Then the Lord uncovered Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, his drawn sword in his hand; thereupon he bowed right down to the ground. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, "Why have you beaten your ass these three times? It is I who came out as an adversary, for the errand is obnoxious to me. 33 And when the ass saw me, she shied away because of me those three times. If she had not shied away from me, you are the one I should have killed, while sparing her." 34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, "I erred because I did not know that you were standing in my way. If you still disapprove, I will turn back." 35 But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, "Go with the men. But you must say nothing except what I tell you." So Balaam went on with Balak’s dignitaries. [Bamidbar 22: 31-35]
This week we read about how Balak, the king of Moab wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites. Three times Balaam enquired of HaShem and each time he was advised to bless Israel and not to curse them. The problem was that while Balaam was travelling on the way the angel of HaShem tried to stop him, but he did not see it.
A good lesson for us to learn is that sometimes HaShem will throw up roadblocks in our way. This can be done for many reasons such as to protect us or to test our emmunah (faith). We need to learn to seek HaShem Through prayer and study of the scriptures. It is important to be patient as HaShem does not work on our time, but in His time.
This Parasha gives us the opening of the Ma Tovu (the blessing upon entering the synagogue). How good are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel! (24:5)
We also see how Pinechas had to kill an Israelite man and a Moabite woman in order to break the curse of HaShem.
Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman over to his companions, in the sight of Moses and of the whole Israelite community who were weeping at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 7 When Phinehas, son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he left the assembly and, taking a spear in his hand, 8 he followed the Israelite into the chamber and stabbed both of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. Then the plague against the Israelites was checked. 9 Those who died of the plague numbered twenty-four thousand. ( Bamidbar25:6-9)
The truth is if we fear HaShem and trust in Him we will avoid many difficulties. So listen to Him and don’t be..well a Donkey!!