in order to sleep with the women.

Parsha #40 ends with Yehovah’s wrath against those men that were seduced. Phineas joins Yehovah in killing the men that participated. This is called the “Baal Peor” incident and is referred to various times in the Bible.

The Parsha Connection

Parsha #40 includes both Bil’am and Balak and the sin with the Midianite women.  Why are these two stories lumped together in one parsha?  To find out, look at Numbers 22

1 “Then the people of Isra’el traveled on and camped in the plains of Mo’av beyond the Yarden River, opposite Yericho2 Now Balak the son of Tzippor saw all that Isra’el had done to the Emori. 3 Mo’av was very afraid of the people, because there were so many of them; Mo’av was overcome with dread because of the people of Isra’el. 4 So Mo’av said to the leaders of Midyan, ‘This horde will lick up everything around us, the way an ox licks up grass in the field.’”

“Balak the son of Tzippor was king of Mo’av at that time. 5 He sent messengers to Bil‘am the son of B‘or, at P’tor by the [Euphrates] River in his native land, to tell him, ‘Listen, a people has come out of Egypt, spread over all the land and settled down next to me. 6 Therefore, please come, and curse this people for me, because they are stronger than I am. Maybe I will be able to strike them down and drive them out of the land, for I know that whomever you bless is in fact blessed, and whomever you curse is in fact cursed.’ 7 The leaders of Mo’av and Midyan left, taking with them the payment for divining, came to Bil‘am and spoke to him the words of Balak.”

We see here that Balak has called on the elders of Midian, and they are working together.

In Numbers 31 we see Yehovah punishing the Midianites for this incident.

Numbers 31:1-2:

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘On behalf of the people of Isra’el, take vengeance on the Midyanim. After that, you will be gathered to your people.’”

Numbers 31:7-8:

“They fought against Midyan, as Adonai had ordered Moshe, and killed every male. They killed the kings of Midyan along with the others who were slain — Evi, Rekem, Tzur, Hur and Reva, the five kings of Midyan. They also killed Bil‘am the son of B‘or with the sword.” 

Numbers 31:14-16

14 ”But Moshe was angry with the army officers, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds coming in from the battlefield. 15 Moshe asked them, “You let the women live? 16 Why, these are the ones who — because of Bil‘am’s advice — caused the people of Isra’el to rebel, breaking faith with Adonai in the P‘or incident, so that the plague broke out among Adonai’s community!”

Now we understand that this Baal Peor incident was Bil’am’s idea. He advised the Midianites of this strategy of seducing the Israelite men into adultery with other women and other gods. He knew Yehovah would not stand for that and the men would either be punished by Yehovah, or at least be more friendly to the Midianites.

That’s how these two stories in our parsha are connected.

Characteristics of Yehovah

Let’s look back at this parsha and notice the characteristics of Yehovah that are revealed here.

In Numbers 22 the first thing we see is:

1. Yehovah Will Glorify Himself And Make His Name Known When We Obey Him.

When we look at what we read in Numbers 22:2-6 we see how afraid the people of Moab were of the Israelites.

2 ”Now Balak the son of Tzippor saw all that Isra’el had done to the Emori. 3 Mo’av was very afraid of the people, because there were so many of them; Mo’av was overcome with dread because of the people of Isra’el. 4 So Mo’av said to the leaders of Midyan, “This horde will lick up everything around us, the way an ox licks up grass in the field.”

And not only that, but Balak calls on a diviner to help him:

5 ”He sent messengers to Bil‘am …. to tell him, “Listen, a people has come out of Egypt, spread over all the land and settled down next to me. 6 Therefore, please come, and curse this people for me, because they are stronger than I am.”

This shows us that Balak considered this to be something supernatural – something he could only overcome with supernatural intervention. He saw Israel’s power as the power of their God.

Yehovah had made his name great in that whole region of the world, because his people were carrying out his will and following his leading. Even Bil’am from way up north was calling on the name of Yehovah, and he wasn’t even a follower.

