By Pastor Taiwo Ayeni
Where Do Curses Come from?
There are four sources of curses that afflict man. These are:
- Satanic Agents
- Possessing Satanic objects
While it is not in the character of God to curse, it is discovered that the violation of God’s laws triggers curses. God’s laws carry adverse consequences when disobeyed. Therefore God does not need to verbally put a curse on someone before the curse like a time bomb kicks in. His curses are based on his written law or covenant he made to us on the one hand. They are not just random curses he places on us as he wishes. It is only triggered when a man sins or rebels against his word. The book of Deuteronomy is filled with several demanding positions that attract either curses or blessings. Also the choices we make have consequences that either attracts curses or blessings!
For example when Judah unknowingly slept with Tamar his daughter in law God’s curse was automatically triggered to show his displeasure - “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 23:2). As mentioned in the earlier edition of this teaching the children that were brought forth were bastards and it took ten generations of cleansing to take care of the lineage.
Furthermore, Adam and Eve were the first to have a dose of God’s reprimand when they sinned in the Garden of Eden. God placed a curse upon both of them, and there began a life of hardship for all mankind. The unpleasant result of this generational curse forced us to live by the sweat of our faces and for woman kind to bring forth children through hard labor. Not so long after the first curse that Cain and Lamech come under curses at different times because they both committed murder respectively. And to Cain God said “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth” (Gen 4:11-12).
“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.” (Gen 4:23-24)
The curses from God are primarily the curse of the law because they are tied with breaking the law or God’s word. The moment God’s law or word is broken curse is triggered as shown above. God designed it to be so and he warned us against violating them. However, the person who in spite of God’s warning willfully chooses to disobey God’s word or law finds himself in his wrath. Therefore his curses are not arbitrary it is a consequence of either disobedience or obedience to his word.
- a) Man-to-Man
The curse inflicted by man has two dimensions – it could be from one man to another or a man self inflicting himself with a curse. Whichever one it is if it is not arrested can become generational. A person can curse another through face-to-face verbal expressions during an altercation or violent argument. Sometimes it’s a husband against his wife because she exposes his weaknesses or the wife to a husband because he physically abused her. In this type of situation, the curse is underplayed and taken for granted until the effect is witnessed. The curser might not mean it in the gravity it was rendered but it came out under the pressure of pain and self defense without thinking of its consequence. A woman who was battered, left bruised and bleeding while her husband climbed on his motorbike in anger on his way to town, ran after him and pronounced that he would never come back alive. He never did! He was hit by a car behind and fed to a sixteen wheeler coming in the opposite direction. When the news of his death got to her, she cried her heart out and wished she never uttered the curse. Everyone who heard her confession knew it was not intended but she was careless in the use of her tongue!
Some people get agitated when cursed, but the thing we need to know as mentioned earlier is that an undeserved curse will not work no matter who releases the curse (Prov. 26:2). The case of the man mentioned earlier came to pass because he deserved it. He abused the one he was supposed to care and provide for. A good example of an undeserved curse that never worked out was the case of Balaam who was hired by Balak to curse the children of God. It did not work because they did not deserve it. In the final analysis, Balaam in frustration succumbed to God’s superior authority and declared to Balak “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Numbers 23:19-20)
Why then did the curse not work? It’s not deserved and the next verse confirms this fact. “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.” If neither iniquity nor perverseness had been found in Jacob the curse would have alighted. But because these were not found it was a futile effort. Balaam went on to later emphasize the divine immunity that Israel as a nation enjoyed by insisting that “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!” (Num. 23:23). This was the last thing Balak wanted to hear and hence in verse 25 he shouted to Balaam:“…. Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.”
A biblical example of a deserved curse was that of Ham who saw the nakedness of his father Noah, and Noah placed a curse on Ham’s son Canaan. “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” (Gen 9:24-27) Why did he not curse Ham the offender? It was because he knew that if he had cursed Ham the effect of it would have come back to him (Noah), that was why he cursed his grandson Canaan, so that his father Ham (Noah’s son) could bear the consequences with him.
