How Curses Affect Our Lives

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    HOW CURSES AFFECT OUR LIVESIt is unrealistic to dwell on the blessings and act as ifthere were no such things as cursesbecause theyare very real. One fact the Bible makes clear, andthat most people do not fully grasp, is that a cursecan affect our lives. And clearly, a curse comes for areason. This is stated decisively in Proverbs 26:2:"Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in itsflying, so a curse without cause does not alight"(NASB). Just as a bird alights on its appointed placebecause it has a right to be there, so a curse alightsupon us for a cause. If curses come, there is a reasonfor them. The reason for curses is clearly stated inDeuteronomy 28.

    "But it shall come about, if you do not obey theLord your God, to observe to do all Hiscommandments and His statutes with which Icharge you today, that all these curses will comeupon you and overtake you."Deuteronomy 28:15, NASBOnce again, the phrase translated, "obey the Lord" isreally "listen to the voice of the Lord." So the reasonwhy curses come is twofold: If you will not listen to

    the voice of the Lord and if you will not do what He says. Inother words, curses come for exactly theopposite reason for which blessings come. Blessingscome through listening and doing. Curses comethrough not listening and not doing. That is verylogical and very practical.THE OUTCOME OF DISOBEDIENCELet's look briefly now at the curses for disobedience.We have already seen that the basic point ofdeparture from God is not listening to His voice. If

    we trace the history of clans or tribes or nations thathave gone away from God, it always begins there.They cease to listen. Often the beginning is subtleand hard to detect. We can still maintain outwardconformity to God's commands for a long while afterwe have really ceased to listen. But if we trace our

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    problems to their source, they begin when we nolonger listen to God.The full list of curses is very lengthy, a total of 53verses. Again, you need to read the rest of thatchapter for yourself. If you go through the list ofcurses you will discover that you may be enduringcurses when you should be enjoying blessings. Thatfact alone could perhaps change your whole life andlifestyle.Here I want to point out some of the main areascovered by the curses. MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL CURSESOne main area is mental and emotional, and thereare a number of statements made about it.Verse 20: "The Lord himself will send on you curses,

    confusion, and frustration in everything you do"(NLT). The two curses there are confusion andfrustration. Everything you try to do turns outwrong.Verse 28: "The Lord will afflict you with madness . . .and confusion of mind" (NIV). Also, verse 34: "Thesights you see will drive you mad" (NIV). To bedriven mad is a curse. Confusion is a curse.Verse 65: "The Lord will give you an anxious mind,

    eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart"(NIV). The curses there are anxiety, weariness anddespair. You see so many people in almost any majorcity, walking around, bowed down under thosecurses and not really knowing why the curses havecome.PHYSICAL CURSESNow we will move on to the area of the physical, andagain the list is long and totally comprehensive.Verse 21: "The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you"

    (NASB). Notice that pestilence clings; we cannotshake it off.Verse 22: "The Lord will smite you with consumptionand with fever and with inflammation" (NASB).Three curses: consumption, fever, inflammation.Verse 27: "The Lord will afflict you with the boils of

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    Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch,from which you cannot be cured" (NIV). The cursesthere are boils, tumors, festering sores and the itch.Verse 28: "The Lord will afflict you with . . .blindness" (NIV) . Blindness is a curse.Verse 35: "The Lord will afflict your knees and legswith painful boils that cannot be cured, spreadingfrom the soles of your feet to the top of your head"(NIV) . Again boils are singled out as a curse.Verse 59: "The Lord will bring extraordinary plagueson you and your descendants, even severe andlasting plagues, and miserable and chronicsicknesses" (NASB). What a verse! What a terriblepicture! All of those are cursesextraordinary

    plagues, chronic sicknesses.Verse 60: "[The Lord] will bring back on you all thediseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and theywill cling to you" (NASB). I spent two years of my lifein Egypt, and I want to tell you there are few diseasesthat are not found in Egypt. These diseases comprisean awful list. And all the diseases of Egypt are part ofthe curse.And then, as if that were not enough, verse 61 says:

    "Also every sickness and every plague which, notwritten in the book of this law, the Lord will bring onyou until you are destroyed" (NASB). So it is not onlyall the sicknesses and plagues that are written in thebook of the Law, but all the rest that are not. In otherwords, every kind of sickness and every kind ofplague is part of the curse.

    FAMILY RELATIONSHIPSThere are several other areas dealt with as part of

    the curse. One area is relationshipsespeciallyfamily relationships. Wrong family relationships arepart of the curse. For instance, in verse 30: "You shallbetroth a wife, but another man will violate her."And verse 32 reads: "Your sons and your daughtersshall be given to another people, while your eyes

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    look on and yearn for them continually; but therewill be nothing you can do."

    POVERTYOne curse that applies particularly to our subject isin verse 29: "You will grope at noon, as the blind mangropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in yourways" (NASB). The Bible is consistent with itself. Just asprosperity is a blessing, so not prospering is acurse. This aspect of the curse is described againmore fully in verses 47-48: "Because you did notserve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart,for the abundance of all things" (NASB).Let us pause here for a moment and take note that

    this verse states the positive will of God for Hispeople. It is that we serve Him with joyfulness andgladness for the abundance of all things. If, however,through unbelief and disobedience we do not enterinto God's positive will, then the negative alternativeis set before us in the next verse: "Therefore youshall serve your enemies whom the Lord will sendagainst you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and inthe lack of all things" (NASB).

    Look at that list for a moment: hunger, thirst,nakedness and lack of all things. Picture it. No food,no drink, no clothes nothing. Sum that up in oneword: Poverty. In fact, I would say, absolute poverty.You can have no greater poverty than that. Which isita curse or a blessing? The answer: Absolutepoverty is a curse.There are other curses listed in these verses ofDeuteronomy 28. The full listing of categories is: Humiliation Mental and physical sickness Family breakdown Poverty Defeat Oppression Failure God's disfavor

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