Monday, November 6, 2017

Understanding Curses

But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you Deuteronomy 28:15

With Halloween just past and scary movies still playing at the Movie Theater, I thought it would be a good time to write about the Biblical concept of the curse. The idea of a curse is rather simple. Two words that can help us understand it are "consequences" and "value."

Blessings and curses go hand in hand in the Bible and as I have been studying blessings for the past couple of years, I have also been learning about curses. There are several scriptures that link both these key ideas together like the promise to Abraham- "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you."  Deuteronomy 28 contains a list of blessings for those who obey the law and curses for those who disobey it.  

The most important word to understand when reading about blessing and curses in the Bible is value.  The meaning of the word "curse" is summed up as devaluing, demeaning and disdaining something.  
In contrast a "blessing" sees and ascribes value to something or someone.  When God blessed creation and said that "It was good," He was acknowledging the intrinsic value and worth in all of creation.

Understanding the link between "value" and the curse even explains why we consider some words "curse" words.  When you call someone a curse word, you are devaluing them. Demeaning and devaluing people is an insult to their Creator.  

When someone values God, His creation and His word, they will receive value and blessings will come into their life.   Blessings create a virtuous cycle.  When we bless God, we will be blessed, when we value others we will be valued. 

When someone devalues God, his Word and His creation they will be devalued or cursed.  A simple example of this is if you value God, you will value his command to not commit adultery and you will value other people who are God's creation and not have sex outside of marriage.  In contrast, if you devalue God and His Word, you wouldn't obey the commandment to not commit adultery, devaluing His Word leads to devaluing marriage and frequently can lead to broken hearts, divorce, STDs and abortion.  

These are logical consequences. The consequences of the cycle of blessing and cursing is so obvious that even people who have never read Deuteronomy understand this principle.  They call it karma or tapping into the power of positivity, they explained it as "He got what was coming to him" and "What goes around comes around."  

Often we can see the pattern of devaluing people and dismissing God's commands that travels back through a family history.   The first step to break this pattern is to accept Jesus as your savior.  Jesus became the curse to set us free from the long term consequences of sin.  Every day we have the choice to bless those who curse us (devalue or demean us) and break the cycle of consequences.   "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Regardless of the poor choices made by us, our parents, or our spouse we do not have live with the consequences.  Grace sets us free.  By intentionally blessing those around us, we will unlock the pattern of blessing in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. 

How have you experienced grace and freedom from the consequences of poor choices?

How do you break the cycle of the curse by blessing God and others?

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