God uses a pagan sorcerer to prophesy the Messiah (Numbers 24:17)

God uses a pagan sorcerer to prophesy the Messiah (Numbers 24:17)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, November 24

A number of years ago I heard about a church that would advertise on their website, “Doubters welcome.” I liked that. I hate to think that people stay away from the church because they have doubts. We all have doubts from time to time. Or, we all have had to overcome doubts in order to grow in our faith. About 20 years ago I was studying the book of Revelation. I was going chapter by chapter studying one chapter at a time. It encouraged my faith so much because I saw how the Bible fits together. In studying the book of Revelation, I saw how prophesies from Daniel in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus in the Gospels and how other prophesies are still going to be fulfilled when Jesus comes again. All of these Scriptures from the Old and New Testament fit together perfectly. It is amazing!

John Ortberg writes:

As long as you have faith, you will have doubts. I sometimes use the following illustration when I’m speaking. I tell the audience that I have a twenty-dollar bill in my hand and ask for a volunteer who believes me. Usually only a few hands go up. Then I tell the volunteer that I am about to destroy his (or her) faith. I open my hand and show the twenty-dollar bill. The reason I can say I am destroying his faith is that now he knows I hold the bill. He sees the bill and doesn’t need faith anymore. Faith is required only when we have doubts, when we do not know for sure. When knowledge comes, faith is no more.

Sometimes a person is tempted to think, I can’t become a Christian because I still have doubts. I’m still not sure. But as long as doubts exist, as long as the person is still uncertain, that is the only time faith is needed. When the doubts are gone, the person doesn’t need faith anymore. Knowledge has come.

I tell the audience that this is exactly the point Paul was making in his first letter to the church at Corinth: “Now we see [that a ‘knowing’ word] but a poor reflection [now we have confusion, misunderstanding, doubts, and questions] … then we shall see face to face [we don’t see face-to-face yet]. Now I know in part [with questions and doubts]; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (13:12).[1]

Today, we are going to look at another passage from the Old Testament that is prophetic to the Messiah.

My theme today:

God uses a pagan sorcerer to prophesy the Messiah.


Realize that God can use anyone.

Let’s read Numbers 24:17:

“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
And tear down all the sons of Sheth…

