Blessings and Curses--Final
Jul 11, 2008
James tells us that, as Christians, we ought not to use our tongues to curse people. Jesus says to bless those who curse us, rather than curse them in return. We read periodically how some Jews officially lay curses upon those that they oppose, and they believe that they are duty-bound under God to do so. Christians, however, follow a different standard, believing that those who curse others do not really know the mind of God.
Some Christians, however, have been known to lay curses upon others, having the Jewish mindset. They call it Imprecatory Prayer. They call upon God to bring the "bad guys" under divine judgment. Often, this type of prayer is directed at government leaders and their Money Masters--the real world leaders behind the scenes. The problem is that such a prayer is usually designed to be a curse with no ultimate blessing as the goal. For this reason it is not the kind of prayer that a Christian tongue should speak.
I have already tried to show the biblical definition of a divine curse and how such a curse is really a judgment of the law. When God curses, that curse proceeds from His character. God is love, and so even His curses are motivated by love. For this reason, a curse is really just a deferred blessing. It is a time of divine correction and discipline so that the person can be brought into Sonship in the end.
Now we must show the biblical definition of a blessing. We find it in our original verse that brought about this study--Genesis 12:3,
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curses thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
This verse is quoted in Acts 3:25, 26, where Peter preaches Christ to the people after healing the lame man.
" (25) You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, 'And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.' (26) Unto you first, God having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
Peter defines "to bless" as turning people from their iniquities. Thus, when we bless people, we are essentially praying that God will turn them from their iniquities. To bless someone who sins against you is not to condone their sin, but to ask God to open their eyes and do what it takes to bring them to repentance.
That is a true blessing, and it has the sinner's welfare in mind.
So biblical blessings and curses, when done by the mind of God, are really the same thing. A curse asks God to bring disciplines to correct a sinner; a blessing asks God to turn the sinner from his iniquities--by discipline, if necessary. Either way, the outcome is the same, whether it takes place in a single day or during the 42,000 years after the Great White Throne judgment.
On March 20, 2001, as I was in prayer, the Father gave instructions to begin to pray a simple prayer: "God bless America." At that time, we had been led into spiritual warfare twice since February, and we were about to head into our third spiritual battle for the soul of America.
Six months later, the whole nation was praying that same prayer, God bless America. We saw it on bank buildings, on bumper stickers, on Church billboards. We even witnessed Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol singing, God Bless America. Even Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan was among them.
I marveled at how quickly God can work, and how people can do His will without realizing it. In essence, those spiritual battles from February to July 2001 were designed to pray that God would bring America into discipline, in order that we might be turned from our iniquities. So the first thing God did was to engineer the Twin Towers disaster on Sept. 11, 2001. This stimulated the entire nation--including our politicians--to pray that God would turn us from our iniquities!
This began a long process of divine judgments, "curses" for our disobedience that are designed to bless us in the end. We have been thrown into two wars, first in Afghanistan, and then in Iraq, and now we appear to be on the verge of a third front. While men have their own motives to seduce us into war, God is the real Power behind this. His purpose is not the same as man's purposes. The divine purpose is to trap us in our pride and in our trust in our invincibility.
These wars are causing us to go into bankruptcy. They are draining us dry in the name of security. Last year God played another of his trump cards with the mortgage crisis. Then came the housing slump, the credit crunch, and so on. Yes, I know that there are many normal "causes" that may explain how all these things occurred. God works through "natural" or "man-made" causes. He just knows how to bring them all together at the right time, so that His purposes are fulfilled.
The point is that God is answering America's prayer, "God bless America." It may not appear to be a blessing, but it is. When men prayed this in September of 2001, they probably thought God would bless their wallets and bank accounts with greater liquidity and prosperity. But God knows that prosperity without obedience is not a true blessing. We have fallen into the same trap as Israel in ancient times. Deut. 8 warns us:
" (5) Thou shalt also consider in thine heart that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. (6) Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. (7) For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land . . . (9) a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness . . . (10) When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee. (11) Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day. (12)Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast build goodly houses, and dwelt therein; (13)And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied, (14) then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage. . . (17)and thou say in thine heart, 'My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth' . . . (19) And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God and walk after other gods and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish."
This describes America as perfectly as it describes Israel in ancient times. We are no different. We have removed God as sovereign. Governments now exist for their own sake, instead of existing solely to defend the sovereignty of God. America's government now grants rights, instead of privileges. Our government has usurped the place of God. In other words, we are as much a sinful nation as Israel ever was in times past.
This is why we engaged in spiritual warfare in 2001. It was not to curse America or its leaders. It was to bless them. God then tricked everyone into appealing for His blessing. God is now answering their prayer, and thankfully, He is treating us "as a man chasteneth his son." So we cannot avoid this chastening, but know this, that God intends to turn our hearts so that He can bless us abundantly.
This is the final part of a series titled "Blessings and Curses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones