overcoming the enemy -rabbi-ralph-messer

“Overcoming the Enemy” by Rabbi Ralph Messer

Balak/Destroyer Numbers 22:2 -25:9


In this Torah Portion, Balak, whose name in Hebrew means “destroyer”, hires Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam, the great seer of the gentiles (nations) surveys Israel from three separate vantage points, yet all God allows him to speak are words of blessing. Balaam himself is only saved from destruction after God opens the mouth of his donkey to warn Salaam. Today, the spirit of Salaam can be related to spiritual leaders that are not walking in the Torah. God blinds these spiritual leaders, yet they are saved from destruction, and again, by a donkey. Hosea, a prophet to the Northern Kingdom, gives the parallel:

“Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles (nations), like a vessel in which is no pleasure. For they have gone up to Assyria; like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king ofprinces. ‘Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, they have become for him altars for sinning. I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing.
(Hosea 8: 8-12 NKJV)

The donkey appears again in Mark 11 :1-4 -which foretells how the LORD will ride into the City of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Yeshua, being carried by the donkey (Ephraim), will bring forth the message to those scattered among the nations. Secause Israel contaminated herself and the Land with pagan idolatry worship, God warned through His prophets that He would scatter Israel into the nations, and then individually, by His Spirit (Isaiah 45; 48), God would restore His people to their heritage. Israel incurs blindness for steadfastly hardening their hearts to God. God responds with an act of sheer mercy by opening the eyes of the nations to Messiah. This Mercy will become the basis of Salvation for the Jews (House of Judah) and for the nations (House of Israel).

The story of Balak and Balaam foreshadows the great end-times redemption, when the Enemy of God will receive justice, as the overcomers in God receive deliverance. Just when Balak and Balaam sought to curse the children of Israel, God opened the mouth of those who were in the nations (the donkey) to put His blessing and promises into motion. In Hebrew thought, there is always a descent before an ascent. In John 7:19, Yeshua recognizes and confronts His enemies saying, “Why do you go about to kill Me?”

To be an achiever and an overcomer, by God’s Spirit, you likewise need to recognize an adversary, and recognize that the adversary’s presence is the announcement of your promotion and your future. An adversary is recognizable. The common will resent the uncommon; the impure despise the pure. The unholy hate the holy.

1. Yeshua expected His disciples to stir up enemies.
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
(Matthew 1 0:22 N KJV)
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house
Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them ofhis household?” (Matthew 10: 24-25 N KJV)

2. Yeshua instructed His disciples to anticipate enemies.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 NKJV)

3. Yeshua warned His disciples ahead of time that men would become their enemies.
“But beware ofmen: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”
(Matthew 10: 17-18 NKJV)

Balak and Balaam sought to sabotage the children of Israel. Balak was a destroyer, and the spirit of Balak is a spirit of destruction. The spirit of the adversary seeks to influence people against the Spirit of God. Yet God has given you authority over the adversary, and the realm of death. The realm of death (yetzer hara -the evil inclination) and the realm of life (yetzer hatovthe good inclination) are also inside you. You must enter every battle against your enemy for the purpose of bringing glory to God. Speak His blessings. Take authority over your enemies, for you are inclined to good because the power of the living God is rising up within you.

What Balaam meant for evil, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob used for good. The battle may not be over, yet the victory is assured. You are called as messengers of His truth; pulling down strongholds, setting the captives free, and preparing the way of the LORD.