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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Balak 40-4

Destroyer

Numbers 22:39 – 23:12

From the rocky peaks I see them; from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

Num. 23:9 NIV

Who wants to eliminate the difference between Jewish and Gentile?

When our father Avraham left Ur of the Chaldeans he backed away from the pagan system of this world. In that moment he became the first Hebrew, from the root avar עבר – to cross to the other side. Everyone was on one side and Avraham was on the other side. He rejected polytheism and got the mission of spreading the faith in one only God who exists so that everyone has the opportunity to come from their evil ways and serve that Only One.

Avraham won many people for his faith and after many years he received circumcision as a sign of the covenant established between the Eternal and his descendants forever. Avraham lived serving the Eternal being uncircumcised until he was 99 years old. Then he lived another 76 years serving the Eternal as a circumcised man. This teaches us that there will be more uncircumcised sons of Avraham tan circumcised ones.

Avraham was chosen to be the father of the uncircumcised that follow his faith as uncircumcised. He was also chosen to be father of the circumcised ones who follow his faith in his circumcised state (Rom. 4). In that way all those who are sons and daughters of Avraham are in the category of those who have passed from the world’s system to the other side. Both groups are set apart, sacred and all of them take part in the inheritance of blessings promised to Avraham our father for all his descendants.

The people of the covenant are separated from the other nations. Bilam prophetically says that it is a nation that lives apart. The Hebrew word translated as “live apart” is levadadלבדד   – it comes from the root badad בדד  – which means divided. The word bidudבידוד   – comes from the same root and it’s used in Modern Hebrew in the sense of insulating, among other things for construction.

The people of the circumcision have been created for not being counted among the other nations in the same way the tribe of Levi wasn’t counted among the other tribes in Israel. They are counted apart because they were chosen specifically to be priests in favour of the rest.

The difference between the Jewish people and the rest of the nations has been created by the Eternal and established in the Torah. The Jew is born to feel separated from the rest of the nations. It is his calling and his purpose of being. The day the Jew wants to be like the other nations he will lose his purpose of being. The identity of being a different people is so strong in the Jew that any doctrine or practice that makes an attempt against it is immediately rejected and considered a threat against the chosen people’s survival.

The secular movement among modern Jews, in which the non-religious Zionist movement is included, is one of the most considerable threats against, not only Jewish identity, but also against the very existence of the sacred people. When the Jew wants to be like the other nations, rejecting his religious and cultural heritage, he is threatening his own existence and the one of his people.

However, the threat of Jewish secularism is not the strongest or the most dangerous. There is another threat, more important, and it is the threat of ideologies and theologies that have in their roots the idea of eliminating the calling of the Jew. A theology that teaches that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile is destroying the foundation of the existence of the chosen, separated people.

Any doctrine, no matter how Semitic it may seem, that has as a goal to eliminate the distinctive signs of the priestly nation or to create a replacing people to take the identity of the people of the covenant without being willing to acknowledge and submit to their leadership, changing their faith’s foundations, is automatically rejected by the Jew.

Therefore, Rav. Shaul of Tarsus‘ teachings about the separation wall between both peoples being broken down in the Messiah has to be well understood to prevent it from being turned into a false doctrine that would attempt against the Jews’ exclusive identity before the chosen ones from among the nations. It is not the Law that has been removed, or the distinctive signs of the Jews, but the enmity between both peoples, that was broken down and destroyed by Yeshua’s death. This doesn’t mean that the particularities of the Jewish people have disappeared, or that the chosen ones from among the nations can live as a Jew in every single aspect.

The non-Jew that has been grafted in the spiritual olive and has received heavenly citizenship can and should learn many things from the Jews, to an extent that the rest of the gentiles many times may not be able to perceive the difference between them. But the non-Jew can’t adopt everything a Jew does without entering the covenant of circumcision because if he did, he would eliminate the role of the Jew of being a people that live apart the other nations.

The British that was chosen from among the nations is a citizen of heaven firstly, along with everything this implies regarding sanctity and obedience to the commandments of the Torah for him, and  the practice of the heavenly culture revealed to the people of the covenant. Secondly, he is a citizen of Britain created by the Eternal with a purpose in this world.

Now, Israel has a double function; on one side, it is a physical people among the other peoples, and on the other side, it is a spiritual people. The rest of the peoples on earth only have the purpose of being physical peoples each one of them with an important role. Only when someone from the nations adopts the faith of Avraham he becomes a righteous one from among the nations and if he reaches the level of receiving the spirit of the Messiah and is born again, he belongs to the same spiritual people than the Jew that has had that same experience.

We can’t remove the differences between Jew and non-Jew though; because in that case, we would remove a very important factor in the plan of the world’s redemption.

That was Bilam’s gravest sin, when he sent the girls from the nations to fornicate and to teach a pagan cult to the sons of Israel. Had the people not stop that attack for good in that moment, there would be no Jewish people and the world would be totally lost.

In the same way that the chosen people have been set apart, isolated, sanctified from the other peoples, the chosen ones from among the nations have to live a sacred, set-apart life from the rest of the nations. This is the way of being light for salvation to their fellow citizens.

May the Eternal help us not to behave like those who are not sons of Avraham.

Blessings,

Ketriel


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