~ Click here to read today's Scripture on Bible Gateway ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture with The ESV Bible ~
Today in Numbers chapter 24 we read about Balaam’s prophecies! Verse 17 is thought to be prophetic of Jesus: "I see him, but not in the present time. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab's people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth." Tyndale's commentary today suggests that the star rising from Jacob may be the prophecy that convinced the wise men to travel to Israel in search of the newborn Jesus. Here's an image of Balaam prophesying over Israel's camp: (and of course Balak looking horrified over this blessing that Balaam is giving)
And just when it looks like Balaam was turning out to be maybe not so bad in chapter 24... we get to chapter 25... In chapter 25 we read about Israel's sin in worshiping Baal and their sexual immorality. What we don't find out until Numbers chapter 31 verse 16 is that Balaam was the principal instigator of the idea of leading Israel toward this sexual sin & idolatry: "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people." Revelation chapter 2 verse 14 also refers to Balaam's hand in the incidents that took place: "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality." Reading about these incidents in chapter 25 today - do you think people today still live in this tension of serving God versus being seduced by idols? What saves us from this tension?
Bob Deffinbaugh's take on Chapter 25 and Balaam's behind the scenes work is at Bible.org at this link and leads off with, "Balaam’s Advice: “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!”" is at this link.
YouTube: Today's readings reminded me of Luke Chapter 2 and this classic video from Charlie Brown:
Do you know the true meaning of Christmas? Click here for your Christmas today!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!