Moving From Curses To Blessings
.- Snr. Evang. (Dr.) S. F. Adeniyi, District Evangelist
Celestial Church of Christ, California, U.S.A.
Curses and Blessings are words charged with supernatural power, which may be of God or of Satan. They manifest in the life of a person and thereby determine his destiny. In this topic, an examination shall be made of Jacobís journey to Bethel in the book of Genesis Chapters 27-35. Jacob was not actually cursed by anybody, but his attitude evoked curses to him [Lev.19: 11-13]. The key people involved are Isaac, Rebecca, Esau, Jacob, Laban and his two daughters (Leah and Rachel).
People incur curses when they break Godís commandments ignorantly or deliberately. Thus, they predispose themselves to Satanís torment and dominion. The following situations evoke curses:
(a) Disobedience: [Gen. 3:16-19; Gen. 4:11-12; 1 Sam. 15:22].
(b) Robbing God and not fulfilling His wishes: [Mal. 3:8-9; Deut. 28:15].
(c) Inherited or ancestral curses (Egun idile in Yoruba): [1Kgs 21:29 (on the family of King Ahab)].
(d) The most delicate and dangerous are the curses from an anointed man or woman of God. They are Godís inheritance and He has invested so much in them: [2Kgs 5:27 (Gehazzi); 1Sam. 3:14; Jer.20: 3]
(e) Fruitlessness: [Mark 11:12-14] when you refuse to bring forth fruits worthy of praise.
(f) Negligence to worship God in joy: [Deut. 28:47].
(g) Parents can curse their children [Gen. 9:22-25], teachers, and their students, husbands their wives and vice versa. A Christian should refrain from such.
(h) Barreness: Some are used by God to show His glory, e.g., Sarah [Gen. 11:30], Hannah [1 Sam. 1:2] and Elizabeth [Lk. 1:7] or to punish e.g. Michal, Saulís daughter married to David [2 Sam. 6:23]. However, it is one of the major attacks of Satan on couples since it Godís will that mankind be fruit and multiply [Gen. 1:28; Deut. 7:14].
(i) Mental or emotional breakdown [Lk. 8:26-27] repeated chronic illness that defies medical treatment [Lk. 8:43]. These are all satanic holds on a manís life.
MAIN TEXT: Gen. 35: 1-11
ďAnd God said unto Jacob, Arise go up to Bethel and dwell thereĒ.
Tonight, God has given you the privilege to also come to Bethel where God will work some changes in your life to make you a candidate for blessing.
For thorough examination, we shall start from Gen. 27:35. In Gen. 27, Isaac was preparing to go to the way of all flesh and wanted to proclaim blessings on his children, naturally the eldest son. However, this is already a predetermined by God on both candidates, Esau and Jacob [Gen. 25:23; Mal.1: 2-3; Rom. 9:11-13]. But Jacob, through the advice of their mother, Rebecca, wanted to be faster than God and cheated his twin brother that the purpose of his name, Jacob (ďhe who cheatsĒ), might be fulfilled [Gen. 27:12]. The bible did not record that their names (Esau and Jacob) were given by God otherwise there would have been no need for God to change Jacobís name later. However, Jacob himself knew quite well that he would be operating under a curse to obtain his fatherís blessing by deceit [Gen. 27:12-13]. Nevertheless, Jacob and his mother designed a scheme to take a short cut to manipulate the will of God before the actual time. In military parlance, the after math of an unsuccessful coup is death for the coup plotter. Although Jacobís ďcoupĒ was successful in human eyes, the foul play was discovered by Isaac and Esau [Gen. 27:41-43]. Therefore the flight to safety of the coup plotter, Jacob, was inevitable, hence the preparation for Bethel journey.
In Gen. 28:10-14, Jacob had his first encounter with the Lord. As he was fleeing from his embittered brother, he got to a city called Luz where he fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream, he saw a ladder reaching up to heaven and the Lord stood above the ladder. The Lord revealed Himself as the Father of his ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, and assured Jacob that through him and his descendants, all the families of the earth would be blessed. He woke up out of his sleep and said, ďsurely the Lord is in this place and I knew it notĒ [Gen. 28:16]. There and then, he changed the name of the city from Luz to Bethel (house of God) [Gen. 28:19] and made a vow of Bethel the first time [Gen. 28:20-22] (first step to remove curses).
Today, God is closer to us. Christ is very near to us but we are spiritually blind to recognize His presence [Deut. 30:14; Rom. 10:8; Jn. 1:1-5]. In our lives, we are adamant to accept this. In Gen. 29, Jacob obeyed his parentsí instruction concerning marriage. In verses 16-25, the Lord allowed some events to take place in Jacobís life. He worked for seven years to gain the hand of Rachel but Leah was given to him in the night when it was dark. Because there were graven images in that house which was void of the light of God, Jacobís destiny was changed overnight [Gen. 29:25]. The Lord allowed him to be cheated as he did to his brother, Esau. He had taken Esauís birth right because of food and beguiled his father, Isaac, to take Esauís blessing. So also, if you have too much of food, money, women or men, you may lose your spiritual birth right to Satan.