This is what happens when we obey Yehovah – His name is glorified and his name becomes known. This is the first thing Yehovah shows us about himself in this passage: Yehovah will glorify himself and make his name known when we obey him.

2. Yehovah Does The Blessing & The Cursing

Secondly, there’s this theme of blessing and cursing that runs through the parsha. It starts in 22:6 – Balak tells Bil’am:

“Therefore, please come, and curse this people for me, because they are stronger than I am. Maybe I will be able to strike them down and drive them out of the land, for I know that whomever you bless is in fact blessed, and whomever you curse is in fact cursed.”

Wow – that’s a lot of power.  Is that really true of Bil’am?

Look at Numbers 23:8.  This is Bil’am’s first pronouncement over the Israelites:

“How am I to curse those whom Yehovah has not cursed?  How am I to denounce those whom Adonai has not denounced?”

Bil’am knows that Yehovah is the only one who can curse people.

Look at Numbers 23:20, Bil’am’s second pronouncement.  Bil’am says,

“I am ordered to bless; when he blesses, I can’t reverse it. 21 “No one has seen guilt in Ya‘akov, or perceived perversity in Isra’el; Yehovah their God is with them and acclaimed as king among them. 22 “Yehovah, who brought them out of Egypt, gives them the strength of a wild ox; 23 thus one can’t put a spell on Ya‘akov, no magic will work against Isra’el. It can now be said of Ya‘akov and Isra’el, ‘What is this that Yehovah has done?!’”

So Bil’am – a diviner, one who’s paid to bless and curse – is telling us that Yehovah is the only one who can bless people, and once he does, no one can change it. Bil’am should know – he’s in the business.

Now look at Numbers 24:9.  This is the end of Bil’am’s third pronouncement:

“When they lie down they crouch like a lion, or like a lioness — who dares to rouse it? Blessed be all who bless you! Cursed be all who curse you!”

Now even Bil’am is seeing the far reaching implications of Yehovah’s blessing. Not only is Yehovah the only one who blesses and curses, but because he has blessed Israel, anyone else who blesses them will receive a blessing. And anyone else cursing them will receive a curse.

This is way beyond Bil’am or any human power.

Isn’t this what Yehovah told Abraham hundreds of years before? In Genesis 12:3 Yehovah tells him:

 “I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

This was always true of Israel, but on this day, even Bil’am learned something about Yehovah.  He learned that Yehovah is the true source of blessing and cursing. He’s the one in charge of nations rising and falling, and the change of power and even territorial boundaries. It’s not Bil’am, it’s Yehovah who does the blessing and cursing.

3. Yehovah Deals With Those Who Have Plans To Harm Israel

Numbers 22:7-9:

“The leaders of Mo’av and Midyan left, taking with them the payment for divining, came to Bil‘am and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8 He said to them, ‘Stay here tonight, and I will bring you back whatever answer Yehovah tells me.’ So the princes of Mo’av stayed with Bil‘am.  9 Yehovah came to Bil‘am and said, ‘Who are these men with you?’”

This is such a unique account in the Torah, because it’s not an account of Israel or Moses or what’s going on in the camp, as all the other parshas are. We’re actually eaves dropping on a conversation between enemies of Israel, and yet here we see Yehovah joining in on their conversation.

Bil’am is not a worshipper of Yehovah. He likely consults Yehovah on this occasion, because he knows him as the God of Israel – not his own God, and certainly not Balak’s God. So in this passage, Bil’am is hoping to hear from Yehovah, and Yehovah shows up in verse 9, “Yehovah came to Bil‘am and said, ‘Who are these men with you?’”

We see this pattern throughout the story – Yehovah speaking to Bil’am. Why? Because Yehovah intervenes with those who have Israel in their sights. And that is true today –  Yehovah is still intervening in nations who have schemes against Israel.

Isaiah 49:25 tells us:

“I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”  

This story of Bil’am is an example of one of the ways he does this. In this case he’s intervening by showing Israel’s enemies his love for them Before they ever lay a hand on the Israelites. How gracious is that?

But a few chapters ahead when Midian does come against Israel, Yehovah contends with them, as we read. They didn’t learn the lesson.

