The Blessing & The Curse
The above concept has fascinated me for over 40 years. The notion that a loving God could radiate down a blessing OR a curse is probably offensive doctrine to some, but it is clearly defined by Moses in Leviticus & Deuteronomy of the Old Testament. (Even the second commandment mentions it. Exodus 20:5-6 But the best B & C "nutshell" reference directly from God is Exodus 34:6-7.) Now the target audiences of those chapters were early Israelites. BUT the B & C theme is found in Old and New covenants. To define “blessing” briefly – Divine favor; to make happy; to be prosperous. The curse is the other stuff – excess problems, crisis, unhappiness, various kinds of failure. The B & C theme is actually seen about seven hundred years before the Moses era where God says to Abraham, “Go from your kindred & father’s house . . . I will bless you . . . I will bless those who bless you . . . him who curses you I will curse.” Genesis 12:1-3 The Christian church of the last 2,000 years is based on Abraham’s FAITH, but the B & C is mentioned about 40 years earlier in Abe's life.
So why does God wish to bless people? I believe it is basic to His nature to GIVE. – (Lucky for us, God has a giving heart . . .) And there may be thousands of passages that suggest (and promise) positive benefits from the above dimension for Israel & believers in Christ which constitutes the “blessing” without ever using the B–word. But here are a few choice & CLEAR references to the blessing: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground . . . Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading trough. Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out.” Deuteronomy 28:3-6 And in the last few pages of the Book we have “Blessed is he who reads . . . and blessed are those who hear . . .” Rev 1:3 It appears that reading & cultivating the message of the Book also has a benefit.
Now the purpose of this essay is NOT to “thump the Bible,” and focus on the curse. But it would be easy to do that when at page 3 of the Book we were evicted from the garden with the “curse” being mentioned by God . . . Genesis 3:17-24 And that C-word is used numerous times in the above Leviticus 26 & Deuteronomy 28 - indeed throughout the Book. Then the present moral decay & decline of our society & world with all the natural disasters, droughts, fires, murders, family dysfunction, political dysfunction, national financial crisis, etc. etc. makes me ask questions – like, “Could a Divine curse/judgment be on the whole world?” “Is this the beginning of the end?” There is MUCH from those early chapters that indicate Divine judgment/curse from above. And plenty of information from cover to cover WHY God has displeasure with His creatures.
The problem is basically SIN which we are all born into. Man by nature turns away from God, leaving an empty place in our lives where divine presence & blessing should be. Psalm 32:1-2 tells us, “Blessed is he whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity.” To be blessed we must deal with the sin problem. The world wants (& teaches) us to live & swim in sin so we CAN’T be blessed. This is where Jesus comes in. He came into the world to die for our sin. “Christ redeemed us from the curse . . .for it is written ‘Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree’ – that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles.” Galatians 3:13-14 This means that we all have the option of being released from the natural curse of sin. In accepting Christ we can participate in the blessings God intended for his people from the beginning. Each individual can reject the spirit of this world AND its curse. Choose Jesus. He is alive. Ask for God’s blessing & Spirit – it is a better way to go. . . see also “The Endorsement” link 15.
Other interesting titles: www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *