Gordon-Conwell Blog

Advent Devotional Day 14: Of Magi and Kings

December 16, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 14 | Of Magi and Kings
 

Numbers 23:7, 21; 24:17

 

From Aram Balak has brought me,

the king of Moab from the eastern mountains...

The LORD their God is with them,

and the shout of a king is among them...

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 was some while after the Exodus. Balaam, a magos from the east, was summoned into the courts of Balak in Transjordan to curse Israel. God had Balaam bless Israel instead, and had him see the vision of a star come out of Jacob, a scepter–a king–rise out of Israel!
 
A thousand years and more later, the star of the vision surfaced in the night sky and led three magi from the East to step into the courts of Herod asking where the holder of the scepter of Israel was born. And Herod, being of Transjordanian origin, had all the reason to take such news a threat to his claim to the throne in the Jewish state, and ordered the massacre of the newborns.
 
Balaam and magi, Balak and Herod—what an unlikely band of heralds. As if the prophecies of Isaiah or Micah were not sufficient, or the witness of David in the Psalms not ample, God has the pagan magi join in bearing witness to the coming of Jesus, and the stage is set when the heinous schemes of the worldly kings are put into action.
 
God’s light shone when the darkness deemed impenetrable. His words carried through even when ears did not lend to hearing. Jesus is come to his people, “and the shout of a king is among them.”

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Seong Hyun Park
     Dean of the Boston Campus;
     Assistant Professor of Old Testament

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