That’s why we see Yehovah coming to Bil’am, inserting himself in this conversation. Because Yehovah intervenes with those who have Israel in their sights, to defend and protect his people.

4. Yehovah Sometimes Uses Physical Obstacles To Get Our Attention

Here’s a fun scene in this story – the talking donkey. How embarrassing would that be? To be so oblivious that your donkey has to tell you what’s going on!

Numbers 22:21-35:

21 “So Bil‘am got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Mo’av. 22 But God’s anger flared up because he went, and the angel of Adonai stationed himself on the path to bar his way. He was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw the angel of Adonai standing on the road, drawn sword in hand; so the donkey turned off the road into the field; and Bil‘am had to beat the donkey to get it back on the road. 24 Then the angel of Adonai stood on the road where it became narrow as it passed among the vineyards and had stone walls on both sides. 25 The donkey saw the angel of Adonai and pushed up against the wall, crushing Bil‘am’s foot against the wall. So he beat it again. 26 The angel of Adonai moved ahead and stood in a place so tight that there was no room to turn either right or left. 27 Again the donkey saw the angel of Adonai and lay down under Bil‘am, which made him so angry that he hit the donkey with his stick. 28 But Adonai enabled the donkey to speak, and it said to Bil‘am, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’ 29 Bil‘am said to the donkey, ‘It’s because you’ve been making a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand; I would kill you on the spot!’ 30 The donkey said to Bil‘am, ‘I’m your donkey, right? You’ve ridden me all your life, right? Have I ever treated you like this before?’ ‘No,’ he admitted. 31 Then Adonai opened Bil‘am’s eyes, so that he could see the angel of Adonai standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, and he bowed his head and fell on his face. 32 The angel of Adonai said to him, ‘Why did you hit your donkey three times like that? I have come out here to bar your way, because you are rushing to oppose me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside these three times; and indeed, if she hadn’t turned away from me, I would have killed you by now and saved it alive!’ 34 Bil‘am said to the angel of Adonai, ‘I have sinned. I didn’t know that you were standing on the road to block me. Now, therefore, if what I am doing displeases you, I will go back.’ 35 But the angel of Adonai said to Bil‘am, ‘No, go on with the men; but you are to say only what I tell you to say.’ So Bil‘am went along with the princes of Balak.”

There’s a lot going on in this story that we could learn from, but the most obvious characteristic of Yehovah we can see in this passage is that he sometimes uses physical obstacles to get our attention or change our direction.

In this case Bil’am was so distracted as it says “rushing to oppose Yehovah,” that he couldn’t see the angel in front of him.

I’ve done this.  Once I believe I’ve heard from Yehovah on something, I want to jump way out ahead – get a plan together, start talking to people or rearranging things according to how I think it should go.  Then I hit a brick wall or get frustrated, so I go back and pray about it again, or maybe re-read my journal of what I heard.  And sure enough – Yehovah said one thing, and I turned it into something else, and I’m so far down the road, I’m clear off the path.

Sometimes Yehovah has to reign us in with obstacles in our path. Pay attention to the obstacles. Is it really spiritual warfare or is it Yehovah’s angel redirecting you back to the path? Or taking you in a new direction?

I find that often what I think are obstacles or hindrances or roadblocks are actually Yehovah’s leading and not road blocks, so much as they are road signs – “Go this way, not that way.” Thank Yehovah he does this for us and keeps us on his path.

So we see here that Yehovah sometimes uses physical obstacles to get our attention.

Further to this point, jump ahead to Numbers 24:4:

“The speech of him who hears Yehovah’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.”

The phrase “who has fallen” refers to falling prostrate with your eyes open, as in a trance.  This is what took place in chapter 22 with the donkey. Look again at Numbers 22:31:

“Then Adonai opened Bil‘am’s eyes, so that he could see the angel of Adonai standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, and he bowed his head and fell on his face.”

Bil’am’s eyes were opened to see the angel, and he fell on his face.

