In our “enlightened” age, the notion of “curses” is viewed skeptically by most, considered a novelty by others, and a fascination to some. It is vitally important to recognize when a curse is at work and know the cause of that curse. In the same way, we also need to understand how blessings occur. Listen and discover life-changing truths.
It’s good to be with you again, as we continue with our theme for this week, “From Curse to Blessing.”
In my talk yesterday, I shared some guidelines that can help you to recognize if there is a curse at work in your life. This is so important I’m going to recapitulate it briefly.
First of all, a general picture: a curse is something like a dark shadow or an evil hand from the past—oppressing, pressing you down, holding you back, tripping you up, propelling you in a direction you really do not wish to take. Or you could compare it to a negative atmosphere that surrounds you, stronger at some times than others. I suggested that the key word is “frustration.” You reach a certain level of achievement or progress, you seem to have all the needed qualifications, yet something goes wrong. You start again, reach the same level, then something goes wrong again. This seems to be the pattern of your life and yet there is no obvious reason for it. This pattern may occur in various areas: business, personal relationships, a career, finance or health. If that is your kind of experience, if that is a description of the way you live, in all probability that dark shadow or evil hand is a curse over your life, perhaps going back many generations.
In my talk yesterday, I also gave a list of some common indications that there’s a curse at work in a person’s life based on my personal observations. I’ll briefly recapitulate those also.
1. Mental or emotional breakdown.
2. Repeated or chronic sicknesses, especially where they are hereditary or without clear medical diagnosis.
3. Repeated miscarriages or related female problems.
4. Breakdown of marriage and family alienations, family breakup.
5. Continuing financial insufficiency, especially where the income appears sufficient.
6. Accident prone.
7. A history in a family of suicides or unnatural deaths.
Today, I’m going to share with you the kinds of things that cause either blessing or curses in a person’s life. It’s very important to understand that there is always a cause for both blessings and curses. In connection with curses, this is what Solomon says in Proverbs 26:2:
“Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.” (NKJ)
In other words, wherever a curse alights there’s a cause behind it. And in dealing with the curse, it is often important to discover the cause. In this connection, we need to distinguish between primary and secondary causes. In each case the primary cause, both of blessings and curses, is very simple. Let’s look, first of all, at blessings. We’ll go to that chapter, Deuteronomy chapter 28, which is the key chapter on blessings and curses. In the first two verses Moses states the cause for God’s blessing.
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command three this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” (KJV)
There are the basic causes of blessing. Very simple. Listening to God’s voice and doing what He says. Let me repeat that: The basic cause of all blessing is listening to God’s voice and doing what He says.
This is clearly exemplified in the case of Abraham when he offered up his son Isaac. God said to him:
“...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 all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen. 22:17–18 NKJ)
Notice, what’s the cause? Because Abraham heard and obeyed the voice of God.
Then let’s turn to curses. We go back to Deuteronomy chapter 28, and in verse 15 at the beginning of the whole list of curses which goes on for 54 verses, this is the basic cause for curses. Moses says:
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee...” (KJV)
What is the cause of curses? Not listening to God’s voice and not doing what He says. So the root cause of all blessings is hearing and obeying God’s voice and of all curses is not hearing and not obeying God’s voice. And notice that both curses and blessings “overtake” us. We don’t really have to pursue them, we just have to fulfill the conditions, either positive or negative. If we fulfill the positive conditions, the blessings overtake us, but if we fulfill the negative conditions, then the curses overtake us. And no matter how hard we try we cannot go so fast that they won’t overtake us.
So those are then the root causes: hearing and obeying God’s voice; or not hearing and not obeying God’s voice. Now, from these roots there spring many different kinds of behavior which I call “secondary causes.” A list of twelve secondary causes of curses that proceed from God is given in Deuteronomy, chapter 27. (That’s the chapter before the complete list.) In Deuteronomy 27:15–26, God lists twelve things concerning which He warns Israel, “If you do these things, you’ll come under a curse.” Again, I’m not going to read the complete list, I’m going to give you my summation. But once more I advise you: Don’t just accept what I’m telling you. Go to the chapter for yourself and study it. The reference is Deuteronomy 27:15–26. This is my summation: four main causes of curses.
First and foremost: idolatry, false gods and the occult. And we need to remember that the occult is the same as worshiping false gods. It’s going to false gods or the servants of false gods for help that we should seek only from the true God.
Second main cause of curses is dishonoring parents. And I have dealt with countless young people who had a curse over their lives because of a wrong attitude or relationship to their parents. We need to remember that in Ephesians 6 Paul says, “the first commandment with blessing is ‘Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee.’” And Paul points out that’s the first commandment that carries with it a promise of blessing. And I want to tell anybody listening to me, if you fail to honor your parents, you incur a curse upon yourself. If that’s your condition, you need to repent, you need to change, you need to adjust your attitude and if possible your relationship with your parents. I have lived a long while and have dealt with thousands of people. I have never known a person with a wrong attitude to parents come under the full blessing of God.
The third main area is illicit or unnatural sex; that is, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, and so on. All those things bring curses. It’s not a matter of whether we wish them to bring curses or whether we think they ought to bring curses. The fact of the matter is, God has so ordered human life that they do bring curses.
The fourth main area is injustice to the weak or the helpless. And I would say here perhaps the most outstanding example of such injustice to the totally weak and helpless is the deliberate procuring of abortions, the deliberate killing of unborn children. There cannot be any greater example of injustice to the weak and the helpless than that. And I want to say to anybody listening to my voice, if you have been guilty of that, there is a curse over your life. I’m not saying you cannot escape from the curse, but I’m saying you need to recognize the curse, turn to God for mercy, and meet His conditions for redemption from the curse, which I will be describing in the course of these talks.
I want to emphasize particularly, as I close, the consequences of idolatry or the occult stated in Exodus 20:3–6 by God Himself:
“You shall have no other gods before Me [or beside Me]. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them [that’s worship them] nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (NKJ)
Notice, God states specifically that the penalty for idolatry, false gods, the occult, will be visited not merely on the persons guilty but on the next three generations—their sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters, their great-grandsons and their great-granddaughters. Now you may be in the category of one of those subsequent generations and there may be a curse over your life because of idolatry or occult practices in previous generations. This is typical of a curse. It goes on from generation to generation until it is dealt with in a scriptural way. And I’m going to be explaining in the rest of my talks on this theme, the scriptural way to be released from a curse and to enter in to the blessing.
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 some other major specific causes of curses revealed in the Bible.