One Curse or Two
The curse that we are all familiar with is the one in the Garden of Eden where Eve gave the forbidden fruit to Adam.
Genesis 3:16-19 For the woman, greatly increase your pain in childbearing. Their desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Because of the actions of Adam, the ground is cursed, through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will return to the ground since from it you were taken.
We have a record of the consequences in the garden for disobeying God. The results for the women will be a greater degree of pain in childbearing. Adam’s action caused the ground to be cursed with thorns and thistles, making the growing of food a painful process. And after this life of painstaking toil, both of them will die and return to the ground.
God does not say what you will die from, or how you will die. Your food from the ground will sustain life until your time is up. Even though the ground was cursed, it sustained his life for 930 years, Seth lived 912 years. Enosh lived 905 years. Kenan lived 910 years and Mahalalel 895 years. Look at the longevity of the human body when it is being sustained directly from the plants of the ground!
After the flood, God added in Genesis 9:3 “Everything that moves will be food for you.” Abraham lived 175 years. Jacob lived 180 years. Joseph lived 110 years. Abraham and Moses enjoyed the same body as Adam yet their longevity was not shortened from disease. If it was not disease that shortened their lives was it the change in menu? Taking license here to interject death by disease is just following a clever deception by Satan. Our flesh is more than happy to adopt and endorse this lie, in an attempt to remove the stigma and embarrassment of destroying God’s Temple.
Job 5:24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”
Moses died at the age of 120 in full vigor and so should you, for God does not play favorites.
God calls a people for himself out of Egypt.
Exodus 15:25-26 The Lord made a decree and law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the disease I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you.”
The Lord is not only our Maker but our Great Physician and to be sick is a direct reflection on him, one way or another.
If disease and sickness comes as a direct result of the first “curse” and these people are still under this curse, than how can God use the fear of disease as a prime motivator for his people to do what is right? That is, pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees. By being under this “curse” these people would have had first hand experience about these diseases, if in fact that disease came directly from this curse.
God is telling them that they only knew of these diseases by what they saw the Egyptians going through, because he was the God that was healing them. God was using them in this way to be witnesses to the Egyptians.
Today, just as in old, the Lord demands and expects that his believers conduct themselves in a manner, through his laws, that reflects His abilities as our Great Physician so as to testify to the world around us.
Deu 28:10 Then all the people of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.
If sickness and disease were even just a small part in the first curse, it would blur the clear distinction that God is demanding between his people and the one who hate them. The people who hated them would see no clear distinction, and therefore, see no benefit between the children of Israel’s God or any other gods. To see the distinction clearly is for all to see God clearly. To fear God’s people is to fear God. To fear God is the beginning of wisdom.
Exodus 23:25-26 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
God suggests a clear trade off here, if we will worship him he will take away sickness and disease. The last statement here confirms that we can enjoy a full life span if we will submit to giving God exactly what he demands in worship, regardless of anything. So what is the problem?
Malachi 2:1-4 “And now, this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the Lord of host, “then I will send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. Behold, I am going to rebuke your off-springs, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feast (2282); and you will be taken away with it. Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,” says the Lord of hosts.
Feast (2282) from 2287; a festival, or a victim therefore; (solemn) feast (day), sacrifice, solemnity. 2287 – A primary root; prop. to move in a circle, ie. specially to march in a sacred procession, to observe a festival; by implication to be giddy: - celebrate, dance; reel to and fro.
Please do not be foolish enough to mix this definition of the word “feast” with when God’s calls you for His word “feast”, because in His love feasts you will not be a victim.
This seems very clear. God is demanding something from us, but for some reason we are not comprehending what He is communicating. God is expecting us to worship Him by giving honor to His name, not by what we feel gives Him honor, but by what His word says gives him honor. God foreknew that we, being the offspring’s, were going to continue the direction of our forefathers, so He tells us through Malachi, way back then, that we are already cursed.
Jer 9:14 “… but have walked after the stubbornness of their hearts and after the Baals, as their father taught them.”
What we have learned from history, is that human nature continues to revert back to its self, and therefore, nothing is learned. God Almighty is rebuking us by spreading our own fecal waste, which is derived directly from our feasting, upon our faces. And then says, by these actions, “we can be sure of His covenant” even though we are reaping the negative side of it.
Malachi 2:13 “And this is another thing you do: You cover the alter of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning because he no longer regards the offerings or accepts it with favor from your hand.”
The word “offerings” (H8641) used here is exactly what we would expect it to mean, a gift, tribute, offering, present, all things that would come from our hands. No matter how many sincere tears and painful groaning with much weeping, we employ, He does not want our offerings, nor will He consider them anything until we comply with what He demands. God is telling us that He will not want our money, our time, our praise, or anything else.