  1. Baalam and Balak in context.
    1. Context is critical so let me place this passage in context.
    2. In chapter 21, Israel started conquering the people of Canaan. They were getting ready to go into the Promised Land. They were not in the Promised Land yet but soon they would be. If you were to read chapter 21 you would see that when the Israelites trusted the Lord they would win the battles. God took care of them.
    3. So, now we get to chapter 22. There is a man named Balak in an area named Moab. Balak is a king in this area and he hears about or sees how the Israelites are conquering everyone they come into contact with. The Moabites and their king Balak are getting a little scared. So Balak contacts this prophet, pagan prophet, and asked him to curse the Israelites. His name is Balaam and he is internationally famous.
    4. Balaam asks God if he can do this.
      1. Balaam is not asking the Israelite God specifically but probably any of the gods. It was the One True Israelite God that answered. I suspect God might have ignored him but it had to do with His people the Israelites.
      2. God says, “You cannot curse them for they are blessed.”
        1. You may recall Gen 12:1-3. This is the promise of God to Abraham. God says, “those who bless you I will bless and those who curse you I will curse.” Now God proves that.
      3. Balaam sends these messengers back to Moab to tell Balak the Lord will not allow them to curse Israel. But if you look at verse 14 of chapter 22, the messengers tell Balak that Balaam will not come. They didn’t give Balak the message that the Lord would not allow it.
      4. The messengers come back and Balaam ask the Lord about this again. This time the Lord says alright, you can go but only speak what I tell you…. This is because in chapters 23 and 24 the curses that Balaam was supposed to pour out on Israel will end up being blessings. God takes care of His people.
      5. It is easy to read this passage and think that Balaam was a good obedient man but he wasn’t. God forced him to be obedient. The rest of Scripture refers to him as a false prophet who wanted selfish gain.
        1. 2 Peter 2:15 talks of Balaam as selfish.
        2. Revelation does as well in Revelation 2:14.
        3. In Number 31:16 Balaam is accused of giving bad advice to the Israelites which led them into adultery.
        4. In Numbers 31:8 he is killed.
      6. In Numbers 22:28 the Lord talks through a donkey to get through to Balaam.
      7. So, that gets us to Numbers 23 which is where Balaam begins to bless Israel. Here is this pagan prophet blessing Israel, this is powerful.
    5. The prophesy of the Messiah.
      1. Numbers 24:17 is the actual Messianic prophesy, but let’s continue setting the table.
      2. The context of Numbers 24:17 is Balaam as found in chapter 22 and written about above.
      3. In Numbers 23 and 24 Balaam blesses Israel 3 times. Every time he tries to curse Israel he blesses them.
      4. Starting in Numbers 24:15 we have Balaam’s final (fourth oracle) which is our passage.
      5. Numbers 24:1 is continuing the 3rd blessing of Israel.
      6. Beginning in Numbers 23:25 Balak, who is the local king of Moab asks Balaam to curse Israel. He has been asking him to curse Israel, but Balaam can only bless Israel.
      7. The ESV Study Bible shares: Balaam’s second blessing ( 18–24) responds to Balak’s complaint that Balaam should have cursed, not blessed, the people (v. 11). Balaam observes that God does not change his mind, so the blessing already pronounced cannot be turned into a curse (vv. 19–20). So the nation will be free from disaster (v. 21).
      8. In Numbers 23:26: Balaam says that he has do what the Lord tells him.
      9. In verse 27: we have Balak, again the local king of Moab, taking him to a high place thinking this can make him curse Israel.
      10. Then, in verses 28-30: Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor which overlooks the dessert. Balaam then asked for 7 alters and they made sacrifices.
      11. This brings us to chapter 24.
      12. Read with me verses 1-2 of chapter 24: When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him.
      13. This is now, specifically, Balaam’s 3rd oracle: now he knew that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel so he did not seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness.
      14. This is a telling passage.
      15. Verse 2 says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. That is awesome! The Spirit of the Lord came upon this pagan man.
      16. He saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Imagine the picture of Israel camping tribe by tribe and the Lord comes upon Balaam at this time.
      17. Verse 3, he takes up his oracle, or discourse:
      18. Verse 3 tells who the oracle is from.
      19. Verse 4: The oracle of him who hears the Word of God, who sees the Vision of the Almighty…This oracle is from God.
      20. Again, this is Almighty God working through a pagan non-believer, sorcerer.
      21. Verses 5-7 are about how great their locations are, etc. Then, in verse 7, he talks about how high their kings will be. Israel’s Kingdom will be exalted.
      22. Verse 8 is about the Lord leading them to military victories.
      23. Verse 9 includes the same idea as Gen 12:3 and the covenant with Abraham.
      24. Verses 10-13 includes Balak’s anger. Balak is angry because he wanted Balaam to curse Israel and now three times he has blessed them.
      25. Verses 12-13: Balak sends him home, but Balaam says that he told the messengers that he must speak what the Lord says.
      26. Now we come to verse 17: “I see him, but not now;
        I behold him, but not near;
        A star shall come forth from Jacob,
        A scepter shall rise from Israel,
        And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
        And tear down all the sons of Sheth…

