All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you
If you obey The LORD your GOD
But it shall come about, if you do not obey The LORD your GOD
To observe to do all HIS commandments and HIS statutes
With which I charge you today
That all these curses will come upon you and overtake you
A choice is the act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more options. Our Beloved LORD GOD from the very beginning has given each person, the ability to freely make choices.
Throughout a person’s lifetime, they will make choices all through the day. They will decide what time to get up in the morning; what time to go to bed at night; what to eat; what to wear; how to schedule their day. And from time to time, they will decide whether or not to go to school; look for a new job; accept a transfer; buy or sell a house; make an investment; pursue friendship or marriage. But their most important choices, will be the spiritual choices. The choices to accept or reject GOD’s salvation (Jhn 3:16, Jhn 12:44-50); to seek to know HIM daily (1 Chr 16:11, Pro 8:34-36); to choose to listen, trust, and obey (Pro 8:32-33, Luk 6:46-49, Luk 8:21). These spiritual choices, will not only affect the quality of one’s temporal life (life while on earth), but will also determine where one will spend eternal life. Therefore, choose carefully, and wisely.
How does one choose wisely? One chooses wisely, when their choice is made from godly wisdom (Psa 111:10). They seek GOD’s counsel then wait patiently for HIS answer, guidance, or instruction on the matter (Jam 1:5). One who chooses wisely, is one who honors GOD. One who chooses foolishly, will make a choice based on worldly wisdom (Jam 3:15). They will not seek GOD’s counsel, because they do not believe in HIM (Psa 14:1). Instead, they trust in their own understanding (Pro 16:25), doing what is right in their own eyes (Pro 12:15). One who chooses foolishly, is one who honors self. Choosing wisely, leads to positive outcomes (blessings). Choosing foolishly, leads to negative outcomes (curses).
The choices one makes in life, determines whether their life is blessed or cursed. Which makes blessings and curses conditional. You might be thinking, “that’s not true” but from The BIBLE, we can provide evidence that it is. But before we do, let us take a moment to define what are blessings and curses.
The definition of a blessing or a curse is dependent on who’s doing the blessing or the cursing:
If the blessing is from:
- GOD, it means the state of prosperity or happiness (Psa 119:1, Mat 5:3-11), because of GOD’s favor and protection (Gen 12:1-3, Mat 25:34)
- Man to GOD, it is an expression of praise and adoration (Psa 103:1-5)
- Man to man, it is the pronouncement of GOD’s blessing on men for the present (Num 6:22-27), and the future (Gen 27:1-38)
If the curse is from:
- GOD, it is a pronouncement of judgment on those who break covenant (Gen 3:17); to invoke harm, or misfortune upon (Pro 3:33); to devote to destruction (Mat 25:41, Mrk 11:12-14↔Mrk 11:20-21)
- Man to GOD, it is to blaspheme (Job 1:11, Rev 16:9, Rev 16:11, Rev 16:21)
- Man to man, it is to verbally abuse (Gen 12:3); to criticize in an insulting manner (2 Sam 16:5-8); to devote to destruction (Mrk 14:71, Rom 12:14)
What is the biblical evidence that blessings and curses are conditional? When something is conditional, it means that an outcome is dependent on one or more conditions, or requirements being met. The conditions for blessings and curses is seen throughout The BIBLE. Some reflect “if then” others simply start with “if” as demonstrated by the following:
- if we believe, GOD saves (Jhn 3:16)
- if we obey, GOD blesses (Deu 28:1-2)
- if we endure, GOD rewards (Mat 24:13)
- if we trust, GOD directs (Pro 3:5-6)
- if we wait, GOD strengthens (Isa 40:31)
- if we commit, GOD establishes (Pro 16:3)
- if we delight, GOD gives (Psa 37:4)
- if we reject, GOD judges (Jhn 12:48)
- if we disobey, GOD curses (Deu 28:15)
- if we do not forgive others, GOD will not forgive us (Mat 6:15)
Then Christians can be cursed? No, not when they are true followers of CHRIST. JESUS redeemed those who would fully trust and obey (follow) HIM from the curse (Gal 3:10-14).
