Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” Numbers 22:1-6 ESV
God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;
and those who hate him shall flee before him!
As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;
as wax melts before fire,
so the wicked shall perish before God!
But the righteous shall be glad;
they shall exult before God;
they shall be jubilant with joy! Psalm 68:1-3 ESV
In a fairy tale, a king and queen had a beautiful baby girl. They invited all the fairies in the kingdom to come and celebrate her birth, except for one evil fairy. All the good fairies gave the little princess good gifts such as beauty and grace, but when all but one fairy had given her gift, the evil fairy showed up at the party. She was so angry that she hadn’t been invited that she gave a terrible curse to the baby. She said that someday the princess would prick her finger on a spindle and die. The last good fairy tried to undo the curse by saying that the princess wouldn’t die, but would only sleep for 100 years and be awakened by a prince. She couldn’t completely undo the curse because she wasn’t more powerful than the evil fairy.
When the king of Moab saw the people of Israel camped near his kingdom, and how many of them there were, he was afraid. Israel had fought some battles and won them with God’s help, and King Balak was scared that he would be next to lose in battle to them. So he decided to try to curse them. He asked a man from his kingdom named Balaam to curse them, because he thought that Balaam was powerful and that any blessing or curse he gave would be very powerful. He didn’t think anyone had more power than Balaam. But King Balak was so wrong! The God of Israel is more powerful than Balaam was. It was foolish of him to try to curse the people that God had blessed. No powerful soothsayer could possibly put a curse on anyone more powerful than God’s blessing.
This is good for us to remember, too. God came to us in Jesus to undo the curse of sin, death, and the devil. We were separated from God because of our sin, doomed to die forever, and in the power of the devil. But Jesus died on the cross and rose again on Easter Sunday. He defeated the work of the devil, took away the power of sin, and brought us into life forever with him. There’s nothing at all that we need to be afraid of. Jesus is stronger and more powerful than anything that can hurt us, and he promises to love us and be with us always.
Dear Jesus, thank you for defeating sin, death, and the devil for us. Keep us close to you forever. Amen.