“Delivered As Received…!”(Num.24:15-19).
We are in day two of the new year. Yesterday we were advised that as the year unfolds we should not allow ourselves to be swept off our feet by any wind of change.
In the face of uncertainties about the future, we would be tempted to seek assurance from diviners, soothsayers and even those who claim to be prophets of God.
A mother insists that her daughter should call off a wedding that was to be in a few days time. The reason being that a pastor prophesied that he has seen untimely death hovering over her if she should go ahead with the marriage. It turned out that the prophecy was staged. The pastor had been bribed to prophesy falsely so as to discourage the marriage.
Prophecy can be a strong tool of deception. There is greater risk of children of God being deceived when they listen to diviners who parade like prophets. Besides, the ambiguous language of prophetic utterances; if not we’ll reflect upon can cause your downfall. A king wanted to go to war against his neighbor king. He went to the oracle. The oracle told him, “By going to war you will destroy a nation.” He took it that the oracle spoke to his favor. He went to war and his nation was destroyed. He came back and complained to the oracle who deceived him – so he thought. The oracle said the prophecy had come to pass. He had destroyed a nation.
Balaam was a diviner whom the LORD later converted. Balak the king of Moab was frightened of being invaded by Israel on their exodus journey. He sent for Balaam to come and curse Israel.
God warned him not to go to Balak. God later on asked him to go, but to speak only as directed by the LORD. In as much as king Balak promised to reward Balaam handsomely, Balaam told him he could only speak from the LORD.
To the chagrin of Balak, Balaam prophesied twice always in favour of Israel.
It appears Balaam was more a diviner than a prophet of the LORD. After the second oracle “Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face towards the desert…”
Our text today is Balaam’s fourth oracle. In this oracle, just like in the third Balaam introduces himself as “one whose eye sees clearly…one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty…”
Even so, Balaam saw beyond the times of the immediate context. He saw the Messiah and prophesied: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob…A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city.”
Balaam is like some African prophet(tesses) of old who foretold the coming of the missionaries. In one village in Nigeria an old prophetess told her people of strangers who were coming with a new message. She asked that the strangers should be received warmly. That is how God announced the coming of missionaries into that Nigerian village.
As the year unfolds prophets should speak only as directed by the LORD. Prophets should not allow themselves to be bought to prophesy and curse the enemies of those who hired them. Prophets should speak for the LORD only if they were in his counsel. Prophets should talk about Jesus Christ and how the future is in God’s hands through Christ Jesus.
Meanwhile, as a believer, test every spirit to know if it is of God. With discernment from the Spirit of God we would plant our feet on Christ the Solid Rock. Do not be misled; all other ground is sinking sand!
When we walk with Christ, the year will unfold itself to our favour. But remember this: Each year has sunny and rainy seasons. Some days will be foggy, some will be rainy all day and night and some days the heat of the sun will be unbearable. In all these days put your hand in God’s hand and he will always lead you to a conducive place; notwithstanding the weather.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, take my year’s plan and direct its execution. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you and happy new year!
Rev Babila Fochang.