Balak sent for the sorcerer Balaam, proposing that he curse the Jews. Balaam agreed, but informed Balak’s messengers that he would only be able to curse the Jews if he could convince G‑d to agree.
G‑d is in Control
לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲבֹר אֶת פִּי ה' אֱלֹקָי לַעֲשׂוֹת קְטַנָּה אוֹ גְדוֹלָה: (במדבר כב:יח)
[Balaam told Balak’s messengers,] “I cannot do anything – small or great – that would transgress the word of G‑d.” Numbers 22:18

Evil possesses no autonomy; it is nothing more than a tool that G‑d uses to hide Himself from the world, thereby enabling us to choose freely between good and evil. The Zohar, the classic work of Jewish mysticism, likens evil to a prostitute hired by a king to entice the prince. Although she makes full use of all her seductive powers to ensnare the prince, she really hopes – as does the king – that the prince will be strong enough to withstand her advances. Similarly, evil tries to confuse us and entice us into misbehaving, but it is in fact only doing its job and would rather we not pay attention to it.

When we are aware of the true nature of evil, it is much easier for us to resist it.1