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How do curses work?

But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”  Numbers 22:12
            Balak, king of Moab, didn’t like the threat of the Israelites wandering through his region.  He knew that fighting them was useless so he decided to go another route—spiritual.  Balak asked Balaam to curse the Israelites.  Balaam refused.  But would the curse do any good?
            A curse is only any good if given by or approved by God.  A curse is only a verbal statement against something, but it has no power unless God inspired it.  A prophet speaking for the Lord could curse a people.  Elijah “cursed” the rain and there was a drought in Israel.
            Curses have more mental influence than anything and can dissuade people from winning (like superstitious baseball curses for example).  They can work if they get into people’s heads.  But one’s words have no power unless originally approved by God.