The Catholic Defender: Balaam's Christmas Star of Bethlehem
Today there is much confusion in the public square due to the much misinformation being thrown out in the public arena.
There are literally thousands of voices everywhere that screams for your attention.
The Prophet Daniel warns, ”At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been seen since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:1-4).
Consider just the past 40 years how technology has become so advanced.
I remember the big thing to own were the Encyclopedia sets placed in your office. Now, that is a thing of the past.
The Internet has totally transformed the information age. It can be used for good, but much is not good. There is hope, but you must set yourself on the right path.
Consider the fourth oracle spoken by the Prophet Balaam; it begins ”The oracle of Balaam the son of Be’or, 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, but having his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Isreal; it shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of sheth. Edom shall be dispossessd, Se’ir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed, while Israel does valiantly” (Numbers 24:15-18).
The Lord Jesus coming to earth as a child was announced by a star and he rules with a scepter that destroys sin and death.
Darkness gives way to the light of the world.
King Herod was an Edomite, a descendant to Esau, the older brother of Jacob. Do you think he was familiar of this prophecy which would have been a threat to his reign? He knew he would be “dispossessed”.
This is why King Herod tried to kill the new born King of Israel. Something else I want to note about what Herod did through his murderous act.
Jeremiah wrote a prophecy, “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more” Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:18).
During the time of Jeremiah, Ramah became the staging area where the Babylonians began rounding up the Jews in 587 B.C.
The word “Ramah” would be understood in Jeremiah’s time, like the “TwinTowers”
would be understood in our time.
As the Jewish people were being deported to Babylon, the Mothers and family members could not be consoled as they wailed aloud because their children were deported with no hope of return.
Jeremiah’s description of what King Herod would do at Bethlehem would be as terrible as the memory of what happened in Ramah.
Of this Star, Isaiah made this prophecy 750 years before it happened: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD." Isaiah 60:1-6
Today, the threat against Jews and Christians is very real as we have seen happening in Iraq, Syria, and even Israel. Our very own freedoms today are at risk. We need to pray for America and the world.
The scene at Ramah certainly reminds me what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II. This was so terrible that the Nation of Israel was recreated and recognized by the United Nations in May of 1948.
I want to come back to the fourth oracle of Balaam. Enemies of Israel were trying to get the Prophet of God to curse Israel so they could overcome Israel.
Do we not see and understand how Secularism today is working to curse the People of God today?
How Former President Obama’s War on the Catholic Church was the result of years of antipathy towards the Church?
In the midst of this terrible wailing and lamenting in Ramah and Israel in 587 B.C., Jeremiah gave this prophecy:
“Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my Covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity; for I will remember their sin no more”(Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Isaiah writes of this covenant, “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).
Jesus fulfills both Jeremiah and Isaiah’s prophecy establishing the Church giving it the Keys to the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19)!
The gates of hell cannot overcome (Matthew 16:18), and the Lord institutes the covenant at the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, ”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them saying, Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28).
God’s people will not be forsaken nor abandoned no matter how bad it can get. God is in control. I remember when the world made fun of Pope Paul VI for his position against contraceptives, yet, the evidence clearly shows that the Catholic Church is correct in her teaching on social issues.
What it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing, let us get back down on our knees and humble ourselves before Almighty God and pray for America and the nations. Pray for the Church to be faithful and strong during these days of trial and challenge. Let the Church all help hold the arms of the Pope up to defeat the enemies of God!
Nm 24:2-7, 15-17 states, "When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,the spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of a man whose eye is true, The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled: How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel! They are like gardens beside a stream, like the cedars planted by the LORD. His wells shall yield free-flowing waters, he shall have the sea within reach; His king shall rise higher, and his royalty shall be exalted. Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle: The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true, The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, Of one who sees what the Almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled. I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.