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The Star Still Leads...

The Star Still Leads...

Further thoughts on Parashat Balak

by John J. Parsons
www.hebrew4christians.com

[ In our Torah portion this week (Balak), we read how Balaam intended to curse the Israelites, but God "took hold of his tongue" and made him bless the people instead... ]

From our Torah portion this week we read Balaam's amazing prophecy: "There shall come a star out of Jacob..." Amazingly, Balaam – who may have been the forebear of the "magi of the east" (Matt. 2:1-2) – foresaw the coming of the Messiah: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob (כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקב), and a scepter shall rise out of Israel" (Num. 24:17). Balaam's prophecy described the coming of the Messiah and his reign in two distinct aspects: "A star from Jacob shall lead the way (i.e., דָּרַךְ)," this refers to Messiah's first coming as the way of life (John 14:6), "and a scepter shall ascend (וְקָם שֵׁבֶט) from Israel," this refers to Messiah's second coming to establish the kingdom after the final redemption. Here is the Hebrew prophecy for you to hear:
 

אֶרְאֶנּוּ וְלא עַתָּה
אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְלא קָרוֹב
דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקב
וְקָם שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

er·e·nu · ve·lo · at·tah
a·shu·re·nu · ve·lo · ka·rov
da·rakh · ko·khav · mi·ya·a·kov
ve·kam · she·vet · mi·yis·ra·el
 

"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"
(Num. 24:17)



  


The story of Balaam took place "out of view" of the Israelites, which teaches us that the LORD our God is always at work - even among our enemies - for our blessing and ultimate good... No weapon formed against God's people shall prosper, and every tongue that speaks in judgment shall be made to stammer out praise. "He who vindicates us is near; who will contend with us?" Indeed, "who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Yeshua the Messiah is the one who died -- more than that, who was raised -- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Rom. 8:33-34). Those of faith understand history - including the End of Days - as the expression of God's sovereign and providential hand. The gracious Savior always works "all things together for the good" of those who are trusting in Him.

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