Blessed Beyond The Curse
The Torah portion this week contains an interesting story of Balak, the King of Moab who hired Balaam to curse the Children of Israel
Moabites were the descendants of Lot
Midianites were the descendants of Abraham’s son Midian that he had with his concubine Keturah.
So in some was the both Moabites and Midianites were relatives of the Children of Israel.
But they feared B’nei Israel and devised a plan to defeat Israel by hiring Balaam to curse them.
Balaam is somewhat of a mystery. He lives in Pethor near Haran where Abraham had lived and it it speculated the he may have been a descendant of Laban.
Insert Slide of Pethor
Never the less, we don’t know too much about Balaam other than that he is prophet of Adonai.
He is hired by Balak to curse Israel.
Balak realizes that if he is going to defeat Israel, he is going to have to do it spiritually.
Come now, curse this people for me, because they are too strong for me! Perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them away from the country. I know that whoever you bless will be blessed and whoever you curse will be accursed!”
Balaam realizes a significant promise regarding Israel…G-d has blessed Israel and they can not be cursed.
He crouches like a lion or a lioness— who would rouse him? He who blesses you will be blessed, and he who curses you will be cursed.”
We know that is still the case today. Those nations that curse Israel are cursed and those nations that bless Israel shall be cursed.
Since President Trump moved the American embassy to Jersualem, America has been blessed financially. The stock market is up, the unemployment rate is low and Americans are enjoying financial prosperity that has not been seen since the housing crash of 2008.
We can compare this with Venezuela. Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez publically cursed Israel from his viscera and he himself was attacked with cancer in his organs and Venezuela has been devastated financially. Their economy is ruined and there is not even food on store shelves. This in spite of the fact that Venezuela is rich with natural resources and has the world’s largest oil reserve. Larger than Saudia Arabia, larger than Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. G-d’s promise stands true....He will bless those who bless Israel and He will curse those who curse Israel.
We can see that G-d’s promise is true for Israel, but how about us as individuals? Can we as believers in Messiah Yeshua be cursed?
Let’s look at the Scriptures to see what G-d’s Word says about this topic.
Let’s start with Proverbs 26:2
Like a fluttering sparrow or a flying swallow, so an undeserved curse does not land.
So we can see from this verse that a curse cannot come upon someone unless there is some legal ground for that curse to stand.
However, since we are all sinners, most likely there is plenty of ground for a curse to stand in all of our lives.
But the good news is that we can be purified of our sins.
1 John 1:7-10 says:
But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of His Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
This is our declaration that we make each Shabbat about Yeshua the Messiah. “If we confess our sins we find that He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us off all unrighteousness.”
He who knew no sin became sin and took upon Himself the curse of our sin.
Messiah liberated us from Torah’s curse, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)—
For every Jewish person listening to this message, this should be the best news you ever heard. The Torah contains blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience. And because the Jewish people as a nation accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai the blessings and curses are still in affect for each Jewish person alive today. The good news is that Yeshua took the curses of the Torah upon Himself when He died upon the cross....but He left the blessings for all those who trust in Him and His completed work of atonement. He of completely fulfilled the requirements of the Torah by living a completely Torah observant life…now that is good news!
For every non-Jew this is also good news because the blessing of Abraham comes upon non-Jews by faith in Yeshua the Messiah and His completed work on the cross. It is the good news to the Jew first and also to the non-Jew.
So if Yeshua already became accursed for us can we as believers still come under a curse?
I believe that the answer to that question can be found in the Balaam story.
After Balaam blesses the children of Israel three times the Scriptures tell us that he arose and departed and returned to his place.
But Balaam didn’t stop there, he realized that the only way to curse Israel was to have them bring a curse upon themselves.
Three times the Brit Chadashah mentions Balaam, in 2 Peter 2, in Jude, and in Revelation 2.
Peter and Jude mention Balaam’s greed but Revelation 2 gives us the story of how Balaam got Israel to bring a curse upon themselves.
Revelation 2:14 says:
“But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who was teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before Bnei-Yisrael, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.
Our text in Numbers 25 tells us that :
the people began to have immoral sexual relations with women from Moab and that they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, so the people were eating, and bowing down before their gods and 24,000 people died from a plague that was released by their disobedience.
The children of Israel’s own sin brought a plague upon themselves.
In the same way our sins can bring destruction upon ourselves.
James 1:13-15 says:
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”—for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his own desire. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is full grown, it brings forth death.
We live in a day in age of increased idolatry and paganism in America and I just recently read an article by Dr. Michael Brown who is a Messianic Jewish author and speaker and he reported that witchcraft is on a rise in America. He sighted an article in Time magazine where witches in Boston even hosted a public even to put a curse on Bret Kavanaugh who had been confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Do we as believers in Yeshua need to be concerned about curses coming upon us. I would yes…we need to be concerned....but our concern should be in quickly confessing our sins so that a curse does not have any legal ground to rest upon us and then asking G-d to help us walk in righteousness.
When we confess our sins and receive Yeshua’s atonement on our behalf...I believe that we can be:
Blessed Beyond The Curse
We don’t have to live life under a curse, we can be like Abraham, we can live a life of blessing.