Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blessings and Curses

Deuteronomy 28 (New International Version)

Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

……….and so forth……

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. …..
…28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind...
38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them……….

56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.
61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed……..

In the old covenant, blessings and curses depended on obedience or disobedience of man to God. We are in the new covenant. Do not fear. The good news is found in Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written’Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” .

Blessings in the new covenant depended on not what we do but on the obedience of Christ, who died on behalf of our sins. If we still believe on our own effort of obedience to get blessings, then it is a tragedy because it means we are greater than Jesus and that Jesus died in vain for us.

All the curses for disobedience were taken by Jesus; He was punished for our transgressions, the judgement for disobedience was met by Jesus when He died on the cross for us. Because of Jesus, because of the love of the God the Father who sent His only begotten Son to die on our behalf to absorb all the curses, we are now set free and are now on the path of blessings instead. This is grace, unmerited favour, this is new covenant believing.

On the other hand, if anyone is still living in the old covenant mentality, hear what God says in Gal 3: 10-11 All who rely on observing the law are under a cuse, for it is written : “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’

No one can ever follow completely all the law, not even the Pharisees, so it means a life filled with curses. That is not what anybody wants.

On another similar vein, we do not want to invoke curses on believers with this often used Malachi 3:8 curse :

"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty

This is unfortunately old covenant believing. Please note that the devourer is also mentioned in Deut 28:38-39. The good news is that the Malachi curse is also nailed and rendered powerless by Jesus on the cross. Without going into much detail, the new covenant giving can be summarised as :

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

Giving is now no longer given under a cloud of fear of the curse of the devourer, but as each one decides in his heart cheerfully. This is grace, this is the work of the redemption of God, this is new covenant living.

When there is mixture of law and grace in our Christian walk, we cause our walk to be muddled, confused, low level and defeated. Rejoice, when Jesus set us free, we are free indeed.

Jesus died so that blessings can abundantly flow to us. Do not refuse His blessings, otherwise He died in vain for us. We can now delete all the curses in Deut 28 of your bible because of Jesus death on the cross. His finished work on the cross has undone all the curses. Rejoice.

Related links :
The truth about generational curses
Generational curses - fact or fiction?
Treading near the edge of some aspects of Balaam???

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