Steven A. Bush - August 27, 2023

Oracles of Blessing from a Pagan Seer

Oracles of Blessing from a Pagan Seer

Balaam was a renowned soothsayer and shaman of foreign deities who had the embarrassing experience of being verbally rebuked by his donkey. Fearing Israel would soon crush his nation, King Balak of Moab hired Balaam to put a curse on Israel; in other words, put a curse on God's own very own children! But God flipped the script. Balaam, instead of cursing, was involuntarily forced by God to bless His people. In one of his oracles of blessing, we read this in Numbers 24:17-19: "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near: a Star shall come out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And One from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!” (ESV) While in the short run this points forward to King David and what his reign would accomplish. In the long run it points to Jesus our Messiah! Some surmise the Magi from the East who came following the Star to find the newborn King in Bethlehem were keenly familiar with these words. While Herod sought to kill the Christ Child, the wisemen came to honor Him with gifts fit for a King. One sought to curse the Child with death while the others came to bless Him in humility. But ultimately our Lord came to become a curse in order that we might be blessed--blessed with life forevermore! And a pagan seer got a glimpse of this a long long time ago...

Scripture References: Numbers 23:1-30, Numbers 24:1-24, Genesis 12:1-3, Galatians 3:13-14, Colossians 2:13-15, Revelation 20:14-15, Revelation 21:4

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