Let’s talk about blessings and curses. The truth I’m sharing with you in this article completely transformed my own life. Towards the end, I’ll share how things changed for me when I gained revelation of this truth.
Blessings and Curses
You see, the Bible is full of both blessings and curses.
Perhaps the most concentrated place where we see blessings and curses is in Deuteronomy, chapter 28.
The chapter contains 14 verses of blessings followed by 54 verses of curses.That’s nearly four times as many cruses in the chapter. Here are some of those curses.
- Verse 20 — Confusion is a curse.
- Verses 21-22 — Plagues and sicknesses are a curses.
- Verse 25 – Being defeated by our enemies is a curse.
- Verse 27 – More sickness listed as a curse.
- Verse 28 — Madness and blindness is a curse.
- Verse 29 — Not prospering, and being oppressed are curses.
And we’re only half way through the curses section!
- Verses 38-40 — Not harvesting what we plant is a curse.
- Verse 44 — Borrowing instead of being the lender is a curse.
- Verse 48 — Serving our enemies in poverty is a curse.
And if that all weren’t bad enough, then rest of the chapter gets really depressing. You can read it yourself.
Me, I prefer to focus on the blessings rather than the curses. After all, what we focus on expands. (I shared that truth in a previous article about being new creations in Christ with the illustration from my childhood of how to miss the rock in the road when you’re riding a bicycle.)
Let’s go back to the beginning of the chapter (Deuteronomy chapter 28). I want to share some of my personal notes for these verses that I’ve written in my Bible.
- Verse 2 —God’s blessing will come up on me and overtake me. It’s not something I need to go out and get or work for.
- Verse 3 — God will prosper me no matter what size community I’m living in.
- Verse 4 — Every possession entrusted to me is blessed and will increase.
- Verse 5 — I’m blessed in my wallet and blessed in my bank account.
- Verse 6 — I am blessed when I start something (go out) and when I finish it (come in). Or you could say this: Even if things get so crazy around us that we don’t know if we’re coming or going, we’re still blessed.
- Verse 7 — It doesn’t matter who or what comes against me – they WILL flee before me in panicked disorder!
- Verse 8 — God COMMANDS a blessing on our storehouses and on the work of our hands. My investments grow no matter what the economy does. He blesses my work far above my natural efforts. (Only 2 other commanded blessings in scripture: unity in Psalms 133, and the 6th year harvest before the 7th Jubilee year in Leviticus 25:21.)
- Verse 9 — I am one of God’s holy people.
- Verse 10 — People will be prone to react strangely to me because they see God in me and that can frighten them.
- Verse 11 — God will GRANT you plenty of goods. Having stuff is a blessing of God. “Plenty” means more than enough, to have some left over. God’s people will have stuff to spare. A grant is something that is transferred or conveyed, especially by deed or writing: to grant property. God transfers “plenty of goods” to us. We don’t have to work for it. And we don’t have to repay it.
- Verse 12 — We are lenders, not borrowers!
- Verse 13 — I am called of God to be a leader. Not just any leader, but the very head of what he puts in my hand.
- Verse 14 — I SHALL NOT turn aside from the Word of The Lord.
That’s just a sampling of blessings and curses from only one chapter in the Bible. There are dozens and dozens of others throughout scripture that we could look at too. But this article is already getting long!
Make It Personal
Notice how most of those notes I made in my Bible regarding these blessings are personal to me. Can I do that? Is it legit?
The answer is yes, I can do that. It is indeed legitimate to do so. We can make the blessings and promises of God our own. You can personalize those blessings and make them your own too!
However, let’s not take my word for it. Instead, let’s look into God’s Word and see what He has to say on this subject.
Blessed with Believing Abraham
Let’s look at Galatians chapter three.
Here, Paul points us to the patriarch Abraham of an example of our blessing.
just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.— Galatians 3:6-9 (NKJV)
Let me ask you this. Was Abraham under the Old Covenant God had with Israel?
Nope. Abraham more than four centuries before the time of Moses when God made His covenant with Israel.
Yet God still blessed Abraham. In fact, I find it interesting that Abraham is the one that Paul turns to as the example for us so that we can know for sure how blessed we are in Christ now that we believe in Jesus.
I mean if I was going to choose an example, I think I would look for someone who was a little less morally fuzzy than Abraham. (Good thing I’m not the one in charge of these things!)
