Three times Balak asks Balaam to curse the Israelites, and we don’t know yet what the third request will yield, but we do know that Balak needs to catch a clue! Why is he so hellbent on cursing the Israelites anyway? The better and simpler solution here is to say, “Sure, you can pass through our lands. Better yet, we’ll team up with you and help you. Looks like you’ve got the one true and mighty God on your side.” Duh. But Balak doesn’t see it like that, not even after two very clear messages in this chapter and another one in the chapter prior. He asks for curses – destruction, violence, upheaval – rather than blessings – teamwork, consideration, kindness.
I’ve been struggling with asking for curses rather than blessings lately. We’re right in the middle of the US’s mask or no mask debacle, and there are some really sad people out there. I can’t hardly look at my Facebook page. People who are supposed to be my friends, who are supposed to love those whom I love, people who I love regardless of how they feel about me, just simply refuse to put a simple piece of cloth over their faces on the principle that their freedoms are being taken away. I don’t even understand it. To me, this is violence against people who don’t deserve to suffer. Why do humans navigate down that path? It’s a horrible place to be. And it’s where Balak is left in this chapter. The Israelites mean him no harm. They’ve made that very clear. What makes him think he needs to solve this issue with violence and bloodshed?
Writing prompt: curses
I know we all act out of anger and rage sometimes. It’s human, and impulsive rage is a lot different than long-term vengeful-like rage – like people who just can’t thrust enough hate on the world. It’s sickening. What makes people behave this way? I know I get angry and act mean sometimes, but man, oh, man, I usually regret it later. (Sometimes anger is justified, and that’s ok, too. It’s a HUGE one to balance, anger, and it’s only “mastered” through time and wisdom and lots of practice. Another convo for another day, perhaps.) Anyway, write about what you think makes people be so nasty. What was Balak’s problem? Did he have underlying issues? Enjoy.