        1. A star: symbol of kingship.
        2. A scepter: royalty.
  • Genesis 49:10 tells us “the scepter will not depart from Judah.”
  1. This Star, this Sceptre will lead Israel. They will defeat their enemies.
  • ESV Study Bible: Sons of Sheth should probably be identified with nomads who lived in Canaan. The Shutu are mentioned in Egyptian texts from 1900 B.C.[2]
  1. In Verses 18-19 are more about the Messiah reigning defeating enemies.
  • Verses 20ff are a prophesy about the other nations.
  1. Think about this prophesy. This is all about Israel being the ruling Kingdom.
  2. This is all about Israel having a MIGHTY King.
  • The New American Commentary shares: One of the most remarkable prophecies of the Hebrew Bible, interpreted for centuries before the Christian era as portending and heralding the great Messianic king and kingdom, is here uttered by a pagan divination expert. Allen remarked, “That this prophecy should come from one who was unworthy makes the prophecy all the more dramatic and startling.”622 As noted earlier, the Book of Balaam presents an amazing picture of God in his sovereign desire to bless his people Israel. He will utilize whatever means he chooses to reveal himself and his will for his people, even if it means divinely drafting for service one who would seem the ultimate antithesis of what the world would envision for a leader and spokesman—but his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:8).[3]
  • This is a simple, yet profound prophesy about the Messiah.
  • Applications:
    1. God uses this pagan king to prophesy the Messiah. Do we trust that God can use everyone?
    2. We must not limit God. God can work in any way He chooses.
    3. We must have more confidence in our faith.
    4. We must have more confidence in God’s Word.
    5. We must have more trust in the Messiah, recognizing God’s pre-ordained plan.
    6. Balaam did what the Lord told Him (Numbers 24:12-13). We must be obedient to the Lord’s will.
    7. Balaam did what the Lord told him regardless of money. Even though he was a pagan man, he was not going to let money sway him (Numbers 24:12-13). Do we let money sway us?
    8. All this was going on behind the scenes, Israel did not know this was going on. We can have more trust in the Lord knowing that He is working behind the scenes.

So, I began this message talking about doubt. It always encourages my faith to see how the Bible fits together. This passage was written some 1400 years before Jesus and it is also connected with Genesis 49:10 which was spoken 400 years before that. All of these Messianic prophesies and inferences fit together. The Bible written by 39 or 40 authors over a 1400 year period all fits together.

In his book Stories for the Journey, William R. White shares the story of Hans, a European seminary professor devastated by the death of his wife, Enid. Hans was so overcome with sorrow that he lost his appetite and didn’t want to leave the house. Out of concern, the seminary president, along with three other professors, paid Hans a visit. The grieving professor confessed that he was struggling with doubt. “I am no longer able to pray to God,” he admitted to his colleagues. “In fact, I am not certain I believe in God any more.” After a moment of silence, the seminary president said, “Then we will believe for you. We will pray for you.” The four men continued to meet daily for prayer, asking God to restore the gift of faith to their friend. Some months later, as the four friends gathered for prayer with Hans, Hans smiled and said, “It is no longer necessary for you to pray for me. Today I would like you to pray with me.”[4]

Confess, Believe, trust, commit: Firmly make the decision to be with Him in order to become like Him and to learn and do all that He says and then arrange your affairs around Him.




[1] John Ortberg, Faith & Doubt (Zondervan, 2008), pp. 139-140

[2] https://www.esv.org/Numbers+24/

622 Allen, “Numbers,” 909.

[3] R. Dennis Cole, Numbers, vol. 3B, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 425.

[4] John Koessler, in the sermon “Blessed Are Those Who Mourn,” PreachingToday.com

Jesus is called out of Egypt just like God led Israel out of Egypt.

I love books. When I was in twelfth grade I decided to take advanced English. Sometime around the beginning of the school year I was given a book called Sarum by Edward Rutherford. That book was over 1200 pages. I thought, “No way, this book is too long!” Back then I did not read books that long. Well, little did I know I would really enjoy that book. Also, little did I know that if you schedule your reading little by little you can read a lot in a school year. Sarum is historical fiction. Edward Rutherford tracked a family in England from hundreds of years before Christ up until the 1980’s. It was neat to see how he weaved real historical events into the story. He tracked the family and their descendants from ancient pagan England with the Druids and Stonehenge up through Christianity and the middle ages, renaissance and up until post World War Two. It was neat and I enjoyed it. In fact, there is a series of books by Edward Rutherford in which he takes a family and begins a few hundred years before Christ, and he tracks that family up until the late 1900’s. Most of these take place in England or Ireland, though I understand he has one in New York now. In 2007, I began Rutherford’s book titled “London.” In that book he began in London a few hundred years before Christ and followed a family and their descendants up through the twentieth century. That was neat. He once again began in pagan England and then went up through Roman occupied England and then Christianity entering England and then the Vikings and on and on and on. He wrote about the building of many great buildings and so much more. Once again, I love books. In books you can go to faraway places, in books you can learn about far away things. I love books.

