At times, even people of little or no faith, recognized that a Messiah was coming to rescue His people. If you’ve ever read the intriguing story of Balaam (Numbers 22:5, 22:22-35, 24:2-9, 2 Peter 2:15-16, Jude 11), you will realize that he knew the Messiah was coming, but he made the mistake of not accepting the Messiah as his own Savior. Balaam was hired by King Balak of Moab to proclaim a curse on Israel, but when he prophesied the truth of what he saw, it amounted to a blessing on Israel-the blessing of a coming Messiah.
Numbers 24:15-19 (ESV)
And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Seth. Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!”
Matthew Henry comments:
(1.) That while: “I shall see him, but not now; I do see him in vision, but at a very great distance, through the interposing space of 1500 years at least.” Or understand it thus:-Balaam, a wicked man, shall see Christ, but shall not see him nigh, nor see him as Job, who saw him as his Redeemer, and saw him for himself, Job 19:25, 27. When he comes in the clouds every eye shall see him, but many will see him (as the rich man in hell saw Abraham) afar off.
(2.) That he shall come out of Jacob, and Israel, as a star and a scepter, the former denoting his glory and luster, and the bright and morning star, the latter his power and authority; it is he that shall have dominion. Perhaps this prophecy of Balaam (one of the children of the east) concerning a star that should arise out of Jacob, as the indication of a scepter arising in Israel, being preserved by a tradition of that country, gave occasion to the wise men, who were of the east too, upon the sight of an unusual star over the land of Judea, to enquire for him that was born king of the Jews, Matthew 2:2.
(3.) That his kingdom shall be universal, and victorious over all opposition, which was typified by David’s victories over Moab and Edom. But the Messiah shall destroy, or, as some read it, shall rule over, all the children of Seth. (v. 17), that is, all the children of men, who descend from Seth, the son of Adam, the descendants of the rest of Adam’s sons being cut off by the deluge. Christ shall be king, not only of Jacob and Israel, but of all the world; so that all the children of Seth shall be either governed by his golden scepter or dashed in pieces by his iron rod. He shall set up a universal rule, authority, and power, of his own, and shall put down all opposing rule, 1 Corinthians 15:24. He shall unwall all the children of Seth; so some read it. He shall take down all their defenses and carnal confidences, so that they shall either admit his government or lie open to his judgments.
(4.) That his Israel shall do valiantly; the subjects of Christ, animated by his might, shall maintain a spiritual war with the powers of darkness, and be more than conquerors. The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits, Daniel 11:32.
—Matthew Henry’s Commentary
Scripture declared the coming Messiah. Even wicked Balaam, a soothsayer, spoke the truth when he foretold of the coming Messiah. The Messiah is coming.
Will you faithfully wait on His coming and make Him your own Savior, or will you like Balaam, not declare Him as your own?