God and Unicorns (Numbers 24)

When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to watch Dragon Tales. Or Harry Potter. Or Twilight.

Why not? Magic. All my mother had to see was the twirl of a wand or a sprinkle of glitter and it was over. No magic allowed.

She didn’t want us to get caught up. She didn’t want us to have so much fun with something that wasn’t real that we stopped thinking about the God who really was real.

So now I’m an adult who knows nothing about Harry Potter. If I had a dollar for every Harry Potter reference I’ve missed, I could buy a mansion.

Or maybe a vacation to the Middle East, and the lands the children of Israel wandered in and camped in. In this chapter, they’re blissfully camped in the plains of Moab. Meanwhile, King Balak of Moab, like a villain in a movie, peers at them from his palace’s backyard, imagining all sorts of horrible ways for them to suffer.

However, much like a villain in a movie, King Balak is foiled by the man he chose to curse the Israelites. Balaam has just finished blessing the Israelites twice, and he’s about to do it again.

Magic isn’t real…

Something has shifted for Balaam. He’s stopped doing all his weird wizard things: humming, closing his eyes, summoning “divinations” (verse 1). Now he calmly waits for God to tell Him what to say.

And man does God give him something! Balaam launches into a flowery, descriptive, fantastic description of Israel’s strength, beauty, and future.

He compares them to flourishing valleys and blooming gardens, to flowing waters and imposing kingdoms.

He describes how Israel will dine on their enemies, crushing them, piercing them.

And about partway through it starts to sound more than a little wild. He literally compares God’s people to unicorns (verse 8, KJV). Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real.

But he keeps going. He waxes poetic about each enemy of Israel. Every last one of them will become like new toys, new possessions for Israel. Their kingdoms and cities will be wiped flat, gutted, licked clean by the powerful, impenetrable children of God.

It’s practically mythological. Hey, they do always say that the Bible is a book of fairy tales!

But God is.

What if everything you’ve been told not to believe in was actually true?

What if the impossible became possible?

What if the fantastic was suddenly realistic?

It sounds crazy, but it’s not. Balaam’s curse turned blessing sounded like a tall tale, but it wasn’t.

Because the Israelites actually served a God who could literally do all of those things.

And get this: He could do it in the blink of an eye.

I don’t think we realize just how powerful God is. I think it gets lost on us sometimes. The stories in the Bible sound too much like the fairy tales we were always told were impossible. We discount them both because our eye-level is only so high. We’re here on this giant rock. We know how it goes. We know just how high our hopes can rise.

But all this time, God’s been operating on a completely different plane.

His stories sound like fairy tales because His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. He is supernatural. Like magic.

Only not, because He has real, true, tangible power. He can do, and will do, anything. Magic isn’t real, but this is:

Our God is unstoppable, impenetrable, unconquerable, invincible, undefeated, indomitable, unwavering, invulnerable, and unfaltering.

Almost like a fairy tale.

“I can do literally anything for you.”

The pretty sayings that are the hardest for us to believe are the personal ones. Balaam started by calling Israel beautiful and rich and blessed. Call yourself those same names. Do you believe it?

What about ‘Overcomer’? ‘Conqueror’? ‘Safe’? ‘Saved’? ‘Loved’?

We don’t have to wave those thoughts away anymore. We don’t have to come back down to reality – we’re already here.

Because God can do magical, unthinkable, wild things in our lives. He can make the sins we used to love distasteful to us. He can heal diseases no one on Earth can understand. He can fill the darkest heart with light again. He can protect us from the scariest enemies. He can level the tallest obstacles that stand in our way.

He can do literally anything.

Believe it. The impossible is possible. The fairy tales are true stories. What was fictional is nonfiction.

After all, God created unicorns.


What do you think? What impossible thing are you realizing is possible, through God?

One thought on “God and Unicorns (Numbers 24)

  1. Well “unicorn” actually means “one horn”. The rhinoceros has one horn, and he also is a very strong animal. So I think that might be the animal that is referred to as a unicorn.


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