Chukat–Balak – ‘The Decree of’ Cleansing' and ‘Balak’
This Scripture study begins with the ‘decree’ of purification and cleansing of Israel from sin by the ‘red heifer.’ The first chapter describes what is to go into the ‘water for cleansing’ we will focus on the cleansing; the ingredients are:
These three all point to Messiah Yahshuah being our sin offering for the cleansing and purifying of Yahweh’s people.
It is thought that the Lebanon Cedar tree may have been the original cedar wood tree which was used for cedar wood oil in ancient times, as its fragrance was useful as an insect, ant and moth repellent; it was also used greatly as a building material source. Cedar wood essential oil is an antiseptic, astringent, anti-bacterial, a stimulant to the skin and circulatory system, sedative and an aphrodisiac. In aromatherapy, it is useful in the treatment of eczema, dry skin, dandruff, fluid retention, nervous tension, arthritis, rheumatism, cystitis and asthma. Cedar wood also has some other uses.1
Used externally as a skin wash, a decoction of the flowering tops can help the healing of burns and relieve skin inflammations. The fresh crushed leaves promote healing of bruises, and relieve the discomfort of insect bites and stings. When applied as a hair rinse, hyssop may help eliminate head lice. Hyssop preparations have also been used to relieve muscular pain and rheumatism when taken as a tea or a bath additive.2
Is a worm called "coccus ilicis" when dried was ground into a powder and used as a dye for the color crimson. 3 This worm also contains a chemical that is an anti-bacterial agent.
Looking at the characteristics of all three ingredients through the Scriptures we see where Yahweh speaks of cleansing His people:
Malachi 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and a cleanser of silver. And He shall cleanse the sons of Lĕwi, and refine them as gold and silver, and they shall belong to Yahweh, bringing near an offering in righteousness.”
Ezekiel 36:25 “And I shall sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean – from all your filthiness and from all your idols I cleanse you.”
Ezekiel 36:33 ‘Thus said the Master Yahweh, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your crookednesses, I shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and the ruined places shall be rebuilt,”
Ezekiel 37:23 “And they shall no longer defile themselves with their idols, nor with their disgusting matters, nor with any of their transgressions. And I shall save them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and I shall cleanse them. And they shall be My people, and I be their Elohim,”
Dan 12:10 “Many shall be cleansed and made white, and refined. But the wrong shall do wrong – and none of the wrong shall understand, but those who have insight shall understand.”
1 John 1:7 & 9 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshuah Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Numbers 8:6 “Take the Lĕwites from among the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall cleanse them,”Something very interesting happened after they were cleansed; they were “waved” before Yahweh. The Hebrew word used for wave of offering here is ‘nuph’ H5130 and it is a primitive root which means to ‘wave’ or ‘shake’ with sprinkling as with your hands. This is right in line with the practice of making a wave offering of the sheaf offering and lifting it up before the Father. Just as Yahshuah was lifted up before Yahweh He became our ‘Wave Offering’. This lines up perfectly with Yahshuah becoming the Sin Offering as in Numbers 19:11 and 12 states ‘He who touches the dead of any human being is unclean for seven days. ‘He is to cleanse himself with the water on the third day, and on the seventh day he is clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day, then on the seventh day he is not clean. The ‘third’ spoken of can be compared to the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the ‘seventh’ we will relate to First Fruits. These relate metaphorically with Messiah touching “those who were dead”; in the Hebrew thought when someone is cut off from the people or nation of Israel they are just as ‘dead.’
The house of Israel in Hosea chapter 1 was cut off as a people of Yahweh. So they become the ‘dead’ or ‘dry’ bones that would be restored as spoken of in Ezekiel 37:4 and 11, “Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and you shall say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh! And He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Yisra’ĕl. See, they say, ‘Our bones are dry, our expectancy has perished, and we ourselves have been cut off!” The word ‘cutoff’ is gazar H1504 which also means to be destroyed in other words ‘dead’. So here we see the house of Israel being dead or cutoff from Yahweh and later in the Brit Chadashah (Renewed Covenant) Messiah Yahshuah states in Matthew 15:24 He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl” this means that His task was to redeem that which was ‘cutoff, dead, and lost’; us His people who were once not a people to make us a kingdom of priest and a royal nation to Him Who reigns Supreme as King for all eternity, Omein!
Messiah was defiled by ‘touching’ that which is ‘dead’ after being planted in the earth as the Seed spoken of in Genesis 3:15 crushing the head of the evil one having become the Pierced Unleavened Bread and then rising on the ‘third’ day being cleansed and ultimately on the ‘seventh’ day being clean from our sins and becoming the First Fruits of the people called out and set apart to the One, True, and Living Creator of the Universe. He is the One Who cleanses us by His death and completed our cleansing transition by being the First Fruit Offering. The three ingredients in the purifying water of the red heifer all are cleansing agents with anti-bacterial properties that will physically cleanse one from impurities. They are all very special in their Spiritual application representing the cleansing power of Messiah Yahshuah, even to the point of the one living creature the scarlet ‘worm’. This little creature does not look like anything special as a matter of fact it’s pretty ugly as you can see from the picture above, but it does something that is so in line with the Character and Nature of our Wonderful Messiah; when her life is near its end, she climbs up a tree and fastens her body to it. This is her final act of life because she dies giving the ultimate sacrifice, her eggs hatch, and because of her death, her offspring are given new life. The final act of this little creature depicts the final act of Yahshuah, being the covering and redemption for the disobedient children of Yahweh, He was fastened to a tree and gave His Life so that we might live.
