Tag: curse

Thankful to be redeemed from the curse!

Scripture reading for December 1st:  Galatians 1-4

Key Scriptures: Galatians 3:10-13 “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”  The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”   

The Jews had relied on the Law of God for years and sought to obey but failed again and again.  Paul explained the reason why:  “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse.”   This is because the law can only reveal sin, it can not cure it.  Righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ and His perfect obedience of the Law and then offering Himself to be hung on a cross.  His act of loving obedience redeemed sinners from the curse of trying to obey the law!

Rejoicing in Christ’s Redemption:  “Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this lay by carrying them out.”  Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”  (Deuteronomy 27:26)  “Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.”  (Deuteronomy 21:23)

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Rebellion: today’s entertainment!

Scripture reading for March 20th: 1st Samuel 13-15

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, moonless nights, bats, curses, spells, evil and  death.   Our modern culture has lots to say about the occult and many television shows and movies  highlight this evil.  A popular series of children’s novels, “Harry Potter”, has sold millions and most think that it is another form of entertainment.

Saul was anointed by God to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king like the other nations.  But Saul was impatient.  Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord.  Saul waited but grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him by telling him that God was not going to let him continue as king.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14)  So the “good” thing that Saul had done for the Lord, was not done in obedience to the Lord.

Another account of Saul’s actions occurs in chapter 15.  Samuel tells Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt. (400 years earlier!)  Saul obeyed–partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  Partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  Ask the Lord to show you if these sins are evident in your life and allow Jesus to deliver you!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in your life or home!  Don’t give God a reason to reject you as his child!  Or worse yet, cause your children be rejected because of this evil!

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

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Abimelech, the self-appointed leader!

Scripture reading for March 12: Judges 9-12

All authority come from God and the Bible declares that God places people in authority. (Psalm 75:6-7)  When God places someone in authority, His anointing and counsel guide that person.  The person must stay under God’s anointing and follow His directions closely.  As we have observed the various leaders so far in Scripture, we see how God has placed them where He wanted them and used them as they followed Him.

For example, Gideon was a man placed by God in a position of leadership.  Gideon interacted with God to be certain of what to do and how to do it.  He certainly was not perfect and made some glaring mistakes, but brought peace to the land for a period of time.  He had 71 sons and a large family.  When Gideon passed away, a leadership crisis arose.  The Israelites went back to idol worship and one of Gideon’s sons sought to take over.

Abimelech arose to take over his father’s place.  Abimelech was the son of a slave girl.  He had 70 brothers who were produced through his father by other mothers.  He went to his mother’s town and relatives and proposed to take over leadership.  They paid him some money from an idol temple and he hired mercenary soldiers. They then killed 69 of his seventy brothers.  Jotham, the youngest, was the only one who escaped.  Jotham spoke a word of prophesy from Mt. Gerazim at Abimelech’s coronation ceremony then quickly escaped.  He basically pronounced a judgment on Abimelech’s leadership and those who followed. (Judges 9:7-21)

The Scriptures state that God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.  God did this to avenge the shedding of innocent blood of the seventy brothers.  Abimelech and the citizens of Schechem had conspired to commit that murder and now they would become enemies themselves!  (Judges 9:22-24)  This evil spirit would destroy them both and was God’s judgment on a self-appointed leader and those who joined with him in rebellion!

What can we learn from this today?  God does place people in leadership for our good, protection, and blessing.  When a leader follows the Lord, the people and leader are blessed.  When someone tries to place themselves in leadership by his own power, craftiness, or manipulation, then both the leader and those who scheme with him come under God’s judgment!  We must be vigilant today in our country.  Politics and media are always at work trying to manipulate people.  Politicians use religion and try to destroy their rivals.  In the workplace, people scheme and plot to get advantage.  In the church at times, people seek to appoint themselves.  Beware– God’s judgment will come on those who appoint themselves!

Shechem’s punishment: “So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech.  They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside.  So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.” (Judges 9:49)

Abimelech’s punishment: “Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it.  But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Abimelech had his armor-bearer kill him so he did not die at the hands of a woman.

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