So, how about that talking donkey? The story of Balaam is fascinating, as he is an oracle of God whom the LORD won’t allow to wander off message. Unable to curse the Israelites, Balaam makes his patron Balak angry and frustrated. Numbers 24:16-17 got my attention, as Balaam says that he is the oracle who hears the very words of God, knows the knowledge of the Most High, and then describes the coming Messiah.
“I see him, but not now…I behold him, but not near…A star shall come out of Jacob… a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
It is about 1,400 years before Jesus’ incarnation – “not now”. Jesus is from before all time, so he exists when Balaam speaks, but he is “not near” – He is yet in heaven. The imagery of a star makes me thing of the brilliance of the morning star when it rises before the dawn. Jesus is born into the family of Jacob, and He will come to reign and rule – a scepter is the mark of a king.
God’s plan of salvation, the Father’s plan to send the Son, Jesus’ role as the centerpiece of all history speaks through this man Balaam. Balaam is not even a Jew. He is in the employ of an enemy of God’s people and plan and his job is to curse God’s beloved people. Instead, he proclaims Jesus. Jesus truly rules over all things in all times. Amazing. The Gospel is powerful, a reality we can count on.
Text: Numbers 22-24; Psalm 34
in Him, Mike