The reading of the Torah this week (in Israel) is from Numbers 22:2-25:9. It is called Balak, because Balak the king of Moab could not have a victory over Israel, and he wanted to destroy Israel before they arrived in the land of Canaan. So, he saw that he could not have victory over Israel, and he wanted to enlist the help of the divine powers to be able to have victory.

In the history of biblical narrative and Jewish folklore, Balaam became the arch villain of all ages. From the book of Numbers all the way to the book of Revelation and rabbinical literature, Balaam is a recurring bad guy of biblical history.

However, the hero in the Balaam story is the donkey. Balaam, the international pagan prophet with a great reputation, invited by kings to put an evil spell on Israel, is a lesser prophet than his donkey. The donkey sees the angel of the Lord and hears him, but Balaam does not. The donkey speaks to Balaam, who does not hear from God. So, in this week’s Jerusalem prayer list we are going to learn from a donkey.

The story of Balak and Balaam is spread over 95 verses in our parasha. The story of the donkey is only 14 verses of the 95, and yet the most remembered part of the Balak-Balaam story is in this fraction of the story. This biblical story is a challenge to every Bible commentator for a number of reasons. I will answer each of the following questions:

Q: Does God speak to pagan prophets?

A: Yes, He does! We see that God is speaking to Balaam in this story, and gives him instruction what to do and what to say. We must remember that the God of Israel is the God of all the nations. He has chosen Israel to represent Him to all the nations, because He cares about them, and is working to restore them back to Himself.

Q: Do these pagan prophets, like Balaam, recognize the voice of the Lord, Creator of the Universe?

A: Apparently yes! But, their agenda is such that they, most of the time, ignore God’s instruction and have the wrong motives. The story of Jonah is a demonstration of this principle.

Q: Do these pagan prophets have a relationship with God that demands obedience?

A: Yes, like every human being, pagans have an obligation to the Almighty, and they too are obligated to hear and obey.

Q: Why is God angry with Balaam, and sends His angel to stop him from going to put an evil spell on Israel?

A: The anger of the Lord against Balaam is because God knows what Balaam is thinking in his heart. God knows that Balaam has every intention to receive the gold that Balak promised him for damning Israel.

Q: Why doesn’t the Lord stop Balaam in a different way, like sending a bolt of lightning to stop him dead in his tracks?

A: Because Balaam is being used by God, and has not yet finished his task.

Q: Why does the donkey see and hear the angel of the Lord? And the Balaam the false prophet not hear or see the angel?

A: Because Balaam was so set on his desire and greed, that his mind was blinded by his own agenda, that he could not see anything except to reach his own goal and satisfaction of his greed.

Q: If God gave Balaam permission to go bless Israel, instead of curse Israel, why is God still angry with Balaam? (“And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.” – Numbers 22:21–22 NKJV)

A: The permission that God gave Balaam was also a test to see if he would obey God or not. The Lord is always interested in converting people, including world leaders. The Lord knows what is in our hearts. He saw Balaam’s heart and knew that he has no intention to bless Israel. For this reason He sent his angel.

Q: Why does the angel of the Lord not bring to Balaam and to his donkey any new instruction? (He actually repeats what the Lord has already spoken to Balaam, “And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.” – Numbers 22:35 KJV)

A: The Lord is patient with all of humanity, even with His enemies, and the enemies of Israel. Even with Israel, His chosen nation. He warns, more than one time, but in the end, when the cup of iniquity is full, the gavel strikes, and the Lord’s verdict is passed, and history is the judge of God’s righteousness.

Q: What is the difference between a greedy pagan false prophet, and a simple donkey to whom the Lord God is giving a revelation through one of His angels?

A: This question is very important to me. Because we see today, in the spiritual sphere of evangelical christianity, like in the time of John’s revelation, some of the same phenomena. Leaders who report friendship with Israel for satisfaction of their own greed. There are not many, but they stand out. Sometimes an anonymous “donkey” can see what the famous VIP leaders don’t see, and it is these simple men of God that save the day.

