What exactly is a curse, and what is a blessing? Do they really operate in the 21st century? Today, Derek Prince reveals powerful insights about the “Nature of Blessings and Curses.” We’ll discover curses are time-travelers – they can move from generation to generation. But God provides a way to stop them in their tracks and put blessings in their place. Learn how!
It’s good to be with you again, sharing with you precious insights out of Scripture that have made the difference between success and failure in my life and can do the same in yours. The title for my talks this week is “From Curse to Blessing.” I’ll be sharing with you truths from Scripture which you’ve probably never heard before and which have the power to change the whole destiny of your life.
In my first talk yesterday, I explained that the basis of all God’s provision for us is the divinely-ordained exchange which took place when Jesus died on the cross. Very simply, God permitted the evil due to our rebellion to come upon Jesus, that the good due to Jesus’ obedience might be made available to us.
There are many different aspects. I just mentioned a few:
- Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
- He was wounded that we might be healed.
- He tasted our death that we might share Hs life.
- He was made sin that we might become righteousness.
- He endured rejection that we might have acceptance.
And so on. But I focused, in my talk yesterday, on one particular aspect of that exchange, concerning which most Christians have received absolutely no teaching. This is stated by the apostle Paul in Galatians 3:13–14:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus...” (NKJ)
Now the exchange there between the evil and the good is obvious. The evil is the curse; the good is the blessing. Jesus was actually made a curse when He hung on the cross. This is according to the words of the Book of Deuteronomy, where God said through Moses: “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—the cross being a tree. And so, when Jesus hung on the cross, every Jew who knew his Old Testament Scriptures knew that Jesus had been made a curse. What they did not understand and what can only be revealed by the Holy spirit, is the reason why He was made a curse. He was made a curse that in return we might be redeemed from the curse and inherit the blessing of God.
So, that’s what we’re going to focus on: the exchange from curse to blessing—the transition by which you pass from under the curse and into the blessing.
Today I’m going to share with you the nature of both blessings and curses and how they operate. Both blessings and curses essentially take the form of words. They may be spoken, written, or merely uttered inwardly, but these words become vessels of supernatural power. They’re not just ordinary words. That wouldn’t make them either blessings or curses. They’re words that have been charged with some kind of supernatural power. Blessings produce good effects; curses produce evil effects. Blessings proceed from God or from men representing God; and curses likewise. God pronounces curses and men representing God pronounce curses. But there’s a further point with curses—that they also proceed from Satan or men representing Satan. Satan cannot bless anybody but he can curse.
Now, this is the most important point. I want you to listen carefully. Once released, both blessings and curses tend to continue on through time, from generation to generation, even from century to century, until they are revoked. Normally, once a curse has been released or a blessing, it will continue until something happens to cancel it or revoke it. This means that there can be forces at work in our lives which were originally set in motion in previous generations, even many centuries previously; consequently, we may be dealing with things in our lives, in our circumstances, in our families, in our temperament, which aren’t to be explained solely in terms of what has happened in our lifetime or in our personal experience. The root cause for them may go back a long way in time, even generations, and even, as a matter of fact, millennia, thousands of years.
Now history contains many examples of the outworking of both blessings and curses. I’ll begin by taking some examples from the Bible: first of all, or blessings. Here’s an example in Genesis 22:15–18 of a very important blessing pronounced in Abraham:
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, [This was the point at which Abraham was willing, actually, to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Then God continues, because you] have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed [also in your descendants—it’s the same word] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’” (NKJ)
Now that blessing was pronounced 4,000 years ago—it’s still at work in history today. One evidence is this broadcast that you are listening to because the blessing that comes to you through this broadcast comes through Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham and because of that blessing pronounced 4,000 years ago, you are being blessed right now, if you can receive the message of this radio message. So you see, blessings continue from generation to generation, from century to century.
Now let’s look at some examples of curses. First of all, a curse pronounced by God Himself in Genesis 12:3 when He called Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go out and obey Him for another land which He would afterwards give him. Some of the promises that God gave to Abraham were these:
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Notice, in the middle of the blessings there’s a curse. “I will curse the one who curses you [Abraham].”
Now the same was stated again, later on, when Isaac, the son of Abraham blessed his son Jacob. In Genesis 27:29 he said:
“Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!” (NKJ)
Again, the same: “If anybody curses you [Jacob] God will curse him.” So you see, this is something that also continues in history. In simple, modern day language that’s God’s protection against anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is the attitude and the spirit that curses Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, the Jewish people, up to this day. And anybody who yields to the spirit of anti-Semitism or makes negative utterances and statements that are false against the Jewish people is exposing himself or herself to that curse pronounced by God more than 3,000 years ago. And if you look at the history of all the nations and the empires in the last 3,000 years that have turned against the Jewish people, persecuted them, sought to destroy them, you’ll find that every one of them has come under the curse of God. This is a fact of history. It is still at work in our world today. We only have to consider the events of the 1930s and the 1940s in Germany and in Europe to see how true this is today.
Let me give you another remarkable example. When Saul and Jonathan, his son, were killed in battle against the Philistines, David uttered a most beautiful poetic lament over them. And because they had been killed on the mountains of Gilboa, David said something about the mountains of Gilboa, which I want to read to you in 2 Samuel 1:21. David said:
“O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew, nor let there be rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.” (NKJ)
I don’t know whether David really knew what he was saying, but he said to that particular group of hills, “Let there be no dew nor... rain.” That was a curse. Now that was about 3,000 years ago. You can go to that very area in the land of Israel today, the Jewish people have been remarkably successful in reforestation. They’ve planted trees on every kind of hill and mountain but they cannot succeed in making them grow in Mount Gilboa. Why? Because David pronounced a curse 3,000 years ago! Can you see how real this whole thing is? Many of us need to adjust our thinking because we are grappling with unseen forces that we don’t understand.
Now I’ll give you two quick examples from later history. Both of them go back to the 1600s and, strangely enough, both of them in the land of Scotland. I heard each of these personally, from the persons involved, in the last couple of years. First of all, a lady whom I met in Australia in December 1984. When she heard my teaching on curses, she came up to me and later she sent me a letter in which she showed me a written curse that had been pronounced upon her clan way back in Scotland by no less a person than the Archbishop of Edinburgh—a most blood-curdling curse! And she told me, in effect, “Our family today is still struggling against the effects of this curse.”
And then, in November 1985, I met in Scotland a descendant of an aristocratic Scottish family in Aberdeenshire who also recognized that he and his family were under a curse. And the history is that in the 1600s there had been a war between two Scottish clans and his clan, the members of his clan, had murdered the members of another clan, including a pregnant woman. And as she died, that pregnant woman pronounced a curse on that clan. And he told me, and he was a very sober, intelligent man, he said, “That curse is still at work.” You see, in both these cases the people felt the effects—unnatural accidents, sicknesses, family disputes, financial problems, continuing frustrations—although they were born-again Christians. That’s how real both blessings and curses are.
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this same time. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing with you on how you can recognize the working of a curse. It may perhaps point you to the solution of problems for which you have never been able to find an answer.