Parashat Balak, Are you persistently walking in your own way?

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In this week’s study from Parashat Balak (Bamidbar / Numbers 22:2-38) Balak king of Moab saw what the children of Yisrael had done to the Amorites and both he and the people of Moab were afraid being very anxious about Yisrael’s presence.  As a result, Balak asks for help from a man called Bilam. Now Bilam was well known according to Balak saying: כִּי יָדַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר-תְּבָרֵךְ מְבֹרָךְ וַאֲשֶׁר תָּאֹר יוּאָר meaning ‘For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.’ (22:6). It is interesting that Bilam was in contact with (hearing from) the Lord as we see in the repeated references that God said not to go with the men of Balak.  Eventually, at the persistence of Balak, Bilam goes with the men and God’s anger burned against Bilam.  Then Angel of the Lord stood in the way of Bilam’s donkey to slay him.  Bilam is very persistent; three times Bilam turns to continue on his way being unaware that his life is in eminent danger.  How often do you think we walk in eminent danger if we are not walking and living in God’s Word?  Think about this for a moment.  Last week, Moshe and Aharon failed to remain in God’s Word and they failed to sanctify the Name of God (Bamidbar / Numbers 20).  In this week’s study, Bilam failed to remain in God’s Word and if it wasn’t for the mercy of God, Bilam would have died.  Today, do we take our walk, our faith, and our relationship with God seriously enough?  What about prayer; do we understand prayer according to the Bible or do we understand prayer like Bilam understood prayer? Parashat Balak _2010-2011_

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!