Q: What can we learn from this story that will help us hear from the Lord, understand the Lord better, and be obedient to the Lord? Even if the revelation of the Lord is not exactly to our liking?

A: Everyone can be used by God, even a donkey! If you hear from God, don’t say to yourself, “I am simple and God can’t be speaking to a simple man like me,” say to yourself, “I am a simple person without high degrees from university, God has spoken to me, and I will do what He tells me to do! I will speak the Lord’s truth with love, even if it seems strange that the Lord of all has spoken to me!”

Ruby Little has shared the following two weeks ago. I am just including it again to remind us all that the duty and privilege to pray for our brothers and sisters is a powerful privilege that we have to put to use:

“A year ago today I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma. Thanks to G-d that the mass has gone from 15.3 cm down to 1.7 cm. We are trying to do Rituxan to keep the mass from becoming aggressive again or spreading but my neutrophils are having a hard time with the Rituxan. I just want to express my gratitude and thank you for your prayers for me.”

We (Marcia and I) are in the USA right now. We are in Thousand Oaks, California. We will participate in the UMJC conference, that is very close to where Danah, our daughter, lives with Noaam, our granddaughter. Daniel Stern will join us early next week, and I ask all of you to pray for Daniel, and for Yehuda, and for our fellowship in Israel during this time of Daniel’s absence and my absence. Pray for Yehuda, and the other leaders, for God to bless them with His grace and guidance.

Our granddaughter went through surgery (tonsillectomy), and she is doing much better and recovering from this surgery. Thank you all who prayed for Noaam and Danah during these two weeks.

Please keep Marcia’s father and mother in your prayers. They are old and sick, and living on the other side of Tennessee in the mountains. They both need special prayers, because of their age and their illness.

Israeli politics are still the same, a total mess, and Israel needs the prayers of faithful Christians to intercede before God’s mercy seat for the fulfillment of His promises, and for the quick return of Yeshua the Messiah to Jerusalem, to set all things in order, and establish His Kingdom forever! All this will be without democratic elections! This would be the most wonderful Kingdom, and it will be eternal, and it will even be without income tax and shopping! Praise the Lord of all forever!

There is an additional element, and drums of war between Israel and Iran. The situation is extremely serious and needs for every disciple of Yeshua, and everyone who believes the Bible, to pray and pray and pray for the Lord of all to intervene in only the way that He can intervene, to stop this serious deterioration in the relationships in the Middle East.

The issues are clear, there is a block of Israel’s enemies and God’s enemies, who are claiming and preparing to annihilate Israel off the world map. These are not just the empty threats of Iran, Turkey is also speaking, as they say in Georgia, “out of school.” Russia is in the middle of it all, and the USA is speaking tough and making their presence known.

All this requires an intense knocking on Heaven’s door, and asking the only responsible adult who can do something to calm down and stop this crazy development that could precipitate another world war, that could maybe bring us to Zechariah chapter 12!

Please praying for our dear sister Emma in China, and add to your prayers a dear sister called Deborah Ruth who also lives in Beijing, China.

Keep Netivyah in your prayers. We have been blessed by brothers from around the world who love God, love Yeshua, and love Israel, and the funds for a new van are almost there, but almost is not enough, and we ask people who have not contributed for the van to make a little bigger effort and help Netivyah get the van. Transportation of people and supplies for the HaMotzi food distribution program and for the youth and the elderly is essential. This is not a van for private use, and the old van was not for private use, it served the community, and the food distribution program HaMotzi, for more than 15 years.

Please make an effort to join Netivyah’s 40th anniversary tour and seminar in November 2019. Our intention is to have one big tourist bus that holds 55 people. The numbers are approaching the limits, and I urge you that if you are interested to attend, you should be immediately registering and making your financial deposits.

