The Star of Jacob
Advent reading: Numbers 23:18-24; 24:3-9, 15-19
God’s people, those who believe his promise, have always been in the minority, a remnant, opposed by the serpent’s line. Delivered from Pharaoh’s Egypt, the Israelites were threatened by Balak, the king of Moab, who hired the seer Balaam to curse them.
But curse them he could not. In spite of himself, the pagan prophet was overcome by the Spirit of God and could only prophesy blessing on Israel. Echoing Jacob’s prophecy, Balaam saw in the distant future, “A scepter will rise out of Israel.”
Numbers 24:17 (NIV) — “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.
This ruler, the Star of Jacob, would be sought by the Magi of the east who saw and followed the star of “the one who has been born king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). In the last chapter of The Book, Jesus would declare, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).