Monday, September 17, 2012

Proverbs 26:2 Sparrows and curses

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Please join me in prayer as Tonya's hubby goes into surgery today. Many of you will recall that Tonya started this blog, and we miss her!  Her hubby allowed his health to go untended for too long, and is now in the hospital. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, as they attempt to regulate his blood sugar levels, and as they remove his gall bladder today. Pray also for Tonya as she comforts her two sons during this time; pray for strength for her as she shoulders even more responsibilities in the coming days, until Jerry is recovered. You can read about his condition at Tonya's blog.

2  Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

I had some trouble getting my head around this one, for I was looking at it a little bit sideways . . . I was thinking that even if it is undeserved, a malicious comment can still cause hurt to the innocent victim.
After reading some commentaries and studying, I understand now that "curse" means something different. Here it means the invoking (or asking) of evil upon another, with no justification for it. Let's look at a couple of Bible references, and we can understand.

In I Samuel 17, we can read the familiar story of David and Goliath. If you have time, I hope you will re-read it, so that we can fully explore this. You'll see in verse 43 that Goliath cursed David by the Philistine gods. Nevertheless, in the power of God, David was triumphant over Goliath --- the curses were as ineffective as a tiny bird, fluttering about and never coming to light on David. The curse did not "come to rest" on him.

In the book of Numbers, Balak, king of Moab, hired a prophet of God, Balaam, for the purpose of cursing the children of Israel. Moab figured that way he could be victorious over them in the battle. Balaam warned him that he could not curse God's people, and he was right -- blessings came out of his mouth instead. Not once, but three times! (You can check it out in Numbers 22-24.) Because there was no justification for it, the curse did not "come to rest."

Another example is in II Samuel chapter 21: Shimei, who apparently was a very spiteful guy, pelted David with dirt and rocks, cursing him. He accused him of several things which David had actually not done (we know this by reading the chapters previous) and King David decided to restrain his soldiers, ignore the cursing, and arrive at his destination unscathed. Again, the curse did not come to rest.

In sharp contrast is the situation where Elisha cursed the "youths" (which actually must have been a mob, by most commentaries, as 42 were mauled by the bear) who were mocking and insulting him. Since Elisha was the prophet of God, it was as if they were mocking and insulting Him, and Elisha asked God to deal with them as He would. This was a curse with justification, and it definitely came to rest.

Again, in the ninth chapter of Judges, Jotham is the main character who curses both Abimelech, and the men of Shechem, who conspire, murder, and more, to install Abimelech as king. Jotham's curse of death by fire comes true later for the men of Shechem, and Abimelech dies an ignominious death, being felled by a millstone.
So, an undeserved curse will be harmless. To be cursed or insulted by mere men, for doing what is right, or what is good, will affect us only as much as a tiny bird flitting about.  When we reprove evil, proclaim an unpopular truth, or pursue a righteous course which runs against popular opinion, we may be cursed. But what of it? The prophets of old were insulted, Christ was cursed and spat upon, and the disciples were mocked and cursed, as well.
Perhaps this is what Jesus referred to, when He said:
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
This has been a lengthy study, but I hope it will be a blessing for someone who needed to hear it, and be encouraged to "keep on keeping on."


Belinda said...

I think we often shy away from doing God's work because we fear "curses" from others. I know I do, even though I hate to admit it.
I never thought about undeserved curses coming to nothing. That's a comforting thought.

I've been praying for Tonya and Jerry. I wish I knew more about what's going on, but I really don't need to, in order to continue to pray for them. God knows all and hears our prayers on their behalf.

CATachresis said...

Oh! We will pray for Tonya and Jerry, though don’t know them. Sounds like a testing time for them all.

Regarding the curses. Yes, I guess if we are doing the Lord’s will, then curses from mockers and unbelievers will ultimately not harm us (even if for a time they appear to), for it is God who has ultimate control of our lives, both here and in eternity. x

Linda said...

Praying for Tonya and her family.
Thank you for your study and insight into "curses."

When I think of curses, I think of story of Job and how hard Satan attempt to turn Job away from God. Job stood firm as everything was taken from him. Job was rewarded just as God promises us in your verses from Matthew.

For the past month I was going through struggles as the Lord was telling me that He was all I needed. Once again He has shown me that He was in control, that His will was what I really needed.

Jan Mader said...

I too will be praying. I believe that God puts struggles and challenges in front of us that we can grow and become more loving...

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