Properly interpreting our misery and understanding biblical curses
How often do we hear of someone who just seems to have everything going wrong in their lives? They suffer loss, they have physical ailments, they are deeply distressed and their life seems to be going nowhere. Sometimes when we are that suffering person, we may begin to wonder, what did I do to deserve this? Is God mad at me? Am I cursed? When in dire circumstances these can be very human questions that actually have the ability to unravel our faith. We can easily allow seeds of doubt to be planted in our hearts which leads to becoming unnerved in our minds. Bottom line, if we weren’t thrown off by our circumstances, we can certainly be derailed by our reactions. Does God really get mad at us? As Christians, does He ever curse us?
Weren't Adam and Eve cursed?
Even though we may not think so, the idea of God cursing individuals is actually a strange one. I say that because when we look in the Bible to find a history of God’s curses, it does not read the way we might expect. Let’s start with Genesis and the serious sins of disobedience Adam and Eve committed. When it came down to proclaiming consequences God began with Satan. The deceiver was in the form of a serpent and God did curse him, relegating him to the dust of the ground. When it came to Eve and then Adam, he did not curse them. He punished them, but there was no curse upon them. God did, however, curse the ground because of Adam. This curse implied that the ground outside of the garden would not have the same natural fertility as the ground in Eden. Essentially, God’s gift of a life-sustaining environment for his human family would need much more of their own effort to keep them going.
Wasn't Cain cursed?
The same basic theme is applied when Cain killed his brother Abel. The only curse recorded was again upon the ground and not upon Cain himself. So, what’s the point of all this? It is to establish that God (while He does use curses in some places) is not some curse-happy Dictator who vindictively spoils peoples' lives when they make Him unhappy.
Now let’s go back to the question of our personal pain and hardships. God does NOT curse us with suffering. On the other hand, a strong case can be made that He actually is blessing us because of and through these things. Check out our October 21, 2019 podcast, “My Life is Full of Suffering – Am I Cursed?” for details. Once we firmly establish what curses really are, how they work and why they are there, we then address suffering. We open up how the Bible speaks of trials, pain and trauma coming from many different kinds of experiences. We look at these hardships, weigh them in the context of God’s grace and reveal His extraordinary blessing and providence in their wake.
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