By Martha Bush
In my post last month, I told of a betrayal that touched the lives of all my immediate family. This betrayal, with all its false allegations, lead to a court trial.
Convinced that I had forgiven the parties involved, even before the trial began, I still had a gnawing feeling that something was still missing. I discovered that the missing link was to Take a Step Beyond Forgiveness - Bless My Enemies. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and Curse not.” (Romans 12:14)
My efforts to find out “HOW” to apply the blessing principle lead me to Numbers 6:22-27:
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron this is HOW I want my people blessed: the Lord bless and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
You can read the meaning to this familiar Old Testament prayer here.
I knew I was onto a powerful truth with this blessing prayer, but what really sealed the deal for me came from yet another Old Testament story of Balak and Balaam. (Numbers 22)
The essence of the story is that Old King Balak wanted the Israelites cursed. The Israelites had just entered his territory, Moab, on their way to Canaan and had pitched their tents there to stay awhile. Old King Balak realized that he was outnumbered, realized how strong the Israelites were, and he was afraid of them.
So, he sends for Balaam, a soothsayer. Guess what Balaam’s orders were from Old King Balak? Call down a curse upon the Israelites.
Well, even a soothsayer knew better than to curse the Israelites. He might have been on shaky grounds himself with God, but he was no fool.
Three times Balak showed him areas where groups of Israelites were camped, and even got to the point of offering him tons of money to curse them.
Let’s listen in on one of their conversations.
Balaam: “How can I curse what God has not cursed” (Numbers 23:8)
Balaam: “I have received commandment to bless and I cannot reverse it.” (Numbers 23:20)
Balak: “Well, if you can’t curse them; at least don’t bless them.” (Numbers 23:25 MSG)
Say what? Looks like even a pagan knew the power of the blessing.
Now, think this concept through with me:
No group of people has ever been more stubborn and stiff-necked than the Israelites, yet God had said He wanted them blessed in Numbers 6. While this may sound like an Old Testament ritual, let me hasten to say that Jesus is our high priest who continues God’s blessing upon us. In fact, the last thing Jesus did for his disciples as he was ascending up into heaven was to stretch forth his hands toward heaven and bless them. (Luke 24:50) The message becomes clearer as we read the Gospels and Paul’s writings to bless, even our enemies.
So, just like Balaam, we cannot reverse what God commanded us to do. It is a commandment: Bless and not Curse. (Romans 12:14)
Keep in mind that to bless, speak well of, does not mean we are blessing someone’s wrong deeds; it is about blessing them as a person God loves, despite their wrong doing.
They are God’s creation, and the Bible says that while we all were yet enemies, Christ died for all of us. He did it while were His enemy, not when we got better, not when our wrong had been set straight, but while we were yet enemies, separated from Him. (Romans 5:10)
Old Satan would try to tell us just like Balak was saying to Balaam when he refused to curse the Israelites:
- If I can’t get you to walk in unforgiveness toward those who do you wrong
- If I can’t get you to retaliate against them--at least don’t bless them.
Omitting the blessing is Satan's way of saying, "If I can't get you one way, I'll try another." But the results to bless is so much more rewarding for all concerned.
I believe that the results of being God's mouthpiece for the blessing to flow through is found in Matthew 5:44-45. (KJV)
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil, and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
My Sumite friends, when we are wronged, someday, somehow, the “sun will rise on the evil, as well as the good.” Where the sun is shining, there can be no darkness.
Back to my family: God, indeed, caused the sun to rise on the evil, and we were totally exonerated of all charges brought against us in court.
And so I ask you the question I have to ask myself when new situations arise in my life----
To Bless or Curse: Which will it be?
Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.