Malachi 1:10 “Oh, that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you.”
This is consistence with the message in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you from being king.”
King Saul was sincere in his intention to sacrifice to the Lord that which He commanded to be destroyed. I am sure this made no sense to King Saul also, but are we wise enough to learn a lesson at his expense?
Malachi 2:14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. “But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.”
Well, this is great because I was never married in my youth, and some of you have never been married. The facts are that most of us were never married in our youth, if were married at all, so does that mean God must be talking to someone other than you and me? And, for all of us who would consider that we were married in our youth, who do not regard our actions towards our wife as betrayal of trust, faith, or allegiance; disloyalty or treason, we must be exempt, again?
Certainly our wives may be disappointed at times with us, but how many would use the word “treacherously” in charactering the relationship? God did not write this portion of His word to address some very small segment of his chosen people, and the way this is written He is including most all of us.
God clarifies what this word “wife” is not referring to, when He tells us “not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit.” For He uses the phase “who has a remnant of the Spirit” as the crucial factor in determining if a person is dealing treacherously with his wife. But the crucial factor must be if you are married and under covenant to a human being of the opposite sex. Otherwise, you would have no one to deal treacherously with. The fact is He is telling us we can be dealing treacherously even though we may not even be married to a person of the opposite sex.
Now, to understand what God is implying when He uses the word “wife” we need to dig deep into the Hebrew word. In the Third edition of the Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary the word “wife” (H802) in 1d reads; Each, Every. A related word in H802 by BDB/ Strong’s number is from H376 or H582. In H376, the corresponding 1d) says; Servant. Each and every one of us has a servant, his “wife”, which is his body by a covenant. If we keep this covenant, we will experience how wonderfully made we are, but if we deal treacherously, we break this covenant, and then we will know what it is like to suffer fearfully via our engineering.
Malachi 2:16 “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.
God hates our action if we divorce our own bodies by impregnating what He fashioned to house our spirit with wrong. Wrong, H2555 cruelty, damage, false, injustice, X oppressor, unrighteous, violence, wrong.
For those who can see this, the question is: What is God going to do to correct my many years of treachery? Take heart, He has a way.
Malachi 3:3 “And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the son of Levi and refine them like gold and silver; so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.” Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years.
It is after, and only after, you humble yourself and allow His furnace to burn away the dross in your body, will He again be pleased to accept offerings from your hand. God is literally going to remove the refuse backed up in your colon and is causing premature aging to your face, and in fact, all throughout your whole body. That is why there is drought in the first half the tribulation and even less water in the second half. This time period has always been projected as a time for the wicked to receive their punishment, and it is true, but the main objective is to work like a smelter, refining the elect.
2 Tim 2:20-21 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
There is a process of burning away those things in our bodies that dishonor God, so we can be sanctified and useful to the Master.
Malachi 3:7-8 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of host. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! “But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ “In tithes and offerings.”
Some of us are trying to justify our actions in order to side step God’s category here, by hiding behind our pray, in which we asked Jesus into our hearts, to claim you can use this provision of “a remnant of the Spirit”. But the question remains, “What did you do while you were seeking your godly offspring?” If you are dealing treacherously with your wife you cannot expect to be transformed into a godly offspring. No transformation, no sanctification, not useful to the Master by way of robbing him from that, which you say you gave him. By our action of dealing treacherously with that which we gave Him, we rob Him, and then bring to His altar that which reflects our treachery.
Malachi 1:13 “You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and you bring what has taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the Lord.
We return to God by arresting our actions that rob Him of His rightful tithes and offerings. God just finished telling us twelve verses earlier that he does not want our money or anything from our hands, therefore, to think that He is now asking us to return to Him by giving money, is beyond a rational man’s thinking.
The word “tithes” in this context in the Hebrew means “a tenth part”, and that is precisely what they were giving. They believed they were close to God by way of their gift of money and were completely confounded and frustrated when God tells them they are robbing Him.
Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
Nothing has changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament or from that time to the present. We are all happy to give our tithes, but there is a weightier provision in regards to this tithe that influence how the tithe is received.
If God says they were robbing Him of His tithes, and yet they were giving these same tithes, we see clearly He was not accepting them. This fact would suggest that this word “offering”, used in conjunction with the word “tithe” which they were also robbing God of, has direct bearing on whether anything can be received that is given to God. Our offering must reflect justice, mercy and faithfulness.
So what is this word “offering”? The word offering in this context, is the Hebrew word H8641; a gift, heave offering, oblation. But it is from the word # H7311 - To rise, to be raised, to raise or rear children, cause to grow up.
