וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אַל־תִּירָא אֹתוֹ"
Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Do not fear him.’” (Bemidbar 21:34)
Hashem tells Moshe not to fear Og. But why was Moshe afraid of him more than anyone else who came to wage war against the Jewish People?
The Gemara tells us that it was Og who came and told Abraham that his nephew Lot had been captured. As a result, Abraham went and rescued him, and because of Og’s role in saving Lot’s life, Moshe was afraid of his merit. Tosafot points out that the only reason that Og told Abraham about his nephew’s capture was so that Abraham would be killed while trying to save him and then Og could marry his wife, Sarah. Nevertheless, adds Tosafot, Moshe was afraid of Og’s merit!
Could it be that the merit of Og’s “help” – which he only did in order to cause Abraham harm – could warrant such a great reward that he would be able to succeed in battle against Moshe and the Jewish People?
The answer is simply: Yes! We cannot comprehend the value of a single misvah, even one performed with improper intentions. However, we can get some idea of its value in Hashem’s eyes from the reward that Balak received after making forty-two sacrifices to Hashem. Even though his intentions were solely to cause the Jewish People harm, the Gemara says that as a result of these sacrifices, Balak was rewarded that his descendant would be Ruth, great-grandmother of King David.
Therefore, before considering whether to do a misvah or not, think of the immense reward you will get and then multiply that by many millions, and that is still nowhere near the real reward of a single misvah, even one performed without the best intentions.