ESOCS Devotional 10 June 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh; there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Numbers 24:17
TEXT: NUMBERS 24:10-25
10 Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have done nothing but bless them these three times.
11 Therefore now go back where you belong and do it in a hurry! I had intended to promote you to great honor, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.
12 Balaam said to Balak, Did I not say to your messengers whom you sent to me,
13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the command of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will, but what the Lord says, that will I speak?
14 And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, I will tell you what this people [Israel] will do to your people [Moab] in the latter days.
15 And he took up his [figurative] discourse, and said: Balaam son of Beor speaks, the man whose eye is opened speaks,
16 He speaks, who heard the words of God and knew the knowledge of the Most High, who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling down, but having his eyes open and uncovered:
17 I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but He is not near. A star (Star) shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter (Scepter) shall rise out of Israel and shall crush all the corners of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth [Moab’s sons of tumult].
18 And Edom shall be [taken as] a possession, [Mount] Seir also shall be dispossessed, who were Israel’s enemies, while Israel does valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob shall one (One) come having dominion and shall destroy the remnant from the city.
20 [Balaam] looked at Amalek and took up his [prophetic] utterance, and said: Amalek is the foremost of the [neighboring] nations, but in his latter end he shall come to destruction.
21 And he looked at the Kenites and took up his [prophetic] utterance, and said: Strong is your dwelling place, and you set your nest in the rock.
22 Nevertheless the Kenites shall be wasted. How long shall Asshur (Assyria) take you away captive?
23 And he took up his [prophetic] speech, and said: Alas, who shall live when God does this and establishes [Assyria]?
24 But ships shall come from Kittim [Cyprus and the greater part of the Mediterranean’s east coast] and shall afflict Assyria and Eber [the Hebrews, certain Arabs, and descendants of Nahor], and he [the victor] also shall come to destruction.
We come to another profound prophecy of the Messiah, this time by the mouth of a diviner and seer of international repute in that age, prophet Balaam. We come to the fourth oracle of Balaam (Num. 22:41, 23:12), the second was on top of Mount Pisgah (Num. 23:13-26), the third was on top of Peor (23:27-28), and the fourth oracle under consideration also took place on Mount Peor (24:15-19). Like the preceding three oracles, this was altogether blessing Israel instead of cursing her, and it triggered the anger of Balak who hired Balaam to curse Israel. This oracle foretold the coming of the Messiah as a star out of Jacob and as a sceptre out of Israel. Balaam lived 1,400 years before Jesus Christ came and the note of remoteness in time of fulfilment is easily discerned from verse 17a and 17b: “I shall see him, but not now” and “I shall behold him, but not nigh.”
Many generations after Balaam; King David, arose, smote, and subdued Moab, and the Moabites became his servants (2 Sam. 8:2) but the prophecy of Balaam obviously goes beyond that conquest to the dominion of the Messiah when he shall have conquered all enemies of God’s people, for Moab and the nations mentioned in the oracle represent enemies of God’s people. The Messiah is seen by the prophet as a star: this speaks of his glory, the glory he had with the father before the world was created (Jn. 17:5). It speaks of his glory as the ‘Bright and morning star’ (Rev. 22:16), speaks of his glory as deity; “the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). He is also seen as a sceptre which denotes his power and authority, the dominion he shall have to rule over the entire world, power to subdue unrepentant opposition to God’s kingdom, and authority to rule over them.
The good news is that after his earthly ministry, Christ did not go away with all that power and authority, but gave of it to the Church, even to you and me to exercise on his behalf and do exploits for the kingdom (Dan. 11:32).
When the 70 returned jubilating that the devils were subject unto them in his name, the Lord added this: “I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk. 10:19). The statement which preceded the inauguration of the great commission was “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18); “Go ye therefore …” (v 19). Go in the Spirit of my power and the authority of my sceptre.
- Know for sure that “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world “(1 Jn. 4:4). You are an indomitable star.
- Father, help me to discover and function with the power you have given unto me.
FURTHER READING: Matthew 2:1-10; 10:1-8
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ESOCS Devotional 10 June 2023