8 But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed?
How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned?
Numbers 23:8 (NLT)
The above verse comes from the story of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. They passed through some hostile nations along the way and were attacked. However as the Lord was with them, they managed to defeat all their enemies. The news of their victory was spread throughout the region and the nations along their path were afraid.
King Balak, the king of Moab was one of them. He ruled out a direct military confrontation because he has heard of the Israelites’ reputation of defeating other armies. He did not want to suffer the same defeat as his neighbours. At the same time, he did not want to Israelites to pass through his territory unopposed as he was afraid that they will take everything along their way.
Personally I find this policy of Balak to be really silly. There were no records of the Israelites robbing and plundering the nations they passed through. They only fought when they were attacked and they never initiated any fight. So, Balak’s fear was totally irrational.
If I were him, I would have initiated trade relationship with the Israelites. Why? The Bible says when they left Egypt, they took along with them the Egyptians’ articles of gold, silver and fine clothings. Surely they will have the desire to spend them. After all, this group consists of millions of rich people. (If they passed through my country Singapore, I am sure my government will set up a welcoming committee to welcome them and invite them to say a few more days to enjoy our hospitality while spending their gold and silver.)
I would have rallied my people to set up stalls to sell local products like food and souvenirs. I am sure it will be a welcome experience for the Israelites to do some shopping and tried some other food after eating manna for so many days. It was a pity that King Balak had missed such a good opportunity to bring riches to his country and regarded it as a threat.
Let us move on with the story. As Balak had rule out military option, the only option left in his mind was to use a local prophet who has superpowers. His name was Balaam son of Beor. During his career as a professional blesser and curser, he had developed quite a reputation for himself as shown in the verse below:
6 Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.”
Numbers 22:6 (NLT)
In other words, his blessings and cursings worked. Whoever he blessed was blessed and whoever he cursed was cursed. So Balaam got a business call from the messengers to curse the Israelites. So, he seek the word of God and asked for guidance.
12 But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”
Numbers 22:12 (NLT)
God said don’t do it. Why not? They were blessed. No one can curse whom God has blessed. If you are a christian, you are blessed. God had sent his only begotten Son to pay for the penalty of your sins. Is there a greater blessing than that?
Therefore, no matter what problems you are facing right now, the will of God for you is to triumph over them. You are destined to win because no one and nothing can curse whom God has blessed. God will not allow anyone to curse you because he has blessed you.
If you have been threatened by the occultic people like witch doctors, witches or “holy men” with their curses, do not allow them to scare you. I don’t care how perfect their past track record was in laying curses. What I know for sure is God says you are blessed. The blessing of God in you is greater than the curses of all the occults put together. God will not allow anyone to curse you because he has blessed you.
The subsequent part of the story will give us more details that will bless you. So, Balaam sent a message to the king’s officers to reject the business order. The king was disappointed and he improved the offer. He let Balaam to set his own price for his services. I call this a blank cheque offer. Of course, I am sure Balaam was interested but he knew it didn’t help. He has no authority to curse those God has blessed. However, God told Balaam to go along with the king. God has a plan for his people and he was about to execute it.
So Balaam went to the king and requested some items for a ceremony. It took place on a high ground overlooking a path where the Israelites were supposed to pass through. King Balak was happy. He was expecting a curse but as the Israelites passed through below them. However, Balaam blessed them instead. The king was furious.
11 Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!”
Numbers 23:11 (NLT)
The king would have executed Balaam if there were others who could do the job. Since Balaam was the only one available, the king was very forgiving and gave his another chance. He set up a new position for Balaam to place his curse. However instead of curses, Balaam gave out more blessings instead to the Israelites.
18 This was the message Balaam delivered: “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor.
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20 Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!
21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king.
22 God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox.
23 No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’
24 These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!”
Numbers 23:18-24 (NLT)
The king was furious. The situation turned out to be the opposite of what he wanted.
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!”
26 But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?”
Numbers 23:25-26 (NLT)
It wasn’t that Balaam was not interested in the money. He was helpless. He can only do what God told him. The king tried the third time and the same situation repeated itself. The curses that the king planned for God’s people had become blessings. More attempts to curse had been turned into more blessings.
Please note that the Israelites knew nothing about these incidents. They just passed through and got blessed unknowingly. Likewise, if you are a christian, it is possible that some people wanted to curse you for no reason without you knowing it. How are you going to defend yourself? The answer is you don’t have to. Your God will fight for you and will turn the curses from your enemies into blessings for you.
The will of God for you is to be blessed and nothing in this world can change it.
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.