Numbers 24:1-9,15-19 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you”... This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”
Balaam, the renowned diviner of the land undergoes a character transformation as noted in the last 2 chapters and now speaks wisdom that can only come from God. How is this relevant to us today?
Balaam finally realized the futility of seeking God's favor on behalf of King Balak and therefore started speaking for God to Balak and the ruling people of the land.
His message reveals God's heart about His chosen people, Israel, and shows how God will bless them and curse anyone who curses them.
These were promises God made to Abraham and Jacob and these are now revealed from the lips of a man disconnected from the Israelites, a mere diviner.
Now we can begin to appreciate God's workings in the lives of those who trust Him with their all and glory in knowing that even though we may not see God's hand at work physically, He is definitely at work in our lives and in the lives of those connected with us either in opposition or support of us.
Nothing is outside of God's control and no one is more powerful that they can affect God's will for us.
The second prophecy recorded in this chapter hit me like a ton of bricks. I was amazed to note how Balaam prophesied not just of David's victory (Much later in time) but of Jesus' final victory.
Balaam spoke with the anointing of the Holy Spirit and his words held the weight of gold because they actually came to pass.
When he said that he sees 'him' but not here and now, he speaks prophetically of the future. The person referred to here is referred to as a 'star' or great light. Isaiah referred to the messiah as a great light in Isaiah 9:2.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)
Balaam further states that this star will rise from Jacob as in from the descendants of Jacob and Jesus certainly was of the offspring of Jacob, many generations separated.
Next he refers to the star as a scepter to resemble great power or a royal figure. Jacob before his death announced:
The 'scepter' will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor. Genesis 49:10 (NLT)
The last words of the prophecy reveal death and destruction to those who are against God and this is what will come of those who oppose Christ.
This prophecy was never quoted in the new testament but I am blown away by how God spoke through the mouth of even a greedy diviner to show what He was about to carry out.
The significance of God's words often beat us because we want to understand it in our own accepted point of view but when we open our eyes with the Holy Spirit's enabling, we can see that the word of God is a testimony of God's story written back in time that was relevant then, as is today and will forever be!
In His Loving Service,
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