I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:17.
Most of us remember Balaam as the prophet whose donkey made more sense than he did! So we don’t expect today’s insight to come from him. Not only was he mercenarily inclined, he wasn’t a true prophet, not even an Israelite. And as a foreign seer, he was the least likely to receive this revelation from God.
Which leads me to two thoughts.
First, God may speak to us from the most unlikely places, which means that we may miss His voice if we are only listening in all the “right” places. I’ve noticed that sometimes non-believers have a more practical insight into the truth of things that those whose head is in the spiritual clouds. It was the environmental movement that reminded Christians we are stewards of the earth.
Second, the fervour for the return of Christ that gripped the church of my youth has all but evaporated. Oh, we still believe it all right, but the practical crises of life and the earth take precedence over theory of future things. How does knowing Christ will return help Haitians who are destitute and dying of cholera?
The pain of the moment can obscure the anticipation of God concluding His plans for our planet. Yet, if there is no hope for God to put this world right in the end, what hope is there now? The guarantee of His ability to aid us in the present is in the certainty that His supremacy assures earth’s future hope.
How does this stack up for you?