It is important to mention that curses from people are the least effectual among all curses. The most effectual is the one from God, followed by self-inflicted curses and satanic agents. When our ways are right with God we enjoy immunity from unwarranted curses whether individual or generational. Hence we need to be very careful about our walk with God. This is what guarantees our spiritual immunity and protects us from the scourge of the tongue. We can nullify whatever is said or written against us by pronouncing a counter word to whatever was said to afflict us. Just identify the source and prayerfully attack it or call for help if you cannot handle it alone.
- b) Self-inflicted curse
Because there is power of life and death in the tongue, many have made certain debilitating pronouncements against themselves to their own hurt (Prov. 18:21). The consequences of careless use of our tongues are calamitous. Some stupidly do this in order to express humility while others do it in anger against themselves because they could not forgive themselves for committing avoidable blunders. How many times have we commended people for the good work done and you hear them say “Me, that is good for nothing will accomplish this great work. It’s not me o, just let’s thank God.” You do not need to curse yourself to be humble. The more you do that you’ll end up as good for nothing. Your destiny will suddenly overturn and find yourself struggling for life.
It is clear that no sane person will willingly place a curse on himself but those who do carry it out in ignorance. They assume they are just speaking mere words but the devil does not see ignorance as an excuse. Therefore, he quickly says amen to it and bingo it hits and very badly too. A notable man of God shared his testimony of how he never knew what suffering was until he stupidly spoke out and said “I’ll like to experience this thing they call suffering, because I don’t know it.” He was in the post graduate school then. He had a car and motorbike and lived in luxury yet he was the son of a peasant farmer in Africa. His uncles and Aunties spoiled him with resources that few students barely had access to. Within a few days of his silly comment he lost his car and motorbike and suffering that lasted many years began. The weight of the curse hit his finances, academic performance, relationship and life in general. He almost ran mad because he was isolated in his affliction. He later cried out to God after recalling by the help of the Holy Spirit that he invited the affliction on himself through his foolish comment and God heard his cry.
In Genesis 31:32 we read about Jacob unknowingly placing a curse on Rachel for stealing her father’s gods. “With whomsoever thou findest thy gods let him not live……For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.” This was self inflicted, if you recall that this man labored fourteen years to marry Rachel his beloved jewel. He’d not have wished her the evil of untimely death as we later saw in Genesis 35:19 “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.” Her life was suddenly cut short at child bearing because she placed her life on the line by stealing her father’s gods that could not have delivered her in trouble.
Apostle Peter did the same in Matt 26:74 “Then began he to curse and to swear , saying I know not the man….” Meanwhile, the Lord had earlier warned him that the devil had planned to sift him as wheat but he had prayed for him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Lk 22:32) Instead of taking cognizance of what the Lord said he began to argue and the day caught up with him. He cursed himself. From that point on he struggled in ministry until the Lord through the Holy Spirit stabilized him. The first experience of his faith shaking was that he led a few people to go a-fishing (John 21:3). In this encounter the Lord challenged his proclamation of love for him and the third time when he asked Peter became angry (v17). Also in Galatians we read about his affecting some brethren negatively until Apostle Paul challenged his misdemeanor. “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”
The case against him was that he was not walking uprightly just as the Master warned and yet he facilitated it by placing a curse on himself earlier. Satan had been at work yet this man of God never caught the division he elicited or encouraged until Paul step into the matter.
As implied hitherto, curses take away a person’s quality of life by inflicting pain, disease, sickness, failure, shame, poverty, barrenness, struggles and confusion. But the way out is to find out the source or root of the affliction. With repentant heart restoration is a possibility but to be nonchalant about it or play ignorant is an invitation to grave bondage and calamity. There is a way out if you can cry out to Jesus today. He is waiting for your cry if you’ll willingly do so. Hear the promise of the Lord for you, if you willingly turn to him: “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them….. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:7,10).