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 land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” – Num. 22:6 NIV
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The arrival of the journeying Israelites, who were on their way to the land promised to them by the Almighty God, in the plains of Moab brought great fear to the Moabites and their king named Balak who was the son of Zippor. Their decision to camp along the Jordan across from Jericho terrified them so much that their king had to quickly think out a solution. The information about all the Israelites have done to the nations that they had met on their way gave them the conviction that they were going to suffer the same fate. They described the Israelites as horde that will lick them up in a manner that an Ox licks up the grass of the field – Num. 22:4.
The king’s solution, which is the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional, was to engage the services of someone who could help to lay curses on the Israelites as he feels convinced, that remains the only way he will be able to defeat them and drive them out of his country – Num. 22:1-6. He therefore sent messengers to Balaam, son of Beor who, according to today’s foundation scripture, they believed, has the final say on who gets blessed and who gets cursed.
This belief definitely borders on heresy as by that belief, Balaam was the final arbiter on all issues and his decision over-rides that of everyone including that of the Almighty God since it is implied that he is able to bless whom the Almighty God has chosen to curse and vice-versa.
Although, Balaam did not make any attempt to discourage this view of his spiritual personality by the Moabites, he actually made moves that were contrary to what their belief was by asking to be permitted to seek the position of the Lord on their request as that was going to determine the step he was going to take – Num. 22:8.
Now, this is not the step that someone who is supposed to be the final voice on such issues should be taking, as such would be expected to be sovereign in action. Even the response of Balaam which should have served as an eye-opener for them about his limitations was still not sufficient to convince them of their foolishness as they still tried to convince him by making very great promises and improving the quality of representation that were sent to him in order to get him to change his mind.
Although Balaam in very clear terms made it clear that he was not the sovereign personality that he was been portrayed as, the Moabites insisted on their views of him and the Almighty God in reacting to this deification of Balaam by them, granted permission for him to go with the emissaries of the King Balak – Num. 22:20.
Though, the Moabites and their king were not known to be believers and so their rating of an ordinary man above the Almighty God can be excused based on ignorance, same cannot be said of today’s Christian who claims to be a believer. The manner in which human beings with spiritual gift are been rated by today’s Christians border on idolatry and complete disregard for the Almighty God. Pastors, prophets and spiritual leaders generally are venerated like they are equal or worse still higher than God in spiritual ranking. These group of people, unlike Prophet Balaam also do little or nothing to change this perception of the people about them because of the pecuniary gains that come with such deification. The truth however remains that man will always be man and will never be God irrespective of their exploits and so should never be compared with the Sovereign God. It becomes worse when the nature of the spirituality of the individual that is being venerated is not even rooted in the Almighty God. Balaam may have indeed been highly gifted spiritually but the truth was that his spirituality seemed to be a hybrid of that of the Almighty God and practice of sorcery – Num. 24:1. Today’s spiritual leaders are also not as lucky as Balaam who was saved from being death by the Almighty God using his horse – Num. 22:21-34. Most of them die physically in the course of implementing these requests whilst for some of them actually remain physically alive but are spiritually dead.
Christians must be conscious always that no matter how much spirituality is on display by that spiritual personality, it remains subject to the approval of the Almighty God, just as spiritual leaders must always make it clear to their followers in words and deed that they are mere mortals so as not to suffer the fate of King Herod – Acts 12:19-23; 14:8-18. Whatever the sovereign God does not permit to happen will never happen and so no man can be presented as having the final say on any issue especially concerning who gets blessed or cursed. If the Christian today was to remember and believe this, then there will be less focus on the perceived enemy during prayer sessions or over-reliance on a mere mortals for life success. It is very true that there are individuals who may be very much gifted spiritually but that should not make any genuine Christian accord such the status of a god or entertain so much fear about the potential harm that such can cause them. Just like Balaam eventually told Balak, it is simply impossible to curse whom the Almighty God as not cursed just as there is no one who can pronounce blessing on whom the Almighty God is not willing to bless – Num. 23:8; 18-26. Do not focus on man, especially those who have been blessed with spiritual abilities by the Almighty God as they remain simply tools in the hands of the Almighty for the display of His greatness, but focus on the Almighty God who is the Alpha and Omega of all things. That way there will no wasting of spiritual energy on activities that will not be rewarding or fulfilling. Balaam promised Balaam everything but all the activities of Balaam to grant the wish of the Moabites failed because it was not in the Will of the Almighty God that such requests should be granted. Same will be the result of the activity of today’s Christian who relies on the individual being used to achieve spiritual goals rather than the Sovereign God behind all those activities. May God grant us all the ability to focus mainly on Him rather that His tools used for the manifestation of His greatness in Jesus name. Amen.