Nevertheless the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing to you…
No enchantment, no curse of evil men, can prevail against the people of God. Contrariwise, God will turn the curse into a Messing. In Malachi, on the other hand, he threatens to "curse the blessings" of the wicked (Malachi 2:2). How does God turn the curse into a blessing?
1. Directly, by substituting a blessing for a curse. The curse is not merely not allowed to take effect for harm, but God puts a blessing in its stead. A Divine law of compensation comes into operation. The wicked is punished, and the object of his unrighteous hatred consoled and rewarded, by the curse being read backward, and made a reason for conferring blessing. The very curses of the wicked are thus a means of enrichment to the good. Balaam's curses were thus changed into blessings (Numbers 23., 24.).
2. Providentially, by overruling the designs of evil men for their own confusion, and for his people's good. We have examples in the histories of Joseph (Genesis 1:20), of Mordecai and the Jews (Esther 6-10), of Daniel (Daniel 6.). The persecutions of the Church have thus been overruled for the extension of the gospel (Acts 11:19). The highest example is the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 3:13-19).
3. Spiritually, by turning outward afflictions into means of spiritual good.
(1) Afflictions humble, chasten, purify (Job 42:4, 5; Psalm 119:71).
(2) God can turn afflictions into sources of comfort and. joy, into occasions of higher glory to himself, into means of salvation and glory to the saint (Acts 16:25; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 1:19).
(3) God can overrule even punishment of sin for our ultimate good. Levi (Genesis 49:7). - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.