King Balak of the neighboring country of Moab hired Balaam, a pagan prophet, to curse God’s people. Balak wanted to eliminate any threat that the Israelites would have against him and his land of Moab. Today’s reading is the account of what happened between God and Balaam. God declares to Balaam the unique blessing that God gives to his people.
The pagan Balaam stands in awe of the power of God. God is true to God’s word. When God blesses, who can curse?
The well-known hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” based on Lamentations, 3:22-23, expresses this when we sing in praise of God: “Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.” The Letter to the Hebrews, 13:8, expresses it this way: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
The Sabbath Torah Portion — Balak
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Speaking only what You want 23:12
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
On July 8, the Firestarters from the new edition of
The Bible Through the Seasons for families will be posted daily.