Balaam’s prophecy to Balak, the King of Moab is remarkable on many levels. the fact that Balaam wasn’t even a believer is an incredible testimony to the Sovereignty of God. Truly he makes even “the wrath of men to praise Him”.
The fact that He was hired by one of the bitter enemies of Israel to curse them, makes this a story about Genesis 12:2-3, which was cited several times in this narrative.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.(Genesis 12:2-3)
Sometimes it was cited perversely, as when Balak applied it to Balaam himself, putting him in the place of God, as the one with the power and prerogative to “Bless and curse”, but at other times it was cited in the Spirit of God, as in the third prophecy.
The point could not be more relevant to our own times, when the nations of the world are uniting in their hatred and condemnation of Israel. The Heathen rage and the people truly imagine a vain thing, when they think they can curse Israel and end up intact.
I believe that this story is also important for the incredible scope of the prophecy given to the Pagan Seer. Balaam, like Moses and Daniel, prophesied the entire course of the chosen nation, as well as the fate of her open enemies until the end of time.
* The Separation of Israel– “Lo a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations”. Truly in spite of it’s best efforts, Israel has never been able to integrate fully into the community of nations. Though her backslidden aspiration from the book of Judges was always to be a nation “like other nations”, God has separated her for himself.
Even in our own “enlightened times”, Israel is treated as a pariah, unable to have a vote in the U.N., unable to name her own capital, Jerusalem .She yet remains unable to sit on the U.N. security council, and has always been unable to ever fully integrate into the European nations where she was driven, truly this is a nation dwelling alone.
* The Messiah-“I see him, but not yet…“. Balaam prophesied the advent of the “Star” out of Jacob, the “scepter”from Israel, a powerful world ruler who would be given the dominion over all other nations, and who would oversee the total destruction of all of those haters of Israel of whom Balak stood as representative and type.
The second century Jewish pretender, Simon Bar Cochba , the “Son of the Star” was believed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy, until his rebellion destroyed the nation and ended in national dissolution and slavery.
* The Babylonian and Persian Captivity of Israel– Balaam prophesied of the Kenites, a servant tribe who amalgamated with Israel, that they would remain until “Asshur will lead thee away”- Asshur comprised the eastern Kingdoms now known as Iraq and Persia.
* The Final Western Dominance- Balaam saw the arrival of the ships of Kittim. How was he to know that Israel would one day so defect from God, that she would be turned over to domination by various gentile powers, the first two eastern(Asshur) and the final two, western(Greece and Rome).
We are currently in the ‘sunset’ phase of the final gentile,(Western) dominance over Irae, which commenced with the arrival of those western ships which Balaam saw by the Spirit. The times of the gentiles are nearly over! Maranatha!
* The Great Tribulation-Balaam saw the destruction of the great cities of the middle east, and the terrible doom of Israel’s sworn enemies, calling them the “Sons of Sheth”, that is “children of tumult”. Balaam virtually echoes the Saviour’s warning that unless he return, all flesh might perish, , when he proclaimed, “Who shall live when God does this?”.
- The AntiChrist- The Star, King Messiah will be “Higher than Agag”, which was the title of the then reigning Caananite Kings, who like Pharoahs, Caesars, Emporers and dictators who would follow, all typify the final Agag, the AntiChrist.
Thus the Pagan prophet’s utterances are comparable to Daniel in scope. God used him in spite of himself and his prophecies are more sure now than ever. However, in site of all of this experience, Balaam yet wanted a shot at the money and fame Balak had offered him.