Generational Curses 04

Curses pronounced by man on behalf of God

 Deuteronomy 28:15-68 gives the curses that will overtake us if "we do not listen to and obey the voice of the Lord." Again Prince summarizes these curses as humiliation, mental and physical sickness, family breakdown, poverty, defeat, oppression, failure, and God's disfavor. If you don't listen how can you know what to obey? Deuteronomy 28 is well worth studying as a basis of understanding blessings and curses. I don't fully understand Deuteronomy 28 and the relationship between disobedience and a curse. I know it is not as simple as: if you do this then this will happen. But I am convinced as we are disobedient we open ourselves to spiritual attack and darkness in our lives.

In Joshua 6:26 Joshua pronounces a curse on the one who rebuilds the fallen city of Jericho. Joshua places Jericho under an eternal ban on behalf of God and curses anyone who rebuilds the city. Generations later this curse is fulfilled in I Kings 16:34.

Joshua 6:26 NIV

At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates."

1 Kings 16:34 NIV

In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

In Judges 9 we read the story of Abimelek. Gideon had seventy sons with his wife and one named Abimelek with a concubine from the city of Shechem. Abimelek wanted to be king by any means necessary. Abimelek made a plan with the men of Shechem to kill all of Gideon's sons and have himself proclaimed king. One son Jotham escapes and climbs on a high hill out of reach of Abimelek, the Bible says it was Mount Gerizim the same place that Moses gave Deuteronomy 28 to the people of Israel. In Judges 9:19-20 Jotham pronounces a curse on Abimelek. In Judges 9:56-57 we see the fulfillment of this curse.

Judges 9:19-20 NIV

So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal {note: Judges 6:32 Gideon is called Jerub-Baal} and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! [20] But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!"

Judges 9:56-57 NIV

God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. [57] God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

  Curses by persons with relational authority

Genesis 31 give the account of Jacob leaving Laban's house. Laban's sons were complaining about Jacob's prosperity and the increase that God had given Jacob. In Genesis 31:3 God tells Jacob to go back to the land of his father.

Genesis 31:3 NIV

Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you."

Jacob with his wives, children, and all their possessions leave Harran. Jacob did not say goodbye but fled with all that was his. Jacob did not know that his favorite wife, Rachael, had stolen her fathers household gods. These can be considered good luck charms that Rachael had grown up with and she wanted to take her fathers good luck with her.

Genesis 31:19-21 NIV

When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods. [20] Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. [21] So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.

Laban pursues after Jacob and accuses Jacob of stealing his family gods, Genesis 31:30b, "But why did you steal my gods?" Jacob responds that "anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live."

Genesis 31:32 NIV

But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

Rachael hid the gods and told her father she was in her period and avoided being searched. Laban searched all of Jacobs household and did not find his gods. They made a covenant of peace in the family and said goodbye. Rachael believed she had gotten away with the deception, but Jacob had pronounced a curse on the one who had the family gods. In Genesis 35:16-20 the curse is fulfilled when Rachael is giving birth to Benjamin.

Genesis 35:18 NIV

As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.

People with some form of relational authority over us can pronounce a curse that may affect our lives. Maybe not as dramatically as with Rachael, but husbands and parents can affect the lives of their spouse and children. The effects of which may last for several generations. As parents we need to be careful how we speak to our children. Telling a child they are "no good" or they will never amount to anything, your brother will but you never will can be so damaging that it opens the child up to spiritual attack from the enemy, in effect putting the child under a curse.

As we come to the section on how to deal with a generational curse I will come back to Benjamin. Born out of the fulfillment of a curse he has an interesting history in the promised land. The curse on Rachael is a result of her stealing her fathers household idols. She was placing her trust in the idols and not in God; this is idolatry.

How many people leave their home countries and bring with them a family tradition, or a good luck charm, or some other object that they place their trust in? These objects or traditions are idolatry. I have many Hispanic friends who have come to this country. Idol worship, witchcraft, fortune telling, and false religion are a significant part of the Latino culture. They are also part of the Eastern European culture where my family is from. We must be careful to leave these idolatrous objects and tradition behind as we walk with Christ. These objects have no place in our homes and should be destroyed.

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Generational Curses 05
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Sunday, 26 May 2024