Generational Curses 03

Curses pronounced by God

 In Genesis 12:3 God says He will curse the one who curses Abraham. This, as explained by Prince is a curse against antisemitism. We need to be careful how we speak of God's chosen people, the Jews and all those in Christ. When someone reviles the nation of Israel God gets involved and God is directly the cause of the curse. Throughout church history there are many who have spoken harshly about the nation of Israel. Many of the early leaders of the Protestant reformation said things that would never be repeated from the pulpit today. Antisemitism is much to common in America today.

Genesis 12:3 NASB

And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

It is my personal belief that God's relationship and the way He treats the nation of Israel in the Old Testament is, in many, ways the same relationship He has with individual believers under Grace. We must be careful with our words to one another.

In Zechariah 5:1-4 we read of Zechariah's vision of the flying scroll. In the vision God will curse a thief and anyone who swear false by His name. Swearing falsely is a curse against breaking the third commandment1 Exodus 20:7

Zechariah 5:3-4 NIV

And he said to me, "This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. [4] The LORD Almighty declares, 'I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.' "

Exodus 20:7 NKJV

"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

The curse against stealing is a curse against breaking the eighth commandment Exodus 20:15. The third and the eighth commandments are the central commandment on the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments and represent breaking the Ten Commandments2. This is disobedience to what God has commanded.

Exodus 20:15 NKJV

"You shall not steal."

In the New Testament is the story of Jesus and the fig tree in Mark 11:12-14, 21-22. Until I began this study this passage was always confusing to me. I won't go into the background because the story should be familiar to most readers. Jesus was hungry and saw a fig tree, when He examined the tree He found leaves but no figs. Mark 11:13 says "because it was not the season for figs." Then Jesus cursed the tree. In Mark 11:21 we find the tree had withered.

Mark 11:12-14 NIV

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. [13] Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. [14] Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

Mark 11:20-21 NIV

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. [21] Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

The part that has been confusing is that it was not the season for figs so why did Jesus curse the tree? I've had fruit trees in my yard and have planted a garden many times in the past. You can look at a tree or plant early in the season and tell if you are going to have a good crop. Most fruit trees and vegetable plants give some indication of being fruitful or productive. After listening to Prince I believe Jesus was not looking for fruit but evidence that the tree would be fruitful. It had the appearance of leaves and fruitfulness but upon examination there was no evidence that fruit would appear.

The fig tree is a type of the religious condition of the Jews in the time of Jesus. Going through the ritual of religion but not having a heart that loves God and is fruitful. I also believe it is a type of Christian today. Giving every appearance of being a fruitful Christian but not having evidence of fruit in our lives. We live in a time of grace, we have been the greatest gift possible, as Paul puts it in Romans 3:21-24, a "righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." Nothing we did and nothing we can do will ever qualify us for this gift. It is given for free by faith to all who believe. The price for our sins was paid on the cross by Jesus and we are redeemed. The most expensive gift ever given to me for free.

Romans 3:21-24 NIV

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. [22] This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What are we doing with this gift? Are we being fruitful by telling others about Jesus? Are we using the gifts of the Spirit that we have been given? Or do we have the appearance of being fruitful bearing only leaves but no fruit? Have we become complacent in our Christianity practicing religion as if we are checking off things on a to do list? Went to church this week - check. Kids were in Sunday school - check. Send my kids to a Christian school - check. Put money in the offering this week - check. What is the condition of our heart? Are we practicing Christianity and yet have lives that are unchanged3? Are we being fruitful?

Generational Curses 04
Generational Curses 02
 

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Monday, 21 September 2020

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