This account shows us that Yehovah is so persistent in pursuing us. He’ll try and try and try to get our attention (in this case he tried three times to get Bil’am’s attention). And when that doesn’t work, he’ll do something supernatural if he has to (in this case, he used a talking donkey). When he has our attention, he opens our spiritual eyes, and we can see the error of our ways. When we repent as Bil’am did, we are saved from death.

This is a picture of Yeshua calling and calling to us to keep us from “rushing to oppose Yehovah” as Bil’am was accused of. He provides a way for us to repent – “teshuva” in Hebrew, meaning to turn back to the path of righteousness.

What a gracious God we serve!

5. Yehovah Is A Promise Keeper

In Numbers 23:19 Bil’am specifically tells us this:

“Yehovah is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible doesn’t translate this verse as a question; it says:

“Yehovah is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind.   When he says something, he will do it; when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it.”

In this passage Bil’am is speaking exactly what Yehovah told him to. These are Yehovah’s words about himself. This is what he wanted to Balak and Bil’am to know, and this is what he wants us to know.

In contrast, look at verse 23:13, Bil’am’s second prophecy in the story:

“Balak said to Bil’am, ‘All right, come with me to another place where you can see them. You will see only some of them, not all; but you can curse them for me from there.’”

He says this again in verse 23:27.  He takes Bil’am to a third place hoping Yehovah will change his mind.

He knows Bil’am is saying what Yehovah told him to say, but apparently he’s used to gods that change their mind, gods that can be appeased into doing what man wants.  If God can be appeased into doing what a person wants, then who’s God? A god that can be appeased is a dangerous thing. It puts humans in charge of god.

Aren’t you glad Yehovah didn’t change his mind about blessing Israel? That means he won’t change his mind about you, either.

So Yehovah reveals himself here as a promise-keeper.

6. Yehovah Sees Us Through Our Destiny

Look at Numbers 24:5-6:

“How lovely are your tents, Ya‘akov; your encampments, Isra’el!  They spread out like valleys, like gardens by the riverside, like succulent aloes planted by Adonai, like cedar trees next to the water.”

Again this is Yehovah talking about Israel and how he sees them. In this story, Balak took Bil’am to three different sites to overlook Israel’s camp.  This is part of the third prophecy from Bil’am, given at the third site. But this time the vantage point is Peor. From Peor they could see all of Israel’s camp. The other two locations specifically tell us they could only see part of the people. But from here they could see the whole encampment.

So how would that look to them? There’s a description in Numbers 2 of how the tribes were arranged.  Some people believe that it looked like this picture.  Based on the number in each tribe, which the Bible gives us, and how Yehovah had instructed them to camp around the tabernacle, it could have looked like this.

If this is how Yehovah saw the camp of Israel – in the form of a cross – can you see why he thought it was so beautiful? He’s seeing not just how the Israelites look on that day and what’s going on at that moment, but he’s seeing their destiny, their future, their whole purpose in his plan, which is to bring redemption to all of mankind through Yeshua on the cross.

And it’s not only true for Israel.  This is how Yehovah sees us – through our destiny and future and our purpose in his plan. In our individual lives, we may not see it, or we may see it dimly.  But from his vantage point looking out over all his people throughout the world, he sees his people as one, coming together to form our future. He sees his plan taking shape, just the way he envisioned.  We’re part of that.  Every tent matters in the formation, and every one of us matter in his big picture. He’s a God of destiny, and that’s how he sees us – through our destiny.

7. Yehovah Is A Jealous God

The next characteristic of Yehovah is in Numbers 25:1-3 (Chapter 25 takes us back to the Israelites.)

“While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.”

Here we see that Yehovah is a jealous God. Over and over he tells us this about himself:

  • Exodus 20:5 & Deuteronomy 5:9 – “You shall not worship them or serve them, for I, the Lord your Yehovah am a jealous God.”
  • Exodus 34:14 – “For you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous is a jealous God.”
  • Deuteronomy 4:24 – “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:15 – “For the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:21 – “They have made me jealous with what is not god.”
  • Ezekiel 39:25 – “I will be jealous for my holy name.”
  • Nahum 1:2 – “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord.”

