I remember sitting in my associate pastor’s office recounting problems my husband and me were having. For convenience, my husband decided we should first marry at the Justice of the Peace and later have a formal church wedding. Since we were to have the formal wedding later that fall, we were expected to go to premarital counseling months in advance.
In our premarital counseling session, the pastor leaned back in his chair, tapping his finger on his chin pondering the numerous problems we discussed. Suddenly, he bolted forward, pointing his finger at my husband, and asked, “Are and Janice having sex?”
With a nervous laughter, my husband spoke about other things on his mind, never addressing the pastor’s question. My pastor was not pleased with my husband’s response. That was when he turned his eyes towards me.
“Janice, are you having sex?”
“Yes sir,” I replied.
“How many times?” He demanded.
“Three or four, I think,” knowing the number was lower than reality.
His reply was sharp and direct, “You are cursed! Your marriage is cursed!”
I felt as though judgment fell upon me instantly. But I wanted to be married so bad that I refused to bend to the warning of my pastor. I wanted to make this “marriage” work – in spite of what God may think.
That decision nearly cost me my life. I was in rebellion and knew it!
Like so many Christians, I believed that I lived a life of only blessings. Never would there be a curse since “Jesus bore all our sins” giving me the freedom to do as I desired.
Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He reveals in His Word that rebellion is like witchcraft (1 Sm 15:23). In fact, in Romans, Paul warns us about allowing sin to reign in our mortal bodies (Rom 6:11-19) and that the deeds of the flesh will result in us not inheriting the Kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).
The reality is that the Lord is just as faithful to the curse as He is the blessing; He has to be. He can’t contradict Himself (Remember, He is the Word as described in Jn 1:1).
In Exodus 20:5-6, we are instructed that when we sin, curses not only fall upon us, but also upon our next generations:
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. [emphasis mine]
In Deuteronomy 28, He gives a list of blessings and curses for obedience and disobedience to His Word. You can obey all His commands and live in His blessings, or you can choose to live a life of curses.
The Lord expects obedience from his children. In fact, the very essence of Deuteronomy 28 is to hear, obey, and live. God doesn’t change (Mal 3:6) nor does his Word go away (Mt 24:35). Why would we expect anything different today? We shouldn’t expect anything different.
We are children of God led by His Spirit (Rm 8). And as children of God, we are to be “led by His eye” (Ps 32:8-9) and we, as His sheep, hear and know His voice (Jn 10:27).
We want to hear about all the wonderful blessings and happy things God will do for us. But we struggle with those things that are corrective. It isn’t an easy message. But we need to make a change in our lives to experience the fullness of His blessings; because He desires to bless you. In fact, Jesus said that if you love Him, you will follow His commands (Jn 14:15). What are His commands? His gave us commands from Genesis through Revelation. All of His Word applies to us today. Don’t be fooled as I once was.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Dt 30:19-20).
As for my previous marriage, it failed and I nearly lost my life. I gambled with God and made the wrong choices. My marriage was not recognized, nor blessed by God. I had numerous warnings but decided to ignore them all. In fact, for a period of time, I lived a life of curses. This is why, today, I warn you to look at the choices before you. You have a choice between life and death – choose life.