Turning Cursing Into a Blessing

“‘And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the last days.’ He took up his discourse and said, ‘The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, and the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered. I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; a star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall crush through the forehead of Moab, and tear down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be a possession, Seir, his enemies, also will be a possession, while Israel performs valiantly. One from Jacob shall have dominion, and will destroy the remnant from the city'” (Num 24:14-19).

Balaam surprises us with yet another discourse, his fourth in the series. Its purpose is to unpack the meaning of his third discourse (Num 24:5-9). First, by telling us the king of Numbers 24:7-9 will come in the last days (Num 24:14), Balaam unambiguously identifies him as the same king Jacob spoke about in Genesis 49: “Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, ‘Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the last days….The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples” (Gen 49:1, 10).

Second, by repeating the same exact words from the previous discourse about speaking an oracle through open eyes (compare Num 24;15-16 and Num 24:3-4), Balaam makes sure we see a direct connection between his prophecy about the “king” in Numbers 24:7-9 and the Messianic “scepter” in Numbers 24:17.

This Messianic King is the seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent

Third, by referring to the crushing of Moab’s forehead (Num 24:17), Balaam makes clear this Messianic King is the seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). And finally, by using the phrase “Seir his enemies,” Balaam alludes (with a play on words) to God’s promise that a seed from Abraham’s line will be victorious over Israel’s enemies (Gen 22:17; 24:60; see Num 24:7).

Over the years I have come to realize that Numbers 24 is one of the most important chapters in the entire Hebrew Bible. Numbers 24 reminds us no weapon formed against us will prosper. God always takes the attempted curses of our enemies and turns them into promises of victory over our enemies. By tying together all the other key passages and promises in the Torah, Numbers 24 shows us who the true hero of the Torah story really is. Through the Messianic King of Israel, we are not only assured of God’s victory, but also given THE key which unlocks the true meaning and goal of our inspired history!

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:16-17).

Show the world you are One for Israel!

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