April 24, 2010
On Being Paid to Curse Israel
By: Pastor Bill Randles
I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you and in you all the families of the world will be blessed. Genesis 12:3
Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me, peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou (Balaam) bless is blest and he whom you curse is cursed. Numbers 22:6
Perhaps the most misunderstood story in the Bible is that of Balaam, the pagan prophet. When it is told, it is usually related as a morality story, merely a caution against greed in ministry. The love of money indeed is part of the story - as well as the danger of false prophets and corrupt ministers. But lately I have come to realize that there is an eschatological dimension to this story that too often is unappreciated. It is amazing how current and relevant the story of Balaam really is to today’s geo-political situation.
The story takes place at the end of the Exodus; at the time the children of Israel were preparing to possess the land God had given them. Once again the immediate neighbors of Israel take exception to their rights to the land. The ancestors of the modern Arabs, Jordanians and ‘Palestinians’ feared the Israeli occupation of the land, having full knowledge of what God had done to Egypt and through them to Og, one of their chief Kings.
And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. Numbers 22:2-3
Balak, the king of the Moabites, as it turned out, had nothing to fear from the Israelites, not knowing that God had commanded them not to dispossess the Moabites.
And the LORD said to me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give you of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. Deuteronomy 2:9
This scenario is a current event, for there is nothing the modern state of Israel would welcome more than to live in peace with her hostile neighbors.
Balak, fearing Israel, and knowing he couldn’t prevail militarily with them, set out to hire someone who could “curse” Israel. The word “curse” in this sense is a Hebrew word which means to “hollow” them out, to “drain” them of their confidence.
Is this not the modern situation also? Arab neighbors of Israel, frustrated by their inability to dispossess Israel out of the land, have been using their newly gained petro-wealth, and the power that goes with it, to literally hire people to curse Israel! They have been able to successfully deny the very legitimacy of Israel in the minds of many. Oil money has successfully lobbied political leaders, educators, the media and a good many of those who are in position to shape the ideas and perspectives of the rest of us, to take a belligerent stance against Israel.
Billions of petro dollars have poured into the coffers of institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown University, and Fox News, as well as into the campaign chests of numerous western politicians, all in the interest of selling us the story line which delegitimizes Israel, and romanticizes Islam’s version of history. There are many Balaam’s!
Perhaps the last straw is the seduction of leaders of the confessing Christian church into “cursing Israel”. No less than the Pope himself leads the charge in delegitimizing Israel’s claims to the Holy Land, as here recounted in a Jerusalem Newswire story dated May 17, 2009 entitled,
“Pope to ‘Palestinians’, Israel is Your Forefather’s Land”
“The Biblical land of Israel is actually the "land of YOUR forefathers" Pope Benedict told the Palestinian Arabs in Bethlehem last week. With this statement the pontiff, who has now departed Israel after five days of meddling in the country's affairs on a "pilgrimage" he called "a mission of peace," authenticity on the massive deception that is "Palestinian nationhood”.
At the start, in the middle, and at the end of his visit - which was hosted by the State of Israel at no small expense to the taxpayers and mass disruption of Jerusalemites' lives - the head of the Roman Catholic Church voiced his strong support for the creation of a Palestinian state on Jewish lands.
His first and last statements to this effect were made unabashedly in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who has been trying to sidestep international demands that he surrender Israel's biblical heartland to the Arabs.
Speaking at PLO Chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' palace in Bethlehem, where he went to conduct a large mass, the pontiff spelled it out:
"The Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders,"
The World Council of Churches, the United States Presbyterian Church, and a host of other church groups too numerous to mention have condemned Israel, divested themselves from Israel, in short have “cursed” Israel, in the sense of hollowing out their confidence, sense of legitimacy and validity as a nation. Balaam lives!
The reward has not always been money, however, as was the case with Balaam. These church groups siding with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, against the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East, imagine that they are “speaking truth to power”, as they “curse Israel”. The image of themselves as guardians of the human rights of the Palestinians is reward enough for these false Christian groups.
Perhaps the most tragic of all is the erosion of the rock solid support which evangelicals have had for Israel. In the American Thinker article “Splitting the Evangelicals from Israel”, Ed Lasky cites Replacement Theology, the testimony of certain Palestinian Christian leaders, and former US President Jimmy Carter as part of the influence turning many once pro-Israel Christians against Israel. This is a portent that doesn’t bode well, even as the story of Balaam doesn’t end well for anybody but God’s chosen people. Stay tuned for part 2.