The Edward Rutherford books have a common theme and so does the Bible. We can track that theme from Genesis through Revelation.

What we see throughout the Bible is that God is in control, even of the details. Actually, that was my first sermon EVER, God is in control of the details. God is in control of the details of history. God cares about the details. Cross reference and how one verse correlates with another has always encouraged my faith.

We began a sermon series a few weeks ago in which I wish to talk about prophesies about Jesus in the Old Testament which are fulfilled in Him as the Messiah. I am using the word prophesy lightly. Two weeks ago we talked about a prophesy given by God Himself. Today, we are going to talk about an allusion or a type. Just as Israel was called by God out of Egypt, Jesus will also be called out of Egypt.

Let’s read:

Hosea 11:1

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son

Now, let’s also read:

Matthew 2:14-15:

And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Today my theme is:

Jesus is called out of Egypt just like God led Israel out of Egypt.


God has total control over the past, present and the future.

  1. The original meaning of Hosea 11:1:
    1. In Hosea 11:1 the prophet is talking about how God led Israel out of Egypt.
    2. Hosea was reminding them how God lovingly led them out of Egypt (Exodus chapter 4 and following), and they returned God’s goodness with idolatry.
    3. Look at Hosea 11:2: The more they called them, The more they went from them;
    4. They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols.[1]
    5. God lovingly took care of Israel leading them out of Egypt, but they went after fake gods.
    6. The ESV Study Bible: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Here is one of the most endearing passages in Hosea. The prophet uses another family metaphor, portraying the Lord not only as a husband but also as a father (cf. Luke 15:11–32). This metaphor was not original to Hosea (cf.  4:22–23). Matthew 2:15uses the line “out of Egypt I called my son” to show that Jesus is the “Son of God,” i.e., the heir of David who embodies Israel’s relationship to God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14Ps. 89:26–27).[2]
    7. So, let’s jump to Matthew 2:14 and 15.
  2. Matthew’s Gospel uses this passage when baby Jesus’ family leaves Egypt.
    1. See Matthew 2:14-15: And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
    2. What we see in Matthew chapter 2 is that God is taking care of the young baby Jesus. That is powerful. Jesus is fully God and fully man, but He also is a baby or a toddler. God sends a message to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus and go to Egypt. In Matthew 2:13 it reads: Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”[3]
    3. God in His providence knows that Herod wants to kill the Savior and so God sends Jesus’ family to Egypt. Then in verses 14-18 we see Herod slaughtering babies to try to kill the Messiah. However, Jesus was safe in Egypt.
    4. One source adds: A very large Jewish community lived in Egypt in this period. Perhaps one-third of Alexandria, located in northern Egypt, was Jewish; with a population estimated at about one million, it was one of the empire’s largest cities. Alexandria included a well-to-do Jewish element, schooled in Greek thought; most inhabitants of Egypt, however, were agrarian peasants, some of the poorest in the empire. Other Jewish communities had existed farther south, especially in Elephantine, for centuries. Literature from Palestinian Jews indicates that many of them questioned the devoutness of their Egyptian Jewish kinfolk, although Egyptian Jews considered themselves faithful to God.
    5. The Nile made travel easy within Egypt, but the coastal road to Egypt from Palestine was not the finest, and Egypt would be even harder to reach from Bethlehem without traveling northward to Jerusalem (one would have to take the poorer route southward to Hebron; see comment on 2:12). Egypt had served as a place of refuge in the past (1 Kings 11:40; Jer 26:21). By leaving “at night,” Joseph’s family made their route of departure impossible to trace; the language might also evoke Jewish readers’ memory of Exodus 12:31.[4]
    6. What is interesting is that while Jesus is in Egypt He is being protected and in reality way back in time while the Jewish people were in Egypt they, also, were being protected. They were being protected and formed into a nation. That is the connection that Matthew noticed. Just as God lovingly took care of the Israelites in Egypt He also lovingly watched over Jesus.
    7. One source shares: “. . . Matthew looked back and carefully drew analogies between the events of the nation’s history and the historical incidents in the life of Jesus.”10[5]
    8. What seems to be happening here is that Matthew noticed that Israel being preserved and made a nation in Egypt is comparable to Jesus and His upbringing being preserved in Egypt.
    9. Matthew does this repeatedly. Repeatedly, Matthew notices similarities in Jesus’ life and Israel’s history.
    10. Matthew is known for being written to a Jewish audience and they were a people that needed to know that Jesus as the Messiah fulfilled the Old Testament. All throughout Matthew’s Gospel he is writing, “this fulfilled…” In fact, look at verses 16-18: Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.[6]
    11. In that passage Matthew quotes Jeremiah 31:15.
    12. So, what you need to know is that Matthew knew the Old Testament well enough to make the connection between what Hosea wrote in Hosea 11:1 about God leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt and now how God watched over Jesus.
    13. The question is can we connect the dots?
  • Applications:
    1. Be encouraged: God has total control over the past, present and the future.
    2. If you are ever discouraged in your faith remember how the Bible connects with one giant theme from Genesis to Revelation. There are well over 300 prophesies of Christ fulfilled in His life, death and resurrection. The Bible is a metanarrative. This means it is one grand story made up of smaller stories.
    3. We can trust God in the small matters of life because God is in control of everything.
    4. We may think little details do not matter to God, but they do. God took care of Israel and God took care of His Son Jesus.
    5. We may think our prayers do not matter, there are bigger things for God to take care of, but you know what? God can take care of both, the small and the big.
    6. We may have doubts. We may doubt that Jesus was the real Messiah, but all of these passages in the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus show the validity of who Jesus was and Is.
    7. We can trust the Bible. We can trust Jesus.
    8. Study the Bible. The Bible is powerful. Isn’t it awesome how the Bible all fits together?

