Blessings and Curses

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When someone speaks about blessings we have been conditioned to think about money, but is that really what the Bible is talking about? Do blessings equal riches?

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Blessings and Curses

by Lex Meyer

Anytime someone speaks about blessings, we have been conditioned to think about money, but is that really what the Bible is talking about when it says we will be blessed? Do blessings really equal riches?

Prosperity preachers are always preaching that God wants to bless us with wealth. As a result of these teachings, many people are looking for financial "blessings", but the Bible says,

“the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

Remember also that Yeshua said,

"it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:23

If money is so dangerous and destructive, then why do we think God wants to give us more of it?

Entering the kingdom of God is the ultimate blessing, but Yeshua said the rich will have much difficulty entering the kingdom. So, in what way is it a blessing to be rich? If wealth is a blessing from God, then the rich people should have no problem entering the kingdom, yet the Bible says,

"Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God." Luke 6:20

How can we say is it a blessing to have riches if the Bible says the poor are blessed?

Yeshua taught us to pray, "Give us each day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11), which is a quote from Proverbs 30, that says,

"give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." Proverbs 30:8-9

According to this proverb and Yeshua's prayer, we should only desire "daily bread", because riches will lead us away from God and poverty might lead us to steal. Our prayer should be that God would provide us with what we need, nothing more, nothing less. Our desire should not be for wealth and riches, because those things corrupt and lead us away from God.

Why would we conclude that God wants to give us more money, if money is so dangerous and corrupt?

While I do believe that God provides for His people, and that provision often includes finances, jobs, etc., those financial provisions are not what the Bible calls "blessings".

So, what does the Bible call a blessing?

We need to take a close look at what the Bible calls a "blessing", so that we are not deceived by false teachings.

The first mention of blessings is in Genesis, when God blesses the animals, telling them to:

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth." Genesis 1:22

Shortly after that, God gives the same blessing to Adam and Eve, saying,

"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it" Genesis 1:28

Likewise, after the flood, God also gave the same blessing to Noah and his family, saying,

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Genesis 9:1

So far, blessings are all about fruitfulness and multiplication of life, so keep that in mind as we look at other mentions of blessings in the Bible.

God told Abraham,

"I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:2-3

God also blessed Ismael, saying,

”I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly." Genesis 17:20

When Rebekah left to marry Isaac, her family blessed her saying,

“Our sister, may you become The mother of thousands of ten thousands" Genesis 24:60

Likewise, when Leah gave birth to Asher, she said,

“the daughters will call me blessed." Genesis 30:13

The Psalms also tell us that:

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3-5

The Bible continuously connects blessings with life and curses with death.

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" Deuteronomy 30:19

There is a consistent theme of fruitfulness, health, and life connected to blessings throughout the Bible.

"Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span." Exodus 23:25-26

Eternal life is the ultimate blessing, because it is life without end.

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power..." Revelation 20:6

And we will receive this blessing by doing God's commandments,

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life..." Revelation 22:14

We see this same theme in Yeshua's sermon on the mount, in which He speaks of immaterial blessings such as comfort, righteousness, and mercy, as well as heavenly kingdom rewards such as seeing God, being called children of God, and inheriting the earth.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:3-12

Listen to the warning from the parable of the seeds:

"Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." Matthew 13:22

Notice that riches are deceitful, and cause the seed to be unfruitful, however, the Bible equates blessings with fruitfulness. This creates some major contradictions for those who teach that money and riches are a blessing from God.

To better understand blessings, we must also look at what the Bible describes as curses.

What does the Bible call curses?

The first two curses that affected humans were when God cursed the ground and when He cursed the woman's womb. The ground was cursed so that it would require hard labor to produce fruit, and that it would also produce thorns and thistles. Before this the ground produced fruit without labor, but afterward it required man to labor for his food. Likewise, the womb was cursed so that the woman would have pain in childbirth. Notice that both of these curses cause difficulty and pain in producing life.

There is a lengthy section in Deuteronomy that speaks about all of the things that will cause a person to be cursed, such as setting up an idol, sexual immorality, and acts of malice or violence that harm another. Then it explains what this curse will be.

“The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks." Deuteronomy 28:18

Notice it is the offspring, the produce, and the fruitfulness that is being cursed. A curse is something that comes against life.

Likewise, when Yeshua cursed a fig tree, it withered and died. The tree was not being fruitful, so He cursed it, and the curse resulted in its death.

Biblical blessings bring life, health, growth, and reproduction, and curses bring death, sickness, barrenness, and impotence.

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" Deuteronomy 30:19

I hope this has caused you to rethink blessings and curses, and I also hope it has caused you to put less importance upon money, and more importance on the things that matter - the things that bring life and true blessings.

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