Yesterday, we began our study on the topic of curses. (See article attached, if you missed it). We came to the conclusion, that, unless you have completely hardened your heart towards God, then your curse — whatever that curse may be — is designed, by God, to be redemptive in nature. By redemptive, we mean, “for the purpose of averting wrong and bringing about good in your life.” So, be encouraged. Whatever you may be suffering from, if you indeed are suffering in any way, be assured that God has your best interests in mind.
Before we get to our main example for today, I would like to take an example of a curse given by God in the Old Testament, which was intended clearly for the good, and not the bad. The curse is right in the Garden of Eden. It was there that God said to the man (Adam), “Cursed is the ground because of you.” (Genesis 3:17). Notice, if you will, that God says the words, “because of you” when He pronounced the curse. Let’s get it straight. The curse — whatever the curse is — is our fault. It is not God’s fault. It is not my aunt’s fault. It is not my mother’s fault. It is my fault. I am to blame for what I did, and, if I deny that I am to blame, who is there to help me? But, as the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Like Cain did, it is not good to try and hide our sin. It is better to confess it. Yes, we may have done wrong. Let us now confess it. God will forgive us. But if we go on pretending that we haven’t done anything wrong, when, in fact, we have, woe unto us! (Or, as someone else might put it, “a curse be upon us!” And quite right they would be!).
In the garden, then, God pronounced a curse. The reason He did it was manifold, I would say. For example, from a legal standpoint, He simply had to. That is because sin brings about a curse, whether a person likes it or not! God’s laws work like that. When a curse falls, it doesn’t mean God is not compassionate. What is does mean, however, is that He is a God who upholds all of His laws. Therefore, we can say, quite honestly, that He is “faithful” to honor His word. We should not complain, therefore, when the curse falls. Instead, we should realize that God is being faithful to His own promises and words which He spoke, when He said, (for example), “If you eat of the fruit of the tree, you shall surely die!” (Genesis 2:17). Question: How much do we really believe in God and in His word? Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). When He said this, He meant, “The word of God will never fail!” But do we really believe God? Do we realize that, even if we choose not to believe Him, that we will still reap the consequences of His utterly truthful word? God’s word cannot fail! We should do our best, daily, if possible, to be “in the word,” studying it (not killing ourselves over it with a sense of inner condemnation, however … watch out for extremes!).
Let us now look at a specific curse, which was given by God, in a sense, through His chosen vessel, Elisha. The man, of course, who was cursed, was Elisha’s helper (i.e. servant) Gehazi. To make a rather long story quite short, this man Gehazi fell into sin one day, by eagerly desiring a number of things that he should never have desired. The Bible calls this “coveting,” and it is, in fact, an infringement of the 10th and final commandment given to the children of Israel when Moses was on Mount Sinai. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17). So coveting is to desire something that God has not called you to desire. This unlawful “desire,” if you will, is a desire, which originates, not from God’s heart or love, but from the sinful flesh. For example, if someone was to call you up on the phone at your work, and suddenly offer you a better paying job, you might be tempted to fall into the sin of coveting. Instantly, this thought might come to your mind, “Yes, I think I could use 10 thousand extra dollars a year (etc.).” Coveting can begin this way, and it is the enemy’s big trap to sidetrack you from God’s great commission in your life, which is to seek His kingdom first, and to forsake trying to serve unrighteous mammon. “No one can serve two masters,” Jesus said. “You cannot serve God and riches!” (Matthew 6:24) Are you truly desiring riches because God has really put this in your heart as a truly righteous desire, in order to serve Him better? Or, perhaps, is this an escape from learning, simply, to be “content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in”? (This is one of God’s primary desires for you, according to Philippians 4:12). This may hurt a little (and I’m sorry if it does, because I’ve been there), but you can be sure that, if you have not learned to be utterly content in your present situation, that is it not time to move on yet!
Question: To what extent (if any), am I trying to serve money? Have I learned the secret of being content right where God has placed me? If your answer is, “No, I know for sure that I have not really learned to be very content where I am,” then you could well be on your way to solving some of your problems concerning why, perhaps, a “curse” of sorts, has been allowed to rest on you.