Curse and Blessing in the New Testament
Pr. P. J. Daniel
Sin and Curse are twin brothers. Sin brings forth curse or curse is the outcome of sin. All our blessings depend upon our trust in the Lord and obedience to His words. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s Word and subjected themselves to the flattery of Satan, sin entered their lives, which was also transferred to their descendants. Sin has also affected nature, and the nature was subjected to curse. “Since all have sinned and continue to fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Thus curse dominated over human beings. But God promised the “seed of the woman”, would crush the head of the serpent. (Genesis 3: 15)
BLESSING THROUGH ABRAHAM
In the course of history, God set up a person named Abraham from the land of Ur, in Mesopotamia, as a source of blessing to the nation (Genesis 12: 1-3) His blessing was also based on his obedience to the word of God. He implicitly obeyed and followed God. When he was tested by God, demanding his only beloved son Isaac to be offered as a burnt offering, he absolutely obeyed God. Then the Lord proclaimed, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say “seeds”, but your seed referring to one person, who is the Messiah or Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is the fulfillment of the promised seed (Galatians 3: 16).The promise to Abraham was that all nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham – that is Jesus Christ.
Then God made a covenant with the People of Israel on Mount Sinai, handed over to them the Decalogue for their moral and spiritual stability. But the second commandment was attached with a curse. “You are not to make for yourselves an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on earth below, or in the water under earth … I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the iniquity of the parents for on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me” (Exodus 20: 4, 5). We see here a perpetual fall of curse to the descendants.
When we analyze the history of Israelites, they worshiped idols often and inherited curse and punishments many times. In the case of gentiles, we all are gentiles by hereditary, and our forefathers were idolaters; thus we too inherited the perpetual curse. This was a hindrance in humanity for the spontaneous flow of blessing of Abraham upon the offspring. We were under the brutal bondage of slavery and curse. In this imperative and pitiful situation God had to spare His only son to redeem us from this severe curse and judgment. What does the Bible say about it? “The Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it was written, “A curse on everyone who is hung on a tree” (Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3: 13) Thus Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by hanging on the cross, so that we may obtain the blessings of Abraham. “This happened in order that the blessings promised to Abraham would come to the gentiles through Jesus Christ, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3: 14) Now we can say boldly that there is no generational curse reigning over us. We are free from all curses of our fore fathers. The Bible says “if God be for us who can be against us? . . . Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies – who is he that condemn us? (Romans 8: 31, 33-34) He has justified us and cleansed us through the shed blood of His Son having redeemed us from the curse of the law. We are not any more condemned by it. No weapons of Satan can touch the saint who put his trust in God. Curses that are spoken cannot affect a believer.
Some new generation teachers mislead the poor and ignorant believers that the blessing of Abraham is material; we would also be inheritors of material blessings of Abraham. "If you believe in Jesus you will have costly cars and palatial bungalows etc" are their slogan. I personally believe that God will bless us materially too, but we are not after material blessing. God’s goodness and mercy shall follow us! Not that we follow after material blessings (Psalms 23:6). They misinterpret the following verse. “This happened in order that the blessings promised to Abraham would come to the gentiles through Jesus Christ, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). This reference vividly and emphatically states that we might receive the promised spirit through faith. This verse does not promise material blessing, but spiritual blessing. When we look back at the call of Abram (Genesis 12: 1-3), we discover seven wonderful blessings that was pronounced to Abraham, but we don't see that God made him rich. Abram acquired wealth when he was away from God’s will, down in Egypt. “Pharaoh treated Abram well because of her (Sarah), so Abram acquired sheep oxen, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels” (Genesis 12: 16). God promised him only the spiritual blessings through his ‘seed’ - Messiah, that all gentiles will be blessed by him.
God mainly intended that the descendants of Abraham will be blessed with all heavenly blessings, which are clearly stated in Ephesians 1: 3-14. No material blessings will ever match with the seven heavenly blessings stated in these verses. (1) God has chosen us (2) adopted us in the family of God (3) He foreordained us (4) redeemed us (5) He made known to us the mystery that in the fullness of the time, all things in heaven and on earth will come together through Messiah (6) He has promised us an inheritance (7) Promised us the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance. What else we need? Are we running after the perishing and decaying material blessings or pressing on to the never ever perishing eternal glory?
Some think and teach that generational curse will proceed on to our offspring. Do Apostles teach anything of generational curse? Nothing! Not once do we see that the past curse will affect the future generation. For those who think there are curses passed on from each generation, Scripture states that those who are in Christ have been rescued from all the power of darkness and the wicked one cannot touch them (Colossians 1: 12; 1 John 5: 18). No curse can go through the cross of Christ and have dominion over those who are in Christ. We are not under the curse, once we have come through the cross. Every spiritual blessings is for us, who are in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). We have not received the spirit of bondage, but the spirit of adoption, where we cry, "Abba Father'' (Romans 8: 15).
