Numbers

The Tragedy of Balaam’s “Star” Prophecy

Numbers 24:17 is often cited as the verse the Wise Men found that led them to seek out the newborn Christ. While scripture does not confirm that, it is still a prophecy concerning the coming of Christ.

The tragedy of Numbers 24:17 is not in the prophecy itself, but who gave the prophecy. Balaam was not a Godly man, nor was he a man of faith. When he prophesied of the coming Messiah, and the glory of Christ, he did so as an outsider, one who would never experience the blessing of that glory.

How tragic it is to see the glory of Christ, and the blessing of life, and never receive that blessing yourself. It’s like being stuck in a dark place that is surrounded by light.

The Star

golden-bible

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

One of the most beautiful parts of the day is sunrise.

Traveling across the Painted Desert in Arizona during the early morning hours on a summer day in 2012, I was blessed to see the sun rise across a colorful horizon. That sight gave me a clear understanding of why they call it the Painted Desert. Each layer of colors, from the orange and red in the sky, to the red and brown along the ground, looked as if it had been hand-painted across the canvassed landscape that lay before me.

At one point, it became hard to tell where the sky ended, and the land began.

There’s a peaceful feeling at sunrise. All the world is quiet, yet a new day begins. A new day brings a new hope, and a new chance to get it right, to make things right, to achieve that victory and to take a new lease on life. The memories of yesterday set with the prior sun.

It is no coincidence that the scriptures that depict the birth of Christ, and the prophecies thereof, discuss a Star that rises, and a light that shines. That new Light rising gives hope, and is the dawn of a new day, a day of redemption, a day of restoration, and a day where we escape the darkness of a cold, cruel world.

The Hebrew word translated “star” in the King James Version of the Bible literally means a blazing light. This Star rising out of Jacob in Numbers 24:17 isn’t a small dot of light that we see in the night’s sky, it is a bright and blazing light rising to illuminate the day.

Christmas is about more than celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s about remembering the hope that He brings, and the deliverance He bought. It’s a time of joy, because it’s a time that we remember the new start He gave us.

May God bless you this Christmas season.

–Leland Acker has served as pastor of Life Point Baptist Church since its inception in 2008. Sunday, He will bring a special Christmas message from Isaiah 9. Sunday School begins at 10 a.m., Morning Worship at 11 a.m. Life Point meets at the Early Chamber of Commerce at 104 E. Industrial Dr. in Early, TX.