The Irrevocable Power of Blessing

“Isaac replied to Esau, ‘Look! I have made him Lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?’” (Gen. 27:37, NET).

You may recognize the moment depicted in this verse. It’s when Isaac and Esau discover that Jacob has made off with the firstborn blessing. Although the occasion is a painful one for both of them, it contains an incredibly rich principle for us to glean from. As we listen in on their conversation, Holy Spirit points out emphatically to each of us how irrevocable the power of blessing is.

Unknowingly, Isaac had proffered the blessings of authority, prosperity, and preeminence on his younger son. He knew all too well that there was no way in heaven or on earth that he could now take them back and give them instead to his oldest. Jacob was now irreversibly blessed. He would carry that blessing for his entire lifespan, and no one, ever, could take it from him. 

And then we have the story of Balaam and Balak. Aside from being one of the most fascinating tales in the Bible (I mean, does it amaze you, too, that Balaam actually talks back to his donkey instead of stopping to be astonished that she is speaking to him? If I were to have named this story, I would have picked a title along the lines of, “Two Donkeys and an Angel.” Not sure that does an adequate enough job, though, of expressing how foolishly Balaam acted in that scene!)

I digress. Back to the main point of the story, found in Balaam’s own words once he finally caught onto the irrevocable power of God’s blessing. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he utters this pronouncement:

“How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.” (Num. 23:8, 20, NIV).

No amount of bribery from the Moabite king could make an ounce of difference against the overwhelming power of God’s blessing. No mountains of silver or gold could budge it. He made it clear to Balaam and Balak that He had irreversibly blessed His chosen people. Any efforts to the contrary were going to backfire in painful ways. 

Instead of managing to put a dent in Israel’s blessing, Balak instead Continue reading The Irrevocable Power of Blessing