Day 4: Ancient Whispers
“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” (Numbers 24:17).
Let’s fast forward to the time when that Seed makes His appearance. Granted we are leap-frogging over centuries of declarations and whispers of His coming, prophecies of patriarchs like Jacob who said to Judah that the “scepter will not depart from Judah…until He to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of nation shall be His” (Gen 49:10), and even the oracles of a pagan seer, Balaam, who was quoted in our opening verse. These foretellings whispered of His coming. We will go back and touch on many of these prophecies, and see how they not only point forward to Jesus’ coming, but point back so we can see how carefully and thoughtfully this tapestry of grace and mercy has been woven.
We will begin with those days and hours before Good Friday, when prophecy after prophecy concerning the Messiah no longer whispered, but shouted that He had come. The Pharisees chided Jesus that He allowed His followers to shout hosannas to Him, yet Jesus was correct in saying that if they didn’t the very rocks would cry out, because He was standing before them as the One about whom their Scriptures were being fulfilled in their sight—if only their spiritually blinded eyes had sight. They were acting like children who stuff their fingers in their ears and intone “la-la-la-la-la” so they cannot hear truth.
We will see that day after day, moment after moment in that week the Word of God, as uttered by Moses, David, Isaiah, Hosea, Zechariah and other prophets was being fulfilled. If there was a checklist for a potential Messiah, Jesus was leaving few boxes unchecked, and those remaining are the ones He will fulfill when He returns as He promised. When we see how much of God’s Word was fulfilled in those few days, it leaves us with no doubt He will keep the rest of His Word when the fullness of time arrives for Christ’s triumphant return to reign on David’s throne forever.
• While there is so much more to unfold in the remaining days, what does it mean to you that God has been so plain and emphatic in pointing to Jesus as the Messiah?
• How does the fact that God has so carefully kept His Word affect how you should receive what He has to say?
• What are some of the Words of God that you are finding particularly challenging to accept in your own life? Do you ever feel as dismissive as the Pharisees?
Lord, when I read the words of Balaam it chills me to think that a pagan could see what Your own people failed to acknowledge. It convicts me that I need to see, that I need to take Your Word ever more seriously. Open my eyes to what I am missing, what I am resisting about Your truth.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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