Understanding Curses, Part I

Feel like you’re under a curse? Maybe you are. However, having said this, and if you indeed feel like you are under some type of curse, rejoice, because curses are always redemptive (except the very few cases which I will not get into here). Be assured of one thing, if you have a heart for the Lord, and you are still alive, your curse — whatever that may be — is guaranteed to be redemptive. By “redemptive,” I mean, “for the overall purpose of withholding bad and bringing about good”. Non-redemptive curses, on the other hand, are really only for those people who have “completely hardened their hearts” toward the Lord. These run the risk of being entirely “cut off” from the Lord, as it were, without the possibility of being able to experience the goodness (i.e. redemptive aspect) of God in the midst of their particular situation.

In Romans 1, we read about such people, that get “given over to their passions,” without the possibility of redemption (there once was possibility, but because they hardened their hearts so much, even though He loved them, God just gave up on them!). We should take warning from this. Don’t give up on God. If you do, there could be a chance that, one day, God will give up on you (that’s what the Bible teaches). And for those of you who might be worried that you have somehow “gone too far,” you do not need to worry about that, because you haven’t! You certainly wouldn’t be worried about it if you had! (So, if you feel that you have somehow failed God, in the past, or it might have been just yesterday, or even today, it’s time to relax. God isn’t really that “angry” with you. He just wants you back into His loving arms). Yet for those who really did give up on Him, and turned their backs on Him (steadily), we read that “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.” (Romans 1:24). It gets even worse, and the passage basically says that such people will suffer an eternal hell! The entire passage is an awesome one, which can be found in Romans 1:18-32. If you have not read it recently, or, if you have never read it before, I would highly encourage you to do so!

Before I go any further, I’d also like to clear up something with regards to “curses” in general. Let’s be honest about it. Even though you have been told all your life, perhaps, that “God wouldn’t do such a thing” (as to give you a curse), the Scriptures teach otherwise. We shouldn’t deny that, because, in the process, we will actually deny ourselves the possibility of “getting out of this thing” which we call a curse. Okay, so there are two ways of looking at it. The devil caused it, or God caused. You know, in the end, it really doesn’t matter who caused it! God permitted it! And if God permitted it, you can be sure that there is a good reason for it.

Now I won’t go into too much detail, but if you want to check if God would indeed “give a person a curse,” you can check Psalm 106:15, which says that God “sent a wasting disease” among certain Israelites (because they were sinful). In Job 33:29 (referring to verses 14-28 of that same chapter), it says — referring to tormenting pain which a person may suffer from for quite a lengthy period of time — “God does all these oftentimes with men.” However, the verse goes on to explain the reason! “To bring back his soul from the pit.” Okay, so let’s get serious. We have a loving heavenly Father. But sometimes He’s not too pleased with the way we do business. Other examples abound of how God is willing to deal severely with His people, just so that they will be turned in the right direction. In 1 Samuel 16:14, we read, “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.”

So God did it. In all three of these instances (and, indeed, many more could be cited), God did it. He was the One credited with having “performed the act.” So, I’d like to make a big pitch for all those who are hung up on God being this great big figure “full of love, and He wouldn’t spank, or hurt anyone in any way.” No, that is simply not true! He would! But, He does it for a reason. And this is where the love part comes in. Let’s turn, now, to Hebrews 12. In that chapter, we read the following (this is a quote from the Old Testament, so be assured that both the Old and the New Testament agree on this important facet of God’s character). “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him. For those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

Hum… a little heavy, eh? Well, maybe. But when you come forth, after having suffered so much, you will “shine forth as gold.” And this is what God is looking for. The proof, in fact, is in verses 10-11 of that same chapter. “For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)

Updated Oct 13, 2003