A Blessing and a Curse

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.

Everyone gets to choose. Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice that we might escape the judgment due us. Some respond to His provision by accepting Him as Savior and some don’t. Those who don’t have rejected the provision. Our text, however, is not about that choice alone. It is concerning the blessing and the curse that God sets before His people.

After we become Christians there are many choices to make. We must choose whether we will obey the commandments of the Lord or not. Even though you may have said in your heart that you were willing to obey the Word of the Lord when you first accepted Christ, you will find that the same choice must be made many more times. When you made that choice at conversion, it was a general thing because you really didn’t know what He was going to demand of you. And every time you reach a new level in God you will have to choose again whether you will obey the Lord or not. The blessing and the curse will be set before you again. A new level presents new commandments, and the need for new dedications and commitments. Notice that verse 27 said, If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day. “This day” indicates that it is not a one-time choice. Tomorrow new commandments will be given, and you will have to choose again the blessing or the curse.

Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is an on-going thing. The Lord is constantly drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. He is progressively more exacting with us. If we find that our relationship with Him is not changing, it could be because we made a wrong choice.

The “good, better, and best principle” must be at work in our lives for spiritual growth. We first choose that which is good. Then after some spiritual growth, we come to a place in our relationship with the Lord where it is necessary to forsake the good for that which is better. After even more growth there is a place where we must leave the better for that which is best. Paul understood this when he said, But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:7-8. He counted all things as loss, even as utterly worthless, for the excellency of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. Things that were a blessing, a gain to him, he counted as loss. No good thing, material or spiritual blessings, or even his ministry could rival the Lordship of Jesus Christ. At every level he chose again the blessing of knowing the Lord and rejected the curse. Even a good thing can become a curse. Even the ministry given you by the Lord can become a curse if you value it above Him.

In verse 28 of our text the Lord said, A curse, if you turn aside out of the way, to go after other gods. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). If a Christian turns aside out of the Way, he has chosen the curse. And one only needs to cease progressing in the Lord to turn out of the Way.

There are many ways. Jesus Christ is the way of blessing and life. Any other way leads to the curse. Jesus spoke of the “blessing way” as a “narrow way” (Matthew 7:14) and the other ways as “broad ways” (Matthew 7:13). Naturally, it is much easier for people to choose the broad ways for there is less resistance. Consequently, very many travel the broad ways, but because the “blessing way” that leads to life is narrow very few find it (Matthew 7:14).

Denominationalism provides a person with many choices. Each one presents a different way and a different Jesus. That each one has its own particular Jesus is obvious. No one that follows the Baptist Jesus becomes a Pentecostal, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc. And anyone following a Pentecostal Jesus doesn’t become a Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah Witness, etc. Each one has a Jesus that stays within the confines of its particular denomination.

As long as we are yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit into higher levels of relationship with the Lord. From glory to glory we are changed into His image. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18. But if we limit our growth stopping at any level, we have turned out of the way. As long as we are yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our spiritual growth is continuous. If our growth stops, we have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord beyond that point.

Genesis 2:8-9 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

God set a blessing and a curse in the Garden of Eden. The tree of life was the blessing. It represented the purity of the Lord. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was the curse. By partaking of that tree, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. And from that time on, their nature and the nature of their descendants were contaminated with the evil of that tree.

Notice that the Word says that the tree of knowledge is a mixture of good and evil. A mixture of good and evil is much more dangerous than pure evil. The majority of people will turn away from that which is purely evil. For example, some people will get involved with a church that worships Satan but most won’t. But the mixture of good and evil deceives far more people. As with Eve, the good of the tree will appear very attractive (Genesis 3:6) . But when it is partaken of, the evil is assimilated. This principle is behind rat poison. It is 99% wheat and 1% arsenic. The good wheat attracts the rat, and the arsenic kills him.

Now let’s apply this to the religious realm. Church organizations that go just so far in God and then stop are a mixture of good and evil. Their beginnings were good. They were blessed of the Lord. But when they put a ceiling on their growth and refused to go any further, they became a tree of knowledge of good and evil. That is the point where something that begins in God is aborted and becomes Babylon. Every denomination, and many nondenominational churches, refuse to go any further than their doctrinal creed. Consequently, they are a mixture of good and evil, and are most deadly because they look so good.

What does God say? Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Revelation 18:4-5. God is going to judge Babylon. His curse is already on it. Every denominational wall is going to come down. But just coming out is not enough. We must be delivered from the Babylon in our hearts. The older generation of Israel that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness because they still had Egypt in their hearts. The idea is to come out and then to enter the land of promise. And He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in. Deuteronomy 6:23. Come out of Babylon that you might enter the fullness of God! Reject unbelief! Refuse limitations! Love the Lord with all your heart! God has set a blessing and a curse before you. Reject the curse and choose the blessing!

Copyright © 1996 by Henry DuBose