It is our indebtedness, for His favor, which should cause us to be raised up into His likeness, in order that we may reflect His nature of justice, mercy, and faithfulness, but we rob Him by refusing to grow up. What justice is there in withholding your workers wage, or working them hard and feeding little? What mercy is there in possessing the power to spare life yet having no consideration for life? How can we claim faithfulness when we only apply it to the abstract?
This growing up is not about shoe size, or beards, or what you can afford, but denying ourselves and cutting away that which physically and practically keeps us from this metamorphous, which is going on inside our bodies.
This time of repentance bring forth a holy offspring who is only now capable of understanding and applying knowledge as he brings justice, gives mercy and is faithful in all His house. It is this withholding from the flesh that which our prosperity has afforded it, which the world tells you is your right, in order to facilitate this growing up.
Malachi 3:9 You are under a curse - the whole nation of you because you are robbing me.
We are all under this curse, not because Adam and Eve ate from the tree, but from a direct result from robbing God of what is His.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Some of you like to think that God has thrown open the flood gates of heaven, when you compare yourself with the beggar on the street. Do you really think you have anything that could be compared with the flood that these gates are holding back? Did you ever want to put God to the test? God is provoking us to test him. He wants us to change our actions so he can bring us out from under His curse and bury us in His blessings.
So what does God want and how does he want it?
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.
God gives us the practical actions in our quest to meet His requirements that will provide Him with what He demands from us in worship. We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing, for this is your spiritual act of worship. Our whole spiritual act of worship, or the way we are instructed to worship, is going to evolve around getting our physical body to a state that He calls holy, that makes him pleased. God likes his sacrifices without spot or blemish, without sickness or disease, not lame or blind, he wants us holy and living.
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.
If you want to please God, with you as his sacrifice, then you need to recognize that your actions to position yourself as an acceptable sacrifice are in fact how God wants to be worshiped spiritually. This completely joins these two areas in holy matrimony. You cannot have one without the other! Without a holy body, the Lord will not accept anything from you that you would consider worship.
Malachi 3:18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
Deu 30:19-20 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing 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.
This is the second curse, but we do not have to choose it. When we chose the Lord we chose life and blessings, not death and curses. In Deu 32:46-47 “all the words of this law” are said to be their life. The law, the Lord, and life are all bound together. “Life” in this context refers to all that makes life rich, full and productive - as God created it to be.
Disease and sickness would not be used in describing a rich life. Disease and sickness shortens ones life. No matter how one copes with disease, your productivity is greatly reduced.
God would not give me a choice and ask me to choose life knowing that the curse of Adam was going to rob me. He promised to give me that which would make my life rich, full and productive. To be at the mercy of this first curse would resolve me personally of any responsibility and the shame that come as a result of my temple being destroyed.
1 Cor 3:17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Is there a group of words from God which could make His intentions any plainer for those who would destroy the body? Wake up and live otherwise, what you have done in the body will be destroyed!
Jer 11:3 Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the man who does not obey the terms of this covenant - the terms I commanded your forefathers when I brought you out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’ - the land you possess today.
To avoid the disgrace and shame from our evil actions which have positioned our Holy dwelling place of God, which is my body, to receive what the Bible clearly shows is a result of disobedience, is to conveniently blame someone else. This second curse cannot be defined or simplified any clearer. If you do not obey the terms of the covenant that you entered into with God, you will fall under the curses of that covenant.
Zech 11:10 I took my staff Favor and cut it to pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all peoples.
In the garden, we have a clear illustration of refusing to take responsibility for actions taken. Adam told God, it was the women that he had given him, which caused him to disobey, and Eve used the serpent. Their excuses for disobeying did not alter the actions that came as a result of their disobedience. Adam tried to use flawed logic in his attempt to dodge the issue, which lead him to blame God. The facts were, he was not deceived, he knew he was going to die, should he accept the fruit from the forbidden tree, but his flesh convinced him that it would be better to die in the future, than to deny his flesh of this sweet union today with this exotic woman.
To use the curse of the land as a defense to cover my shame and resolve me of my responsibility I have to His Holy Temple, is to use flawed logic from the flesh, in an attempt to deceive my mind into thinking its God’s inability to design a proper Temple. Sickness and disease only comes by way of the second curse, which is a choice to disobey the commands of God. Just like in Adam’s case, we allow our flesh to use our lust to control our actions.
Jer 11:7 From the time I brought your forefathers up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil heart. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but they did not keep.’ ”
Be it in the days of the old covenant, or now, in the days of the new covenant, nothing has changed in regards to our obedience. We do not listen or pay attention. Instead, we follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.
Joel 2:12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart. And with fasting and weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
It is time we take responsibility for our own curses and remove ourselves from the delusion of this conspiracy that Adam was to blame.