This isn’t new, but it’s underscored again for us in this story.

We often think of jealousy as bad thing – as in coveting.  The 10th commandment is “Thou shall not covet.”  Coveting in this sense is about a selfish desire, lusting or envy. But in 2 Corinthians 11:2 Paul tells us, “I am jealous for you with a Godly jealousy.” So there’s a Godly jealousy. There’s actually a Hebrew word for jealous that’s used in the Bible which refers only to Yehovah.  That word is “qanna” #7067  and refers to how Yehovah demands exclusivity. It doesn’t have to do with coveting or envying. It’s about his exclusive lordship.

So we see here Yehovah’s righteous jealousy for his people and his name.

8. Yehovah Is Moved By One Person Who Is Zealous For Him

Another form of jealousy is being zealous. This is the next thing we see about Yehovah in this story.

Numbers 25, starting in verse 1:

“Isra’el stayed at Sheetim, and there the people began whoring with the women of Mo’av. 2 These women invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, where the people ate and bowed down to their gods.3 With Isra’el thus joined to Ba‘al-P‘or, the anger of Adonai blazed up against Isra’el. 4 Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them facing the sun before Adonai, so that the raging fury of Adonai will turn away from Isra’el.’ 5 Moshe said to the judges of Isra’el, ‘Each of you is to put to death those in his tribe who have joined themselves to Ba‘al-P‘or.’ 6 Just then, in the sight of Moshe and the whole community of Isra’el, as they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting, a man from Isra’el came by, bringing to his family a woman from Midyan.  7 When Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon the cohen, saw it, he got up from the middle of the crowd, took a spear in his hand, 8 and pursued the man from Isra’el right into the inner part of the tent, where he thrust his spear through both of them — the man from Isra’el and the woman through her stomach. Thus was the plague among the people of Isra’el stopped; 9 nevertheless, 24,000 died in the plague. 10 Adonai said to Moshe, 11 ‘Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon the cohen, has deflected my anger from the people of Isra’el by being as zealous as I am, so that I didn’t destroy them in my own zeal.12 Therefore say, “I am giving him my covenant of shalom, 13 making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen will be theirs forever.” This is because he was zealous on behalf of his God and made atonement for the people of Isra’el.’”

“Zealous on behalf of his God.” Phineas’s zeal stopped the wrath of Yehovah.

Have you ever had the situation where someone complains to you about something that has nothing to do with you?  Do you notice that if you try to talk the person out of their complaint, they just get more adamant about it?  But if you agree with the person and start taking on their emotion about it, they calm down – and now you’re upset!

There seems to be something in the human psyche that needs someone else to share our pain or fully empathize with the injustice of what’s been done to us.

It seems like that’s what has happened here. Phineas completely understands Yehovah’s heart, and it drives him to do what Yehovah’s doing. This isn’t always what we ought to do (“’Vengeance is mine,’ saith the Lord”).  But Yehovah sees Phineas’s heart, and this same jealousy Yehovah has to be our exclusive God.  Once he saw that, his wrath was turned away.

How many lives did Phineas save from Yehovah’s wrath?

Yehovah is moved by one person who is zealous for him and what he’s doing. In Phineas’s case, he received a covenant of peace and an eternal reward for him and his descendants. Yehovah is moved by one person who is zealous for him and what he’s doing.

9. Yehovah Shows Us His Son, His Plan Of Redemption

The next characteristic of God we see is the aspect of his Son and his plan of redemption. Not only are the people camped in the shape of a cross, but there are at least two other times where Messiah is revealed. I’m just going to touch on one of them.

Remember the principle of three in scripture? When we see the number three and the theme of life out of death, it’s an indicator that Yehovah is revealing something to us about the Messiah.

So in this story, we have an angel appearing to a donkey three times. And we have three sacrifices and three blessings in three different locations. So let’s just look at the three sacrifices to see what Yehovah is trying to show us about the Messiah.

Obviously Balak and the Midians are wanting to kill the Israelites. Yehovah saves the lives of the Israelites while they are completely unaware.  This is the theme of life instead of death.

