“Please come and curse this people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land” Balak requested in Numbers 22: 6 (NLT). Balaam, with visions of promotion and wealth floating in his head, hungered to comply. He offered sacrifices and tried enticing God with enchantments, but Balaam was unable to speak a curse against Israel. God had good things in store for His people, and the enemy’s effort to use his words against them was thwarted by the words God spoke over them instead. But neither Balaam nor Balak were content. With their words rendered powerless, they set out to ensnare the people through temptation, sending women to lure Israelite men into lude relations and subsequent worship of false Gods. As a result, God caused many to die, and right at the Promise Land crossing thousands perished.
This is a perfect picture of Satan and his efforts to prevent people from inheriting God’s promises and ultimately from inheriting THE eternal Promise Land. Those moments before victory often feel ordinary at best and like valley dwelling at worst. Viewing the promise doesn’t make it feel close. But the substance of faith does materialize, and Heaven is right across the Jordan. The promises of God for daily life are within attainable reach, and the eternal hope of Heaven is within view. As a result, our enemy knows his time is short. He’s panicked over our connection to the promise of God and terrified of the destruction that awaits him. He has already seen what God is able to do, and he knows his ruin is inevitable. To taste the thrill of victory before he is rendered powerless in our situations and ultimately goes down in flames with his demolished kingdom, he purposes to destroy those whom God has said could inherit His promises. He does the same as Balak and Balaam did to Israel.
Satan attempts to thwart our progress with his words. He whispers lies to cripple our faith because limping faith will give out. He prompts thoughts that poison with offense, unforgiveness, and fear because their toxicity will kill love and trust. He presents beliefs that are in error because the absence of truth strips away weapons of warfare. Satan’s words, like Balaam’s, are overcome by greater words. God’s Word. Whatever God has to say is far superior to Satan’s devices. God’s word silences the enemy’s voice and renders his plan powerless.
Satan’s next effort of cunning is temptation. He allures the flesh to entrap the affections and attention of those God has called to higher purpose. Things that feel good, that seem natural, and that appeal to our natural man can easily replace the instruction of God if we take the bait. “Surely this isn’t forbidden. Why, I was made to enjoy this. Why would God withhold something so wonderful from me if He loves me?” Reason roots out truth and replaces it with sin. The indulgence is costly as momentary gratification turns to full-on rejection of the holy. The result is forfeiting the promise. Some whom God intends to inherit will perish within sight of the destination He’d prepared for them. But for those who repent and for those who have held fast, the promise is fulfilled. The tables turn. The enemy is conquered, the victory is won, the inheritance is given, and the word is fulfilled. The Promise that was in sight becomes a reality.
Tip/Tidbit: Never lose hope in God’s Word. His promises are sure. You can trust them for your life and your eternity.