I am amazed at how God works things out.

At one time I was watching a documentary about American history, and the Revolutionary War, and I learned that after the British burned Washington DC, they were heading to Baltimore, but a hurricane hit them. How often does a hurricane hit Washington DC? Not often. I don’t think we are God’s chosen people, but I do think maybe the Lord helped us in the Revolutionary War. Maybe the Lord preserved us so that we could save Europe in WW2. Think about it, what would have happened if we could not help win WW2?

God is in control of history. Think about this. During WW2 Hitler over-extended Germany by entering the Soviet Union, then the Russian Winter also defeated Hitler. The Lord is in control. What would have happened if he did not do that?

I referenced the 300 prophesies, Josh McDowell writes:

One reason the Bible’s Old Testament is so important to Christians is that it contains prophecy — over 300 predictions, in fact — that, like the threads of a tapestry, establish the Messianic credentials of Jesus.

Put another way, the Old Testament is like an intricate jigsaw puzzle. The numerous pieces, on their own, are puzzling — until they are assembled enough to fill out the intended picture. Thus, the New Testament is the decryption key for unlocking Old Testament meaning.

Some might say, after reading through a list of Old Testament prophecy, that some were fulfilled in the deaths of KennedyNasserKing, and other great figures. One could possibly find a prophecy or two fulfilled in the lives of these notable fellas; but not one of them can be credited with fulfilling all of them. Only Jesus did so.

Just a handful of prophecy that Jesus fulfilled: He was born in Bethlehem, preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist), entered Jerusalem on a donkey, was betrayed by a friend who received thirty pieces of silver, was silent before His accusers, and died in the manner Romans used for criminals (crucifixion), during which they pierced His hands and feet.

Peter Stoner, in his classic book Science Speaks, calculated the chance of any man fulfilling these prophecies, even down to the present time, to be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power). 

