Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. ~Nehemiah 13:2
The historical account of Balak hiring Balaam to curse Israel was a repeated reminder to the Jews. It was a reminder of the grace and goodness of God in turning the curse into a blessing. A curse is a misfortune, evil, or doom against another person or group. A curse has a very devastating, long-term effect on the ones the curse is upon. However, this morning, let us see three incidents where God turned the curse into a blessing.
We see the curse of a captive.
“Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt" (Genesis 37:28). Joseph’s life, for several years, looked as if a curse of evil was upon him. First, he was hated, betrayed, and sold by his brothers into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. He became a slave in Potiphar’s house and worked his way to becoming chief steward of the house. Then, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of a crime that he did not commit, and Joseph was cast into prison. While in prison, he helped the king’s butler to find favor in Pharaoh’s eyes, but the butler forgot about Joseph until two years later. Fast forward this story several years later, and Joseph is used of God to deliver the nations from a terrible famine. He is also reunited with his brothers. Joseph explained to his brothers how God turned what looked like a curse into a blessing when he said, “As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” That’s what Romans 8:28 is about for every Christian: "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We see the curse on creation.
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life" (Genesis 3:17). The earth was cursed after Adam sinned. Thistles, weeds, poisonous plants, harsh weather, hardened soil, locust plagues, floods, forest fires, plant disease, insect invasions, and many more things that affect the beauty and usefulness of the earth are a direct result of the curse. However, one day, God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth. The old will go through the fire, and that which is new and perfect will come forth. It will the Eden that God placed Adam into. One day, God will turn the curse on this world into a blessing.
We see the curse of the cross.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). The curse of sin brought the penalty of death on every sinner. "For the wages of sin is death...." There is the curse of physical death when life is no more in our body. There is the curse of spiritual death when a sinner dies unforgiven and spends eternity in Hell. However, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. He took our curse on Him and paid the price for sin through His shed blood and death. "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Jesus turned the curse of sin into a blessing by providing salvation for us. There is no more curse when a sinner receives Jesus as Saviour. Count your blessings today: God turns the curse into a blessing.
Have a blessed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 46-48