Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXVII: God's Providential Prophetic Outline Of Israel's Future
(Numbers 23-24)
  1. Introduction
    1. David wrote, "The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me . . ," meaning God would fulfill what He had purposed for David's life, Psalm 138:8 KJV and NIV.
    2. Though this is an encouraging thought, a Christian may at times look at events in his life and wonder how they could possibly be overshadowed by God's wholesome sovereign purposes.
    3. Numbers 23-24 reveals God protected Israel when she was under spiritual siege by evil men, and that to keep His unconditional promises to Abraham regardless what difficulties Israel faced then or in the future!
  2. God's Providential Prophetic Outline Of Israel's Future, Numbers 23-24.
    1. Though Israel was IGNORANT of the threat to her spiritual welfare, Balaam had been hired by Israel's enemy, Balak, king of Moab, to put an evil spell on the nation so he could defeat it, Numbers 22:1-6.
    2. However, God intervened, threatening Balaam with death unless he used the opportunity Balak provided him to obey God in what he would pronounce in his religious oracles before Balak, Numbers 22:32-35.
    3. As it turned out, in his oracles, Balaam was repeatedly led by God to pronounce blessings on Israel, so Balak repeatedly responded by changing the setting to influence Balaam to curse Israel to reverse his respective blessing oracles, Numbers 23:1-3, 11-12; 23:13-17, 25-26; 23:27-24:1, 24:10-13; 24:14.
    4. Yet, in gracious oversight, God COUNTERED Balak's efforts, causing Balaam to outline Israel's future that eventually ended in blessing after discipline for sin:
      1. In Numbers 23:7b-10, God caused Balaam to reflect on how God had already blessed Israel's expansion from a little people to a host with a blessed future. This tells of the expansion of Israel in number from the single man, Abraham to the nationhood Israel enjoyed while in Egypt.
      2. In Numbers 23:18b-24, God caused Balaam to tell of God's leading the nation out of Egypt (Numbers 23:22) with great wonders to the amazement of the onlooking Gentiles (Numbers 23:23). The same oracle revealed Israel would succeed in gaining access to her place of inheritance in Canaan, 23:24.
      3. In Numbers 24:3b-9, God led Balaam to predict the nation's expanding influence over other nations.
      4. Numbers 24:15-24 outlines the final oracle in which God caused Balaam to predict Israel's blessing, and we view this oracle in closer depth as it relates to various stages of Israel's more distant future:
        1. First, Numbers 24:15-16, 17-19 predicted the coming of Christ as King in Israel, and of His eventual conquest of her enemies in Moab and Edom (much to the dismay of Moab's Balak!).
        2. Second, Numbers 24:20 reports on Balaam's prediction that the Amalekites, descendants of Esau, would be defeated at last and cease to be a problem for Israel, cf. Bib. Know. Com., O.T., p. 245.
        3. Third, Numbers 24:21-22 predicts the Kenites, belonging to the Midianite peoples, would be captured by the Assyrians in spite of their previous relative security, Ibid.
        4. Fourth, Numbers 24:23-24 predicts the time when antichrist would invade the Middle East nations, both Arab and Hebrew, and do so with an invasion of ships from the Mediterranean Sea, Numbers 24:23. This would be a time of great trouble signaled in Balaam's remark, "Ah, who can live when God does this?" (Ibid., p. Both the Assyrian and Hebrew peoples would be subdued by this invasion (as represented in the names "Asshur" and "Eber" respectively, Ibid.) though the invading antichrist would be brought to ruin after this, Numbers 24:24.
        5. Hence, all Balaam and Balak could do was to return to their respective homes, for God's sovereign purposes to bless Israel amidst all her future challenges was prophetically set, Numbers 24:25!
Lesson: Though Balak and Balaam tried to use witchcraft to put a curse on Israel, God's unconditional promises to bless Israel REGARDLESS of even her FUTURE SINS caused God to force Balaam to predict Israel's future earthly history until she safely reached the Messianic Kingdom.

Application: We can REST in God's providential care of all events in our lives, REGARDLESS of our OWN sins let alone the powerful, secret conniving of enemy forces, so that we end up blessed of Him. Let us then RELAX in HIM no matter how HARD or UNSETTLING our current events might seem!