How can anyone think that Jesus just “happened” to be in the right place at the right time? Clearly, we can’t consider coincidence.[7]

Be encouraged, the Lord is in control.

Confess, Believe, trust, commit: Firmly make the decision to be with Him in order to become like Him and to learn and do all that He says and then arrange your affairs around Him.



[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ho 11:2.

[2] https://www.esv.org/Hosea+11/

[3] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 2:13.

[4]Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Mt 2:12-13). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

10 101. Tracy L. Howard, “The Use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15: An Alternative Solution,” Bibliotheca Sacra143:572 (October-December 1986):325. This article evaluated several other proposed solutions to this difficult citation.

[5] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Mt 2:9–14.

[6] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 2:16–18.

[7] https://www.josh.org/jesus-fulfill-prophecy/

Prophesies of the Messiah (Gen. 3:15)

Genesis 3:15: As Soon as Man Sinned God Prophesied a Way (fulfilled: Gal. 4:4-5, Matt. 1:18)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on November 3, 2019

I like jogging around town at night during the Christmas season. It is great seeing the Christmas lights. It makes me think back.

What are your Christmas decorations like? Do you enjoy Christmas decorating?

When I was a child we were not allowed to listen to Christmas music or watch Christmas movies or television shows until after Thanksgiving. I looked forward to Christmas in every way. I looked forward to the lights, snow, days off school, lights, Santa Claus, trains, family get togethers, and -did I say- lights and so much more.

When I was a child I remember setting up Christmas lights with my dad. I think it was every year, from the time I was in first grade up until I was in sixth or the seventh grade, we would set up Christmas lights the weekend after Thanksgiving. It seems that the day after Thanksgiving we would clean up from the family get together and then maybe set up some indoor Christmas decorations. We could not set up the Christmas tree at that time, we had to wait on that. We would set up the Nativity scene on the mantel and we would string lights along the mantle as well. We would set up various other Christmas decorations around the house. I think I loved the colors of Christmas, but I loved the many colors on the lights. It seems that usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving we would hang Christmas lights all over the exterior of the house. We had a two story and my dad would use the extension ladder as we would hang lights on the top of the house as well. We had a blue spruce tree and we hung lights on there also. It was great getting the lights out of the garage attic plugging them in and watching them light up, or we hoped they would light up. Many times, they wouldn’t light up. My dad could fix anything and so many times he would replace the fuses and rewire things and make them work. We stood there in the cold and watched as he did all the work! We did hold the ladder. We used the big lights, not the little lights, but they sure could blow fuses. At night it was so nice to go outside and see the house lit up. In the next few weeks we would set up the Christmas tree. The tree had snowflake lights and these bubble lights that were supposed to resemble candles. We hung so many lights on the tree, I’m sure many of you would have thought it was too cluttered. In the coming weeks we would drive around and look at Christmas lights. Sometimes we were on our way home from cub scouts or some school event and we would just drive around for awhile.

We had an old train that was probably from the 1930’s, it was a Lionel Train and we would set it up under the Christmas Tree and I remember sitting in that room with the lights off except for the tree and letting the train go around the tracks. The Train had a light on the front and the cars lit up inside.

I wonder if you have memories like this?

Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpk9Fk6sR3g

Pictures and videos of Christmas lights displays.

Today, I intend to show you how Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament and these prophesies are fulfilled in the New Testament. I intend to show you that Jesus is the Light of the world and as people engaged Him they had enlightening experiences. You know, Jesus calls us the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

My theme:

As Soon as Man Sinned God Prophesied a Way

The applications are:

  1.         Have we trusted in the light of the world?
  2.         Are we encouraged that the whole Bible talks of God sending the light?
  3.         Notice God provides the light, salvation is of God.
  4.         Can we rejoice in our salvation? (Psalm 51:12)


  • Let’s turn in the first book of the Bible and look at: Gen. 3:15: And I will put enmity
    Between you and the woman,
    And between your seed and her seed;
    He shall bruise you on the head,
    And you shall bruise him on the heel