Abraham’s Ethical Issues
Abraham had what one might call “situational ethics”. Here’s an example:
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.— Genesis 12:10-20 (NKJV)
There Abram throws his wife under the bus, putting her in a dangerous situation, just to save his own skin. That’s not a particularly good moral example for us.
But perhaps the most scandalous thing about this passage is the last verse. Abram was blessed by God even when he was blatantly in the wrong here, and even before he was in covenant with God.
How do we know he wasn’t in covenant yet? At this point his name is still Abram. God hasn’t yet changed it to Abraham. That doesn’t happen for 10 more chapters. (See Genesis 22:17-18.)
God Blessed Abraham Anyway
So God blessed Abraham even without a covenant. Paul tells us why in back in that passage we read earlier in Galatians. Simply because Abraham believed God and acted on that belief in faith.
God blesses you and I in exactly the same way too. And then on top of that we have the New Covenant with Jesus that seals the deal.
You are blessed!
Back to Abraham. It’s bad enough that he does the whole “my wife is really my sister” routine with Pharaoh. But then he does the same exact thing again later in Genesis chapter 20 with Abimelech. And God blesses him again!!
Abraham walked away from that mess with his personal wealth increased with more sheep, oxen, servants, and a thousand pieces of silver.
This messes with the religious mind that thinks people are blessed because they deserve it. Deserves got nothing to do with it.
Blessed Because of Jesus
What Jesus did makes us blessed. But, again, let’s not take my word for it. Go back to Galatians chapter three.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.— Galatians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
We are blessed with Abraham’s blessings because we believe and are in faith, plain and simple. Jesus took the curses we deserved. And in their place we can now receive the blessings He earned.
It happens for us just the same way it did for Abraham — as an act of faith. We simply believe we are blessed. Then we act accordingly.
Anyone know what Abraham’s blessing is?
Go to Genesis 22.
Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”— Genesis 22:15-18 (NKJV)
In the Hebrew verse 17 literally starts out with “Bless, bless! Multiply, multiply!” God is heaping on the blessings!
God multiplies our descendants. Even people like Lisa and I who don’t have any natural children will have many, many spiritual children, more numerous than the stars or the sand.
Not only will our descendants possess the gates of our enemies, but we will too, because we are Abraham’s descendants.
All the nations of the earth are blessed because of us, and because of our position in Christ!
The Great Exchange
Look back at Galatians 3:13 that we shared above. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. That means we can read through the Old Testament and every time we see a curse, we can know that we are immune to that curse.
All those curses I mentioned from Deuteronomy chapter 8? They don’t apply to me. And they don’t apply to you either since you believe in Jesus.
But it’s even better than that. Sure, it’s wonderful to be exempt from curses. But that just gets us back to neutral.
Now, in Christ, all the blessings are rightfully ours. Our legal entitlement In Christ includes all the promises God makes in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We now share the blessing of believing Abraham because we are in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.
It’s those blessings that get you out of neutral and propel you forward. It is those blessings, and your faith in those blessings that will launch you into your destiny.
The blessing equips you with everything God has for you. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to mine the Word of God and discover the treasure of those blessings. Then get so intimately familiar with those blessings that they come alive in your soul with revelation. When that happens you can start taking action and watch your belief turn into faith.
Then the miracles will flow!
Now with all that in mind, let’s go back to Deuteronomy chapter 28 and see how I started reading about the blessings once I got this revelation. Let’s start with the first verse.
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”— Deuteronomy 28:1 (NKJV)
Before I understood what we’ve talked about today, this verse was a bit depressing for me, along with a great many more similar passages. Back then my thinking went something like this.
“I don’t diligently obey the voice of the Lord my God. I mean I try. But most of the time I mess up. Therefore I don’t observe all His commandments which he commands me to do…”
As a result, I thought blessings like those found in Deuteronomy 28 were for other people, not for me. How sad.
But God! Now that I have this revelation, here’s how I read passages like this:
Now it shall come to pass, [because Jesus] diligently obeyed the voice of the Lord His God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because [Jesus] obeyed the voice of the Lord your God.
Because Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, and because you are in Christ, it is just as if you fulfilled the law perfectly too. When it comes to blessings and curses, every blessing is legally yours in Christ. What’s more, every curse found in scripture no longer applies to you because you are legally exempt from those curses.
This is part of your new identity in Christ.
And this is why God’s promises are so powerful for your life. Because you are now in Christ, all of God’s promises are now rightfully yours. You truly can access supernatural living through the promises of God!
A revelation of this truth will transform your life forever!