When God Has Blessed
“Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord —and I must say only what the Lord says…” (Numbers 24:13 NIV)
In the Old Testament, we read the story of Balaam, a rather unusual character in the Bible. He was a prophet; yet in the New Testament, we find that he was ultimately judged as having “loved the wages of wickedness” (2 Peter 2:15). In summary, the story in the Old Testament was about Balak, king of the Moabites, who wanted to pay Balaam to curse the people of God. Over the course of three chapters in the book of Numbers, we read that at first Balaam did not want to accompany Balak, but then he did; and he was even rebuked by a donkey in the process! Balaam went back and forth on what he would say about the Israelites, but he ended up blessing them! Imagine Balak’s anger! Not only did Balaam not curse God’s people after Balak had offered him money to do so; but he blessed them instead! And this was Balaam’s response to Balak after the latter called him to account: “How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.”
This should be of encouragement to every believer today! No one can curse the people of God! Yes, we can be oppressed by the enemy of our souls, for as Christians, we are involved in spiritual warfare. The Bible tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and that we are to put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the enemies schemes. But the devil can do only what God permits him to do, as we see in the book of Job (see Job 1:8-12). He doesn’t have carte blanche to do as he wills with us. And, very importantly, there is no living soul that can put a curse on us. This is important, because there are those who are still affected by the superstitious traditions in which they grew up; they live in fear of a spell being cast against them or an evil eye affecting them.
If you have been under this misapprehension as a Christian, let the words of Balaam serve to encourage you today; for God has blessed his people; and when he has blessed, no one can change it! Here is what I do know about your future, according to God’s Word: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [you] all the days of [your] life, and [you] shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever”! (Psalm 23:6).
Read part of the story of Balaam in Numbers 24:1-13.