The story of Balak and Balaam trying to unsuccessfully curse Israel as they settled in the plains of Moab is truly intriguing.
Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the River, in his native land. Balak said: “A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed.” (Numbers 22:4-6)
Interestingly, it is the dread that seized Moab and the fear of Israel that drove Moab’s king Balak, to harm Israel. Fear is a byproduct of not knowing God and not being in sync with the One who owns and runs the universe. Fear has its origin in real and imaginary threats arising from multiple sources around a person. Fear can cripple a person and rid him of all productivity, at times driving him to ridiculous extremes. A Christian however is able to apply trust and get rid of fear arising from multiple variables around him. He is able to lean on to God and depend on the unchanging God in the midst of changing circumstances.
The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
As Balak summons Balaam, he demonstrates an astute awareness of the spiritual reality. Balak calculated that he could not physically defeat Israel. He sensed that Israel would do to Moab what they had just done to the Amorites- total annihilation. But Balak had an ace up his sleeve- the wayward prophet Balaam, who knew how to explore the spiritual realm and manipulate it for physical gain. Balak was moving forward with the theory that an intervention in the spiritual realm could have far more effect in the physical realm than directly intervening in the physical realm. As we trace the story of God’s intervention in this account, that theory is never disputed. A curse was not just words but a manipulation of the spiritual realm in a way that would define the physical reality for Israel. And so God does not allow Balaam to curse Israel; rather he ends up blessing Israel, much to the dismay of Balak.
Modern-day man finds it hard to accept the reality of a spiritual world. The Bible makes it clear that not only is there a spiritual world, but that this spiritual world controls the physical world we live in. And seated at the head of this spiritual world is Christ.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:15-18)
For one who applies faith in Christ, this authority translates to protection and productivity in the spiritual realm. Feel free to leave a comment and share this post with a friend.
- STEPPING DOWN
- THE BALAAM STORY