At the first vantage point where Balak takes Bil’am, Bil’am tells Balak to build seven altars and offer a burnt offering of a bull and a ram on each alter. Bil’am goes off to hear from Yehovah, while Balak stands by his offering. Yehovah speaks to Bil’am and he goes back and tells Balak what Yehovah said.

At the second vantage point Bil’am does the same thing – seven altars with a burnt offering on each one. Balak stands by his offering and Bil’am goes away to hear from Yehovah.

At the third location, Balak builds his altars and offers his offering, but Bil’am doesn’t go away to hear from Yehovah. Look at Numbers 24:1:

“When Bil‘am saw that it pleased Adonai to bless Isra’el, he didn’t go, as at the other times, to make use of divination, but looked out toward the desert. 2 Bil‘am raised his eyes and saw Isra’el encamped tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of Yehovah came upon him, 3 and he made his pronouncement.”

At the third location, after the third sacrifice, he saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe and the Spirit of Yehovah came upon him. Something about how the Israelites were camped tribe by tribe caused him to understand Yehovah’s heart for them.

Further in Numbers 24:3-4 it says:

“This is the speech of Bil‘am, son of B‘or; the speech of the man whose eyes have been opened; 4 the speech of him who hears Yehovah’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.”

His eyes are opened, meaning he now understands what he’s looking at. Did he see the tribes camped in the form of a cross? What did he understand?

It says, “Who sees what Shaddai sees.” Some versions translate that as “see what the Almighty sees.” But the Hebrew word used there is Shadday. This is the name for Yehovah’s mothering aspects, as a mother nursing her child. Bil’am now sees Israel as Yehovah nursing his children.

The Spirit of Yehovah came upon Bil’am after the sacrifices, then he begins to understand Yehovah’s heart. He begins to see what Yehovah sees and say what’s in Yehovah’s heart.

Isn’t that what happened to us? After Yeshua was sacrificed – the final sacrifice – the Spirit came upon us, and dwells inside us, so we can see and hear and speak from Yehovah’s perspective.

In all three scenarios we have a sacrifice on a hill, overlooking the people and the tabernacle.  This is a foreshadow of Yeshua’s death on Golgatha, overlooking the temple.

Then we have the blessing. After Yeshua’s death and resurrection we were given the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

Yehovah is giving us a foreshadow of plan for redemption with his son.

10. Yehovah Loves Israel!

We see throughout this story Yehovah’s protection and blessing of Israel. His motherly love toward them. His plans and destiny for them. He defends them, stands up to their enemies and gives them the victory before the fight even begins.

His love for Israel is undeniable in this story. Romans 11:28-29 tells us:

“But with respect to being chosen, they are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake, for Yehovah’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable.”

Yehovah still loves Israel. He still longs to “gather his children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” (Matt. 23:37)   We have this opportunity to share his heart for Israel and the Jewish people, to be zealous for his people.


To summarize, Yehovah…

  1. Will Glorify Himself And Make His Name Known When We Obey Him.
  2. Does The Blessing and The Cursing.
  3. Deals With Those Who Plan To Harm Israel.
  4. Sometimes Uses Physical Obstacles To Get Our Attention.
  5. Is A Promise Keeper.
  6. Sees Us Through Our Destiny.
  7. Is A Jealous God.
  8. Is Moved By One Person Who Is Zealous For Him.
  9. Shows Us His Son, His Plan Of Redemption.
  10. Loves Israel.

How does knowing these things about Yehovah change things for me?  How can I align with his characteristics?  Which behaviors or thoughts of mine are challenged by these truths?

There is so much we can learn from this parsha. I encourage you to make this personal and seek what the Spirit may have for you specifically.

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2 responses

  1. Constance

    What an insightful prospective. Although I’ve read and study this portion for some time, it was refreshing to see it through the eyes of Yehovah. He is truly omnipresent! Blessed be He! Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

    June 30, 2018 at 7:03 am

    • Yes, Baruch atah Adonai! His revelation is true refreshment to our souls.

      June 25, 2021 at 6:45 am

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