If there is no light of the Gospel in your life, home or business, and in the church, your destiny can be changed overnight because darkness is in operation. It will become a mere caricature of a gift, with good wrapping on the outside whereas the content inside has been stolen. So, those of you who run away from Bible class or hate to hear the sermon should take care; there is danger ahead!
In Gen. 30-31, the first manifestation of Godís blessing to Jacob was manifested with many children born to him. Jacob decided to go back to Canaan [Gen. 31:17-18]. He had had a vow during his first encounter with God in Bethel. Now the actual journey to Bethel came to reality. However, unknown to Jacob, Rachel stole her fatherís graven images, which defiled the journey of blessing [Gen. 31:19]. In defence of his and his familyís innocence, Jacob pronounced a curse of death on the culprit [Gen. 31:32], a curse he could not change even when his favorite wife was discovered to guilty. Rachel died before getting to Canaan [Gen. 35:16-19].
In Gen. 32, the main obstacle to getting his Bethel is discussed. There was Esau to conquer. When he heard about Esau and his 400 men, he was greatly afraid and distressed. He felt it to the marrow that the enemy had compassed him around. He prayed to God and reminded Him of His Bethel covenant [Gen. 32:9-12]. How many times have we prayed when we are in the midst of problems? Do we always remember that heaven is opened to our prayers even when we are closed in on every side? We sometimes allow the situation to capture our emotions and put us in the cold room of spiritual perplexity and our efforts to pray will be strangled and paralyzed.
prayer, Jacob wrestled with an angel till daybreak but the angel could not
prevail over him. The angel succeeded in breaking Jacobís thigh but not his
neck or back. Jacob endured through the night and claimed his blessing in the
morning after his name had been changed from Jacob (a deceiver) to Israel
(victorious) [Gen. 32:28]. He was blessed. He also received the power of
victory over men. So, when Esau met him, instead of fighting, he kissed and
embraced him he saw the glory of God in Jacobís face [Gen. 33:4]. His
way pleased the Lord and made his enemy dwell in peace with him [Prov.16: 7].
In Gen. 35:1-12, we recognize that without holiness, we cannot claim the blessing of God. Jacob did remember his vow unto the Lord and built an altar in the name of the Lord. But before the offering, he got his family to surrender all their idols that were stumbling blocks to their blessings. Similarly, Jesus has commanded us to reconcile with anyone with whom we have a disagreement before we bring our offering to the altar [Matt. 5:23-24]. So, settle your mind and prepare yourself to be a candidate for blessing. God changed Jacobís name to Israel to revoke all curses from his life and the ďbad nameĒ Jacob, remained silent. The proclamation and pronunciation of blessing came after his name was changed. He moved from curses to blessings.
Possible ways to follow in crossing from Curses to Blessings.
The word of God will move you from curses to blessings [Ps. 1:1-3; Ps 119:81,105; Ps. 107:20]. The following suggestions will help you in that direction:
i. Acknowledge curses but believe that the Blood of Jesus cleanses us from them all [Gal. 3:13-14].
ii. Confess your sins [Acts 3:19; John 16:33; Prov. 28:3; Ps. 19:12-14].
Confess your faith [James 1:3-12; Heb. 10:22-23; Heb. 11: 6; Heb.
iv. Acknowledge the fact that the morning will not come until the night is fully spent. So, when things are getting worse, you are getting closer to your morning. When weeping endures through the night, joy comes in the morning [Ps. 30:5; Acts 14:22]. Jacob claimed his blessing after enduring the wrestling till morning.
v. For every Bethel journey in your life, there is an Esau to conquer. This Esau may be hiding in your name. The stronghold you have been trying to cast down to have breakthrough may be in your name or that which evil forces have registered for you. If you cannot change your name for legal reasons, add in spirit a new name and let the bad name remain silent. God had to choose names for some people in the bible before they became candidates for blessing: Jacob to Israel, Abram to Abraham, and Sara to Sarah.
vi. Have a focus of where you are going. This has nothing to do with what you are passing through and donít believe any evil report.
vii. You cannot fight poverty with an axe or with your fists, but only through the Spirit of God. Jacob was led by the Spirit in his Bethel journey
viii. You cannot be passive and live; you need to be passionate. Joshua and Caleb were passionate and inherited the blessing at an old age. Caleb was 85 [Josh. 14:6-10]. If you are passive, you will slumber and sleep and the Lord never gives any good inheritance to anybody who likes to sleep because the thief will come and carry it away [Prov. 6:6-11].
ix. Obey Godís will and commandment without any evaluation or modification to suit your situation [Deut. 28:1-14; Rom. 12:2].
A prayerful life will render curses useless and of no effect. [1Thess.
5:17; Col. 4:2; Phil. 4:6; Eph. 6:18]. Remove all evil inheritance and
release yourself through Prayer. [2Cor.10: 3-6; 6: 14-17; Is. 31:1-2; 2Chron.
May God Help Us All. Amen.
∑ Presented at Bethel 2000, A Night with Christ, organized by the Celestial Church of Christ, California District, 149 West Florence Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90003, on Friday, December 22, 2000.
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