Then why do Christians suffer? It is important not to confuse being cursed with being persecuted, purified, or disciplined (2 Tim 3:12, Dan 12:10, Zec 13:9, Heb 12:7-11). Every faithful child of GOD through JESUS CHRIST will go through three levels of suffering:
- we will suffer for JESUS CHRIST’s Namesake, because we are in this world not of this world. Therefore the world hates us, and will persecute us, just as they persecuted our Beloved SAVIOR (Jhn 15:18-25).
- we will suffer when going through the process of being made righteous, and blameless (Jam 1:2). We must daily pick up our own cross by denying self and walk-in obedience (Luk 9:23-25).
- we can suffer the temporal consequences of sin. Though our sins are forgiven (1 Pet 1:18-19), and we will not face the eternal consequence of sin (Rom 6:23), there can still be temporal suffering as a consequence of those sins.
What is an example of a Christian suffering consequences in this life, for sins that have been forgiven? For example, our physical bodies are dying, as a consequence of Adam’s sin (1 Cor 15:22). Women undergo painful childbirth, as the consequence of Eve’s sin (Gen 3:16). With difficulty we earn a living, as the consequence of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:17-19). Many have diseased bodies, and broken lives, as the consequence of immoral living (Rom 1:24-32). Sadly, there are those who continually surrendered to temptation, turned away from GOD, and did not confess or seek forgiveness of ongoing sins (Eze 18:21-26); and in the end succumbed to both physical, and spiritual death (Jam 1:13-15, Rev 21:8)
Is there a specific example in The BIBLE of an individual being forgiven for sin, and yet suffer the temporal consequences of that sin? Yes, we will actually discuss three, king David, the criminal on the cross next to JESUS, and the apostle Paul:
- king David fully obeyed our Beloved LORD GOD, with the exception of Uriah the Hittite (1 Kin 15:5), where he:
- saw the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2 Sam 11:1-2), one of his closest fighting men (1 Chr 11:10-47)
- inquired about her (2 Sam 11:3)
- committed adultery with her (2 Sam 11:4)
- impregnated her (2 Sam 11:5)
- brought Uriah from the battlefield, to try and cover up his sin (2 Sam 11:6-13)
- but Uriah was honorable, and chose not to be with his wife, while the ark and fighting men of Israel were on the battlefield; therefore king David sent Uriah back to battlefield, unknowingly carrying his own execution order in his hand (2 Sam 11:14-27)
- did not acknowledge or confess these sins before GOD until, GOD sent HIS prophet Nathan (2 Sam 12:1-12, Psa 51:1-19)
- was forgiven (2 Sam 11:13, Psa 32:1-11)
- suffered the consequences of his sins, in the matter of Uriah the Hittite:
- killing and murder would continually plague David’s family (2 Sam 12:9-10, 2 Sam 13:1-39, 1 Kin chptrs 1-2)
- his enemies would be from his own family (2 Sam 12:11, 2 Sam chptrs 15-17)
- his own wives would be publicly violated (2 Sam 12:12, 2 Sam 16:21-22)
- the criminal on the cross next to JESUS:
- was a robber (Luk 23:42-43)
- was forgiven (Luk 23:42-43)
- suffered the consequences of his sins, was still crucified (Luk 23:39-41, Jhn 19:31-32)
- the apostle Paul:
- was among those who stoned Stephen, the first martyr for JESUS (Act 7:51-60)
- persecuted the body of CHRIST (Act 8:1-3, Act 22:4-5, Php 3:6)
- was a violent aggressor and blasphemer (1 Tim 1:12-13, Act 26:9-11)
- was forgiven (Act 22:6-16, 1 Cor 15:8-11)
- suffered the consequences of his sins:
- he would suffer for CHRIST’s namesake, just as he made CHRIST’s followers suffer (Act 9:10-25, 2 Cor 4:8-11, 2 Cor 11:23-33)
- he would be imprisoned and die, just as he had imprisoned and killed the saints (Act 16:16-30, Act 21:10-14, Act 23:12-35, 2 Tim 4:6-8)
We all want blessings in life, but we must wait patiently and meet GOD’s conditions for them. We should always seek GOD’s counsel and guidance in making choices? And never rely on self, or our own perspective when making choices?
Who is the man who fears The LORD?
HE will instruct him in the way
he should choose
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse
The blessing, if you listen to the commandments of The LORD your GOD, which I am commanding you today
And the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of The LORD your GOD
But turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today
By following other gods which you have not known
For he who does wrong
Will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done
And that without partiality