May 13, Reading 1 – Numbers 23:27-24:25

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Balaam utters seven oracles – seven is the number representing completion or whole. Biblical history reveals God’s purpose and intention. Israel’s king will be greater than the greatest existing king! The great national powers rise and fall. God’s word stands! This is a wonderful hope and realisation!

SJA Notes

This whole story is told entirely from _outside_ the camp of Israel, from the point of view of an observer, watching Israel from far off.

Balak again thinks that God will change His mind and curse Israel (23:27). He is stubborn in his futile thought.

Here we have a different start from Balaam than in the previous oracles.

“… The oracle of the man whose eye is opened,”

Balaam had a significant change in his understanding, when he saw that God was only going to bless Israel.

Here, not like the other times, he sees all of Israel camping tribe by tribe. Previously Balak had kept Balaam from that, showing “only a fraction”.

Balaam sees the whole truth, not just a fragment. He sees God for who He is in seeing His people.

Balaam sees the reality of God’s rescue plan from Egypt, and the folly of opposing God’s purposes that will be carried out through His people.

Balak doesn’t understand. Balaam doesn’t get the wealth or fame promised to him while Balak doesn’t get the cursing of Israel.

Instead we are treated to another foreshadowing of Jesus in v17,

“… A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;”

* Dear Lord God,

Please open the eyes and ears of our hearts today and each day; To know You better, to hear from Your word, to see the truth of who You are.

Please help us to store Your word in our hearts that we might not sin against You.

Amen.

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