Progressive Revelation

Numbers 24

To the dismay of Balak, Balaam gives two oracles: In the first, he blessed Israel and this made Balak angry. Balak sought Balaam to do his bidding. He wanted Balaam to curse Israel but he blessed Israel. At the end of the first oracle, he said of Israel, “Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” This saying was part of the covenant that the Lord gave to Abraham (Gen 12:3) and is part of the blessing that Isaac conferred on his son Jacob. (Gen 27:29)

For his second oracle, Balaam spoke of a future star coming from Jacob. This brings us back to the seed of Abraham but even further back than that, to the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent. (Gen 3:15) Balaam spoke of this future star as a scepter who would rise from Israel and crush through the forehead of Moab and tear down all the sons of Sheth. This was a Messianic prophecy, relating to a future Messiah.

We know that the Messiah came from the tribe of Judah and the family of David; however, this prophecy is more general, that part of the revelation is not yet given. This shows us that Scripture is progressive revelation. As we go, God reveals a little more of his redemptive plan.