I have certain relationships in my life that I grow very frustrated with at times. Sometimes to the point where it will even change my personality and unfortunately my attitude toward those individuals. There is something Hulk like that comes out in me whenever I think about these individuals. I am in no way proud of this and it breaks my heart that I even get this way sometimes. However, through good friends and God’s Word my hardened heart is softening once again. In a recent devotional I was working through, it took me to the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament, of all places. It directed me to read a story from the life of the prophet Balaam in Numbers 22-24. Now Balaam does not have a reputation for being an honorable prophet, but in this particular story God used him to do something honorable for the nation of Israel.
The king of Moab, Balak, who at the time was in opposition of the Israelites, summoned Balaam to come to where he was and curse the nation of Israel for a lofty reward. Balaam was initially resistant to this idea but eventually folded and while on his way to meet with Balak had a frightening interaction with an angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord nearly killed him, but Balaam’s donkey actually saved his life. I would like to go into that story, but I cannot at this time, so when you get a chance read through it. Anyhow, during his interaction with the angel of the Lord, Balaam’s original mission to curse the nation of Israel was rerouted and he actually ended up blessing Israel instead and in turn ticked Balak off and lost his reward. However, during one of his blessings he stated something that shook me to the core when I read it.
Here is what he said in chapter 23 verse 8, “How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?” If you are not familiar with the word denounced, it basically means to publicly condemn or declare wrong. As a prophet of God, it would have been awful for Balaam to curse or denounce Israel, especially in exchange for an earthly reward. However, as you read Balaam chooses to see things from God’s perspective and powerfully states that if God does not curse or denounce the nation of Israel, then he wouldn’t as well. God loved the nation of Israel and at this point in time they were being established by God as His chosen nation through which He would work and so God wouldn’t have wanted them to be cursed and denounced.
Ok, so how does this verse currently apply to my situation? As I mentioned earlier, my heart has grown hardened toward some individuals in my life and although it’s natural and maybe even justified to be upset with them, they are a people who God dearly loves, He died for them and has purpose for their lives. It would be ungodly of me, even though I want to and have at times, to curse and denounce them because God has not cursed or denounced them. No matter how frustrated I get I must remember that even though I deserve to be cursed and denounced in my own life, God has chosen to love me and grace me to live a full life. If that is how God has treated me, the “chief of sinners” as Paul would say in 1 Timothy 1:15, then I too like Balaam, must choose to take on the perspective of God and “bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14). I pray that when I get in my self-righteous, hard hearted, negative, curse you mindset that the Holy Spirit will remind me of what I have read and heard in Numbers. I pray the same for you. If you have individuals in your life that stir up the same attitude in you, I pray that you choose to take on the same God perspective as Balaam and ask yourself, “How can I curse and denounce whom the Lord has not cursed or denounced?”