When ‘the Spirit of God came upon him’, Balaam’s ‘oracle’ was described as ‘the message of the man who sees clearly’. His ‘eyes are opened’. He sees ‘with far-seeing eyes’. He ‘hears the words of God’. He ‘sees the vision of the Almighty’(2-4,15-16). Balaam looks beyond his own time. ‘With far-seeing eyes’, he prophesies concerning our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘I see Him, but not now’(17). Balaam catches a glimpse of Jesus Christ, the ‘King of kings’(Revelation 19:16). This is what we must pray for: ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’. Pray that you will be ‘in the Spirit’, ready to ‘hear what the Spirit says’(Revelation 1:1,10; 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). God is the unchanging God - Nothing changes Him (23:19). He is also the changing God. He changed Balaam. He will change us!
Read of Israel’s adultery and idolatry and remember God’s Word of warning: ‘Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould’(25:1-5; Romans 12:2). God is looking for people who have the ‘same zeal’ as He has (25:11). Those who are zealous for God may be few in number, but we must not be discouraged. Glorying in Christ our Saviour, we must continue to be zealous for Him. In Christ we have ‘peace’, ‘atonement’ and a ‘perpetual’ salvation (25:12-13; Romans 5:1-2,9-10). We are saved to serve - This is the thought contained in the phrase, ‘all in Israel who are able to go forth to war’(26:2). The wilderness wanderings were over. God was doing a new thing. He was looking for a new people, determined, by grace, to carry His work forward into the future. He is still looking!
There is real sadness in the final words of this chapter: ‘There was not left a man of them, except Caleb and Joshua’(65). There is also a sense of expectation. So many had died in the wilderness. This was now a new generation. We’re living in changing times. God is equipping His people for new challenges. We must not stand still. We dare not say, ‘It’s never been done that way before’! A new generation has to be won for Christ. Will we rise to the challenge? Or, will we ‘die in the wilderness (65)? Taking possession of ‘the promised land’ would not be easy. Making advances for Christ will not be easy. We must lay aside those things which need to ‘die in the wilderness’. We must take hold of all that God has given to us - if there is to be ‘Good News for the next generation’!