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Numbers 23:8, 20

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Numbers 23:8, 20, ‘How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom YHWH has not denounced?…He has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.’

When Balaam was summoned to curse God’s chosen people, he responds by saying that he could not curse those whom God had blessed. These were the people of YHWH, surrounded by the insurmountable walls of His covenant, they could not be touched by an outside assault. As I read this, it struck me that the same is true for those who have been gathered into God’s True and Eternal Covenant People through union to the True Servant, who is Himself the True Covenant, the slain and risen Jesus Christ…as Paul says, ‘If God is FOR us (in Christ), who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31).

But this, then, leads us to ask, ‘what of the curse’? There *is* a curse against all those who stand in opposition to God, against all those whose will flows against the grain of His Name, against all those who would make ‘not-God’ the supreme reality of their lives…and that is all of us. So, where has *this* true curse gone?

The answer comes in Galatians 3:13, ‘[Christ] redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us.’

Ultimately, what curse is there other than the curse of the Law, the curse that comes from God against all who oppose Him?…And this is the curse that Christ became in love for His people so that, in Him, they might know only, ever, and always the blessing of God. Yes, even in their agonies, even in their sufferings, even in those things that the world might see and call ‘cursed,’ even these the one united to Christ finally receives as ‘blessing’ because—‘He has blessed, and [no cancer, no enemy, no loss, no pain, no oppression] can revoke.’

Finally, let me point out that, because Christ becomes the cursed one in love for His people, wherever we see one who is accursed in Scripture, we see a picture of what Christ became in love upon the Tree…In this way, ‘curse’ itself becomes blessing for those who are in Christ since every instance of cursing must finally be read as ‘that which Christ bears in love for me,’ and so as a herald and witness of the depths of saving grace of God.