If Jesus broke the curse, how can we who believe in Him have curse? Did Jesus remove all our sins by the cross or only some of them? The Bible says: the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1John 1: 7). If so, no curse will touch us. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away and behold ALL things have become new. Jesus Christ and Him crucified give us victory.
THE CAUSES OF CURSE
Certainly what we see and hear can affect us if we allow it to. Your reaction to these words will make the difference. If you do not accept ill words, or give importance to them, they will not plague your mind to affect you. Our warfare begins in the mind. We should believe God before anyone speaks to us anything contrary.
The Bible says: “Curse does not come without a cause” (Proverbs 26:2). If there is no reason, no curse will affect us. If we do or say accursed deeds or words may bring an anathema on us. So we should keep away from all such things to be free from the dominion of curse. But the Bible says “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?” (Numbers 23: 8)
Fear is another cause of our curse and chaos. There is a natural tendency that what we fear will affect us. Job says “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3: 25) Trusting in the Lord will always remove our fear.
James is speaking on the right use of our tongue. “The power of the tongue is life and death – those who love to talk will eat what it produces” (Proverbs 18: 21) This speaks of the probability of things happening when we repeatedly say with our mouth. We should always learn to pronounce blessings and not curse. Always bless others, then that blessing will fall on us too. “With it (tongue) we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. From the same mouth come blessing and curse” (James 3: 9, 10) It does not mean that our words will actually a create in someone's life. Here, James is addressing our attitude towards our fellow men.
Curse is like darkness - trying to break or rebuke darkness will never dispel it. What needs to be done is to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe place. All curse of darkness can be removed by our good attitude. There is no fancy method or special words to break curse. There is no specific way to deal with curse. But the Bible says BLESS them. (Luke 6:28) In other words – do good to them by your actions. Jesus did not give a supernatural spiritual solution but a very practical one. The so called curse breakers are breaking the very foundation of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
IS SICKNESS A CURSE?
Some consider sickness as a curse from God. Though we are saved by the blood of the lamb, the holistic salvation has not taken place. Our soul is redeemed from damnation, but our mortal body will be transformed only at our resurrection or translation of our body. It will occur only when our Lord appears in the mid-air (1Thessalonials 3: 16, 17) As long as we live in the mortal body we have weakness and sickness in the body. We should not conclude that all sickness is a curse from the Lord. There are many reasons that our physical body gets affected with sickness
1. Sudden change of climate causes sickness;
2. Nutritional deficiency;
3. That the work of God may be manifest or to glorify God (John 9:3; 11: 1-4);
4. For the test of Faith. Eg: Job;
5. to humble us (2 Cor. 12: 7-9);
6. Partaking unworthily in the Lord’s Table; 1 Cor. 11: 30;
7. our own sin - James 5: 13 -17;
8. demonic possession also may cause physical ailments.
The above mentioned are the main causes of our sickness. Hence, we cannot consider all types of physical ailments as a curse. Jesus himself suffered infirmities in his life (Isaiah 53: 3). Lazarus whom Jesus loved dearly became sick and died (John 11: 1-4). Paul proposes Timothy to drink wine for his indigestion (1 Timothy 5: 23). Paul left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick (2 Timothy 4:20). Paul had a thorn in his physical body (2 Cor. 12:7). Apostle James exhorts the elders of the church that if anyone is sick let them pray for him and anoint him with oil, so that he may be healed. From these evidences it is clear that believers may be affected with sickness, but our God is our healer and by His stripes we are healed. Do not ever consider that all sickness is a curse.
Some argue that Jesus pronounced curse in certain occasions, hence thinking that the same may be possible with us too. Jesus cursed the fig tree, “let no fruit grow on you ever again and the fig tree withered” (Matthew 21: 19; Mark 11: 14) He pronounced curse upon the Pharisees. He cursed Capernaum and Bethsaida. All these are done by Him to reveal the majesty and sovereignty of God. His attitude towards curses and mistreats are stated in the Gospel. “Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6: 28) It was the attitude of Paul “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse” (Romans 12: 14) The exhortation of the Psalmist “They will curse, but you will bless” (Psalms 109 : 28) Apostle Peter urges to the believers “Do not pay others back evil for evil or insult for insult, Instead, keep blessing them, because you were called to inherit a blessings” (1 Peter 3: 9).