The Scripture study continues with the plot of Balak and Bilam to destroy the house of Israel. Bilam the priest is told by Balak the king of the Moabites to go and curse the house of Israel so that they would fall by their hands. Bilam hears from Yahweh not to curse them but to bless them, Yahweh makes it very clear, “How can you curse what I have already Blessed?” This is such a profound statement because here we have people sojourners, wonderers in the wilderness being told by Yahweh that they would inherit the land of a great and mighty nation. Every other nation around is scared because they have seen and heard of this people and how Yahweh fights for them. Balak decides to try and affect the situation not by helping them, which in my opinion would have been the smarter approach, but by trying to use a prophet to speak bad things on Yahweh’s people. The prophet can only open his mouth and speak Blessings, why, because Yahweh controls the mouths of all even Bilam’s donkey. This reminds us that Father is in control of all things and no matter what may occur or who it may come through Father is in total control of all things. One thing concerning this situation that we as people set apart to Yahweh must focus on is what happens next….since Bilam is not a prophet of Yahweh but a prophet for profit…he schemes with Balak and they devise a plan that eventually causes the break-down of Israel. Bilam tells Balak to inter marry with the house of Israel; to take their daughters as wives and let them take your daughters as wives. Messiah tells us in Matthew 10:16 to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We must keep our eyes and ears open to what the enemy is attempting to do to us. If we sit around not paying attention to what is happening around us we will miss what Father has for us, and may acquire what the enemy wants us to have. I hear so many Christians saying ‘What God has for me is for me,” and I agree but we can sometimes slow the progress of the Blessings and Father may allow that to happen because we have to make sure that what we are doing is completely in-line with Father’s plan for our life. It is so important to make sure that the voice we are following is His Voice and not another.
Messiah said in John 10:4 and 5 “And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. “And they shall by no means follow a stranger, but shall flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” If you are one of Messiah’s sheep you are not supposed to follow the voice of a stranger. Stranger would include any voice that is not speaking the Word of Yahweh. If their words do not line up with the Scripture then do not follow them…this is so important for us to grab on to. In ministry we see may different types of people; the seed being sowed in all types of ground is a perfect example of what Messiah is saying here, because people will come like they are on fire for Yahweh and then they fizzle out or they open themselves up to too many voices and find themselves confused, others sometimes just don’t get it because they are in their own little world trying to make things happen on their own. We have to be careful not to become one of those. If we are planted in good soil we will root and bring forth fruit in ‘season’. Let us be aware of those who are sent out by the enemy to try and halt the plan of Yahweh and the Blessings that are on our lives, Omein!
In Micah, Father Yahweh speaks of the House of Jacob being in the midst of the gentiles and that He was going to bring us out and destroy the gentiles who reign all around us. He states in Micah 5:15 “And I shall take vengeance in wrath and rage on the gentiles who did not obey.” The importance of obedience is huge in the Father’s eyes, Adam and Hav’vah did not obey therefore bringing excommunicated from the place of ‘provision’. We do not want to be cut off from The Creator, because sin separates us from Yahweh. The last Scripture in this reading in Micah 6:8 states: “He has declared to you, O man, what is good. And what does Yahweh require of you but to do right, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?” Father wants us to walk in righteousness and if we do not we will be tried for disobedience just like the fig tree was tried and Messiah Yahshuah cursed it for not bearing fruit. We should constantly search and ask,”Am I bearing fruit?” If the answer is yes we should see the results, if not one had better seek Father’s Face and check his/her life for sin…we are going to be held accountable for every deed done in this body.
As we continue through to the Brit Chadashah (Renewed Covenant) reading we see Messiah being set up for the crucifixion. The High Priest states that it is better for one man to die then for the entire nation to perish. I think that is amazing that he said that because he did not believe in Messiah Yahshuah he in a sense lifts Messiah to a higher place as the sacrifice for all by making this statement and he was the correct one to do that being the high priest. Everything that is happening in these chapters deal with the events leading up to Messiah’s death. He is anointed with oils that they also use to scent dead bodies, He comforts His taught ones about not feeling dismayed and that He was going to prepare a place for them and that He would not leave them alone as ‘orphans’. The word that He uses in John 14:18 is translated in the KJV as ‘comfortless’ but the actual word in the Greek transcripts is ‘orphanos’ G3737 and in Hebrew H3490 ‘yathomim’ as in without guidance or a father. This to me is a direct correlation to Yahshuah saying that He and The Father are One. While Messiah is on earth with them they are not without a Father and orphans, and when He is gone the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is here thus making Him (The Ruach HaKodesh) the Father or Guardian; They are One.
This speaks volumes to me in the case for Yahshuah being YHVH in the flesh, as there is much controversy around that in theologian circles. As for me this along with Zechariah 12:10 which states: “And I shall pour on the house of Dawiḏ and on the inhabitants of Yerushalayim a spirit of favour and prayers. And they shall look on Me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son. And they shall be in bitterness over Him as a bitterness over the first-born. This is Yahweh speaking; Yahshuah has not come in the flesh yet, but it makes it real clear that He is speaking of Himself and we the believers that the Messianic age has come know that this happened to Messiah on the stake or cross giving substance to the belief that Messiah is Yah in the flesh. What a beautiful depiction of the Oneness of the Father and how He became our Atonement in the Bodily Form of Messiah Yahshuah; being the cleansing and purifying agent to bring us to ‘rightness’ with the Father. We are cleansed by Him in that we believe that He is Yahweh in the flesh, and that He gave His life for us and not leaving us without a Guide and orphaned, but renewed us in the inhabitation of His Spirit the Ruach HaKodesh within all of us who believe in Him.
Blessings and Shalom!
1 Learn more about Cedar Wood
2 Learn more about Hyssop3 Learn more about Crimson