It will be unusual and rich in content, and full of good surprises for the participants. This tour will be a celebration, not a political event. It will be an inspiration and not an entertainment show. Yes, there will be some entertainment, and there will be some special events, and I hope some political figures, but all together it will be special. It will be about the union and the grafting of our brothers from around the world with the seed of Abraham and the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I ask all of you to mobilize your prayers to pray for the Aliyah and the return of the Anussim, both spiritually, outside of the adulterated brands of Christianity back to the pure waters of God’s word, and also physically, to the land of our forefathers, the land of Zion, Jerusalem.

Please don’t forget to pray for my family, and especially for Marcia my dear wife, and Danah and Noaam, and Barry, Beth, Joey, and all those on this prayer list – that God will be glorified in their lives and in their healing.

Keep Elena Litvak, Efim’s widow, in your prayers, and sister Altamiro from Belo-Horizonte who also lost her dear husband Dr. Altamiro. Our brother Bob Weiner is still in need of our prayers. Please remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani in your prayers.

Please pray for Dr. Song and his dear wife Dr. Kim. They are Korean brothers for whom I have the most special respect and love. Also keep the other group of brothers and sisters in Korea who love God and love Israel, and work for the salvation of Israel and the Jewish people.

Please keep the whole Abu-Eid family in your prayers. Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW.

Please pray a special prayer for Ann West (she is 99 years old and continues praying for the salvation of Israel daily). You can also include Ann’s dear son Roger and his family in your prayers.

Pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki, and Keijo and Salme in Nokia, and for Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa Murto, Evelina, and Eva H., all in Finland. Pray for our dear sister Leah, who is traveling to Finland this week. She is one of those volunteers from Finland who came in 1973, during the war, and has served the Jewish nation as a volunteer nurse for many years. She just had her 88th birthday.

Pray for Patty, Andrea, and Tineke – and our brothers and sisters in the Netherlands that need healing from God.

Continue to pray for Julia and Victor. Pray for our dear sister Paula in Switzerland who needs a divine breakthrough. I want to also add Barry and Dalia, two dear brothers who live in Tiberias and are suffering from illness and pain, and are in need of prayer and help.

I would like to add a dear brother and the son of a dear family of Netivyah supporters in Finland. Their son Aaron Tani is a young man with diabetic problems. Aaron has a family and children and he needs our prayers urgently. Please pray for Aaron Tani.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou WenriIan living in China. Please intercede for Pastor Isaac in Chennai. Pastor Isaac needs healing for his kidneys.

Please lift in your prayers the following brothers and sisters who need the Lord’s gracious touch of healing: George, Gary, Melanie, and Aaron and Nancy Hook. Also, our congregation members, Sarit, David S., Gabriela the adult, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Hannah, young Gabriela, Zvi D. and Batsheva, and Jonathan B. and his wife Aviva. Our dear sisters Laurel, Orna, Sima, and Aviva.

A special prayer is needed for one of my godsons, David B.A., and his family, and especially Elhanan and Julie David’s father and mother, my dear friends and brothers. Keep the whole family in your prayers.

These are brothers and sisters from around the world who need your prayer and your intercession, and healing: Paulo and Noami, Marcelo’s parents, Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Yumi, and her father and family.

This prayer list is very special because we are not only praying for the physically sick brothers and sisters. We are praying for healthy brothers and sisters who are a blessing in God’s Kingdom, but they need that extra “what do you call it” to succeed and become a bigger blessing for the Lord and His Kingdom.

In Hong Kong, we pray and ask you to join us and pray for Louisa and Tony. Keep our dear brother Goh and his family in your prayers. In Korea pray for Sister Christy. Please keep brother Michael Knezevich in prayer. Please add Ismael Alves who lives in Portugal, and Asher Gabriel in Kenya.

I wish all of you, who stand with Israel and who pray for Jerusalem, the best of the Lord’s blessings and the fulfillment of all His promises to His faithful children. Those who hear God and do His will are the ones who are called wise! Those who only hear His word and don’t do it are called foolish! Let us all strive to be wise and never foolish! The best is yet to come!

The Lord God of Israel and the grace of Yeshua our Messiah, King, Teacher, Rabbi, and Lord be with you all!