The countdown of end-of-the-world events from different prophecies of the scriptures are often considered to be the domain of prophets such as Daniel and John. Apart from the fact that these men are considered to be inspired servants of God, their faithfulness as individual believers has justified the confidence of their hearers. Thus, it leads one to believe that the Lord only speaks through people who are faithful to Him. However, the biblical account of a disobedient prophet in Numbers 22-24 seems to demonstrate the very opposite.
The prophet that I am speaking about is none other than Balaam, the son of Beor. This particular prophet was not only known for his mastery of the oracles of God, but he was also reputed for his unfailing ability to issue curses upon his heathen enemies. However, by an unfortunate turn of events this prophet who was once considered the faithful mouthpiece of God has suddenly corrupted himself by his inordinate desire for filthy lucre. But in spite of his questionable moral intentions, the Lord has used him in a mighty way to predict the end of the world in the most sublime and gripping countdown of events connected to the Second Advent.
The whole thing started with a presumptuous request by Request personal prophetic word this heathen King of Moab called Balak. Balak wanted the prophet Balaam to curse his own people, Israel. Every prophet worth his salt would naturally reject any such request, but because this heathen king had promised Balaam great honour and riches he decided to go. Though the Lord was not pleased with the evil course of this prophet, He permitted him to go on this journey with the princes of Balak, cautioning him that only the words that He shall put in his mouth he is to speak. By this caution the Lord intends to put Balaam under what I would call a ‘spell of divine inspiration’ over which he has no control.
When Balaam met with the king of Moab, he was taken to the high places of Baal where the king told him to curse the nation of Israel. But instead of curses, blessings came forth instead. The three requests from Balak to curse Israel were only met with words of peace and prosperity for the people of God. The first end-of-the-world proclamation from Balaam that got my attention is found in Numbers 24:7, 8. In an obvious countdown of end-time events surrounding the mighty works of God through His appointed king, the prophet declared:
“He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them though with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion and as a great lion: who shall stir him up… ”
This particular prophecy sounds quite similar to an end-of-the-world prophecy issued by the patriarch Jacob, concerning his son Judah, found in Genesis 49:9, 10. It is also in accordance with the last-day prophecies found in Psalms 110 and Revelation 19 telling us how Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron and destroy the kings of the earth.
As Balaam continues to bless the children of Israel, in spite of himself, the king of Moab became very angry and was ready to dismiss him from his presence. But the prophet made him to understand that he cannot speak anything other than what God has put in his mouth. And so he resumed his lamentation telling the king of Moab what will happen to his people in the latter days. Here is the countdown to end of the world from the eloquence of Balaam:
“I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Num. 24:17
In confirmation of the end-time application of this prophecy concerning the destruction of Moab, the prophet Isaiah made a most interesting prediction concerning the Second Coming. This is what he prophesied:
“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as a straw is trodden down for the dunghill.” Isa. 25:9, 10
This is clearly a prophecy that relates directly the Second Advent. In the countdown to the end of the world from the perspective of the Old Testament, you will usually find most of these prophecies given in Old Testament imagery, yet the evidence is clear that it is of end-time significance. This is precisely the case with Balaam’s prophecy. There are many such prophecies in the Bible, and we need to study them in order to enhance our understanding of last-day events.