    • Take note, this passage is written right after the first recorded sin. I don’t know how many years before Christ came to earth this was written, but I would think about 4,000 years and just days, weeks or months into creation. Adam and Eve had the reign of the Garden of Eden and walked with God. Then, the devil came and tempted them. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says that satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Take note that there is spiritual warfare and we see it in this passage. The devil comes all innocent and disguises himself as a snake. Next thing we know they are disobeying God.
    • Now, in verse 15 God is giving the punishment for satan and for Adam and Eve.
    • In the middle of the punishment is this prophesy.
    • Enmity: this means that there will be a barrier between the devil and Eve and her offspring and the devils. It would be easy to think this is simply talking about a fear between man and snake, but historically that is not how it was interpreted.
    • Luther commented on the nature of “the woman’s Seed”: “This means all individuals in general; and yet he is speaking of only one individual, of the seed of Mary, who is a mother without union with a male” (LW195).
    • One writes: The “offspring” of the woman was Cain, then all humanity at large, and then Christ and those collectively in Him. The “offspring” of the serpent includes demons and anyone serving his kingdom of darkness, those whose “father” is the devil (John 8:44). Satan would cripple mankind (you will strike at his heel), but the Seed, Christ, would deliver the fatal blow (He will crush your head).
    • Another writes: The serpent’s poison is lodged in its head; and a bruise on that part is fatal. Thus, fatal shall be the stroke which Satan shall receive from Christ, though it is probable he did not at first understand the nature and extent of his doom.
    • Here we have the common case where an individual represents many.204 Eve and her adversary are the progenitors of a lifelong struggle that will persist until a climactic moment when the woman’s offspring will achieve the upper hand.
    • Now think about this verse and our applications. Notice that salvation comes from the Lord.
    • Here we are in the beginning of time. Here we are and man and woman have just sinned, they have broken God’s perfect standard. But God is saying, “I am going to bring you back.” God is saying, “There is a punishment, but I will send the light.”
    • The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The Bible says that God wants all to come to salvation. (2 Peter 3:9).
  • All throughout the Old Testament God reminds them of the Light that will come. God reminds them of the Light of the world. God continues to talk about the birth of Jesus.
    • Isaiah 7:14:“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
    • Isaiah was written some 700 years prior to Christ and God is reminding the people that He will provide the Light.
    • Notice that the whole Bible talks of God sending Jesus. Isn’t that encouraging?
  • Listen to Isaiah 60:1 and 19-20:
    • 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.
    • Isaiah 60:19-20:
    • The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.
    • These verses are about a time still to look forward to. But notice, who provides the light? God will provide the light. On March 9, 1979, nine satellites stationed at various points in the solar system simultaneously recorded a bizarre event deep in space. It was, in fact, the most powerful burst of energy ever recorded. Astronomers who studied the readings were in awe. The burst of gamma radiation lasted for only one-tenth of a second . . . but in that instant it emitted as much energy as the sun does in 3000 years. If the gamma-ray burst had occurred in the Milky Way Galaxy, said one astrophysicist, it would have set our entire atmosphere aglow. If the sun had suddenly emitted the same amount of energy, our earth would have vaporized. Instantly.
    • Let’s look at the New Testament:
  • In Matt. 1:23 Joseph is having a dream and this is what the angel says: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). This is the fulfillment of that prophesy way back in Genesis 3:15.
  • One more Bible passage which shows a more direct fulfillment of that prophesy is Gal. 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. Notice how this passage says, “born of a woman” and that is alluding to Genesis 3:15: the seed or “offspring” of a woman…


[The Passion of the Christ with Jesus stepping on the snake, maybe silent only.]

  1. Have we trusted in the light of the world?
  2. Are we encouraged that the whole Bible talks of God sending the Savior?
  3. Notice God provides salvation.
  4. Can we rejoice in our salvation (Psalm 51:12)?

Do you have the Light? Do you know Jesus?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Confess, Believe, trust, commit: Firmly make the decision to be with Him in order to become like Him and to learn and do all that He says and then arrange your affairs around Him.