Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Bases Or Reasons For Cursing

Deuteronomy 27:11-26

“And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.” (Deuteronomy 27:11-13)

The peaks of Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim are only a couple of miles apart.  People standing on the slope of one would be able to hear those on the other slope.  The people on the slope of mount Gerizim were to respond to each of the penalties for disobedience with the word, Amen, agreeing to or approving the statement.  The first set of curses deal with individual sin and deal with both God‘s and the people‘s response to them.  They were not to simply ignore them.

“And the Levites shall speak, and say unto all the men of Israel with a loud voice, Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:14-15)

The person who makes a picture or statue, and hides it is to be cursed and ostracized.

 “Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:16)

Anyone who disobeyed or treated their parents disrespectfully was to be cursed or ostracized. Jesus commanded, "Honour thy father and thy Mother..."

“Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:17)

Anyone who moved the survey markers identifying a piece of land, trying to gain an unfair advantage was to be cursed.

“Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:187) 

Taking advantage of the blind for entertainment or gain was to be cursed.  It isn’t funny to the victims.

“Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:19) 

Taking advantage of the destitute, the weak and the defenseless brought the curse.  It ought result in being ostracized.

“Cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen. 

Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen. 

 Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.  

Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:20-23) 

All forms of incestuous relationships and bestiality were to be cursed.  They were not to be considered normal behavior.

“Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:24) 

Surprise assaults were to be cursed by God.

"Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. ” (Deuteronomy 27:25)

Murder for hire was to be cursed.

“Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:26) 

Refusal to obey the law would make one cursed.  They also were to be ostracized.

II Thessalonians 3:14instructs Christians to avoid those who refuse to obey God.  “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”  I Timothy 6:3-5 describes the attitude of those who refuse to obey.  “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”  Again Christians are to withdraw from them.


  1. I have actually had some interesting conversations with a fellow Christian who uses this mentality to withdraw from unbelievers, because they do not honor God like we do, and where God is not welcome neither are they. I refer to 1st Corinthians 5:10-11 where Paul differentiates between the unsaved and anyone named a brother that behaves in such a way. It is to be expected that the unsaved do what they do without compunctions toward God.
    My wife's parents are unsaved, and this Christian urges us to separate from them, since they have heard the gospel and remained in their present state. Perhaps it is not applied exactly, but again I use 1st Corinthians 7:12-13. Shunning the unsaved because they don't believe the way we do seems contrary to the tenor of the NT. If they were blaspheming God or urging us to do things contrary to our faith it would be one matter; but our witness comes in the consistency of our lives around the unsaved; how are we to preach Christ if we retreat from anyone of a different mindset?
    Have you encountered this before? What are your thoughts from Scripture?

    1. I agree with your use of I Corinthians 5:10-12. You are also right in your understanding of the principle expressed in I Corinthians 7.

      Unfortunately, when we first came to the reservation, there were missionaries telling Christians to leave unsaved mates if they wouldn't get saved, and as you have observed, it is clearly unscriptural. I know many children were turned away because a parent obeyed the missionaries. I personally think the pastors who refuse to marry a couple who are living to gether are guilty as well.

      Since almost everyone in the United States has heard the gospel at some time, if one takes such a standard, they will be forced to shun everyone but other Christians, and that clearly is contrary to what Goed has commanded us.

      The restrictions in Israel related only to the those who would insist on adopting their religion. Both Rahab and Ruth were from excluded Groups, and both were ancestors of Christ.