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You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth study of the Doctrine of Salvation, please stay tuned.
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: Dear Dave and Tom, I’ve been told that only God can curse, but in Genesis 9:25 , Noah curses his son Ham, for his shameful act toward his father. Does man really have the power to set forth what will happen in the future to another person or his offspring? That seems to me to be akin to voodoism.
Dave, there are a number of curses and blessings that are given forth by the father of a family, certainly Jacob, although I don’t know that you could say they were curses, but they were at least insights into what would take place. But in fact there are some curses that are—we had, for example, Balaam tried to curse Israel . Let me quote from Numbers:23:23, and this is what I would like you to launch off on. In Numbers:23:23, it says, “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!” So what part of cursing and blessing does man really have?
Well, we don’t have any power to do that, only as God’s servants, only as in obedience to what God commands. So you would have a verse in Lamentations, where would it be? I don’t remember the exact reference of the verse, but it says, “Who declares…”—this is a paraphrase—“Who declares, and it comes to pass, and the Lord commandeth it not?” In other words, no one can put a curse on someone and it will happen, unless God allows it, and you can’t command a blessing, you know, like Benny Hinn’s praise over somebody that he says he just healed from cancer, and prophesies many more years of blessings, and two days later the man died. If that had been from God, if Benny Hinn had been God’s channel of blessing, then it would have happened. If God was not in this, if God did not command this, then it is not going to happen. So, I think that pretty much answers the question here, because when we go back to Jacob and Esau and Isaac, and people get really upset with Jacob, that sneak, you know he stole his brother’s birthright….
Right, and what about Rebecca, she put him up to it. This was conspiracy, but if we read Genesis:25:23, then we find that God told Rebecca that there were two nations in her womb who were struggling, and the elder, that’s not the eldest one but his descendants—in other words, Jacob I loved, Esau I hated, Calvinists love that verse. But go back and read it, it’s not talking about Jacob and Esau as individuals, it’s not talking about heaven or hell, it’s talking about their descendants. In Romans 9, is a quotation from Malachi 1. So, on the one hand Jacob is a rascal, Rebecca is a co-conspirator, on the other hand, this is what God had said. That the elder would serve the younger, that would be his descendants, and what this inheritance is all about is it passes on to your descendants. So then he can’t have the birthright, Esau could not possibly have the birthright, they knew that. What they are doing is helping God out a little bit.
And they paid for it. I don’t think Rebecca ever got to see Jacob again. You know, it was her idea, trying to preserve him, but there are consequences. As you said, Dave, when we really try to, not thwart, but try to improve upon God’s will, or try to help Him out.
But Isaac now is an interesting character because he blessed Jacob, although he thought Jacob was Esau, he says in disguise, and so forth, and now he says to Esau, who comes repentant—By the way, the Bible says, the end of Chapter 25 in Genesis I think it ends something like this, “So Esau despised his birthright.” He really despised it, he didn’t care, he’ll sell it for a mess of potage, and God knew that before he was born. But Isaac had pronounced the blessing upon Jacob, thinking it was Esau. And interestingly enough he says, It can’t be changed. Lord, isn’t there something left for me, Esau pleads. “Well, I’ll try, I’ll do my best,”—very interesting of these old patriarchs, the people in the Old Testament. God worked through them, and Tom, I don’t think that’s happening today. The Word of God is complete, we go by His Word, and yet, Tom, you know, I’ve been in Pentecostal circles or charismatic circles where—Oh, my gracious! Up comes this lady, lays hands on me and says, “Let me tell you what God told me about you today,” and began to prophesy. I say, Please, please, don’t do this. But Tom, I’ve been in India, and this was in Bombay, total stranger, one of these they call them fakirs, one of these yogis, walks up to me, gives my name, my address and he’s going to—Wow, get out of here in the name of Jesus, because Satan does have some power, but his blessings will only bring a curse upon you.
Dave, this person that wrote this question talks about some of this being akin to voodoism, certainly in Santa Ria and voodoo curses, and we have it in shamanism. That’s the heart of that, this is divination, this is right out of the pit of hell.
But they can’t bring a blessing, they can only bring a curse.