Understanding Blessings and Curses in Old vs New Covenant
Old Covenant blessings and curses
A major error we make today is that we try to impose Old Covenant blessings in a New Covenant context. Blessings under the Old Covenant (OC) are quite different from blessings under the New, in fact, they are sometimes the very opposite. Deuteronomy 28 explains OC blessings and curses. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: 3 “Blessed shall you be… 11 And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. Read through Deuteronomy 28:1-14 to have a very good understanding of what OC blessings looked like. You would soon discover that they were primarily physical, in this life, here and now, blessings e.g:
- Prominence over others as a nation and as individuals
- Prosperity wherever you are physically located
- Healthy pregnancy, birth and children
- Fine good farm produce.
- An increase of your herds of cattles etc.
The curses are equally tied into this physical life e.g: Verse 22-23 “The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.” The curses continue through verses 15 to 68. _______________________________________________
New Covenant blessings and curses
Now let’s have a look at New Covenant (NC) blessings and curses. We need not read very far before we discover that though we are promised protection and provision for our natural needs etc., the NC blessings are not physical prosperity in this life as we saw with OC blessings. The following are what Christ chose to categories as blessings.
Matthew 5:7-12 “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Notice that they are spiritual, the hereafter or in heaven blessings. Also note that where verse 5 speaks of the meek inheriting the earth this inheritance will not take place in this life but in the life to come. In fact, God’s children will then inherit all things along with Christ. Note that there are no promises of health and increase in our livestock, flourishing of our crops or possession of physical land. What Paul says in Ephesians confirms that NC blessings are primarily spiritual, heavenly blessings.
Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” So what are these blessings? Galatians 3:13 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)…” Anyone who rejects God’s sacrifice for salvation by trying to save themselves through religious rituals or by keeping the law etc. will come under condemnation. Those who do such things as trying to keep the law are cursed. No one can keep the law (there is about 600 of them) neither is anyone good enough to save them self. We are saved from such curses through faith in Jesus who has absorbed all by dying on a tree in our place. WHAT A BLESSING!!
- Due to what Christ did, we now have peace with God and the peace of God
- We have now entered into the Sabbath rest of God
- We can now be rightfully called the sons of God, born into the Kingdom of Light
- We will with Christ inherit all things and these are not just earthbound
|Land like Canaan||A kingdom that’s not of this world|
|Victory over physical enemies like the Philistines||Victory over sin and our spiritual enemies|
|Physical Rest/Sabbath||Rest for our souls, spiritual Sabbath|
|Physical health||Spiritual well being|
|Blessed and fruitful womb||Spiritual blessings and fruitfulness|
God’s children cannot be cursed as we are blessed through the washing and covering of the redemptive blood of Christ. Once in right standing with God no one can curse us. It is therefore a bit of a misnomer to say there are curses over our lives that needs to be broken. Let no one drag you into this dark pit of uncertainty and bondage to fear. Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” King Balak once solicited the services of the profit Balaak to curse God’s people. After many attempts, using even sorcery at times, Balaak had to eventually utter these words “Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, from the mountains of the east. ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!’ “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?” No one can curse God’s people whom He delights in. Is God unable to protect His people from the spells and sorcery of those who hate us?
We face hardship in this world because we belong to God not because we are cursed. The world and its systems hates us and rejects us because we are His, but continue to stand firm under this persecution for if we endure great will be our reward in heaven. WE ARE BLESSED
Under the OC God promised promotion but under the NC He promises persecution
Those who are cursed under the NC
Peter tells us 2 Peter 2:12-15 “But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness…” ‘God’s people’ who “have forsaken the right way” and have become corrupt deceivers with eyes full of adultery and sin. Those who speak evil of heavenly things they do not understand, having hearts trained in greed and love the benefits of unrighteousness are cursed. As explained before, those who try to live by the law are also cursed. Galatians 3:10 “[The Law Brings a Curse] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’” These are the two groups of people that are cursed under the present NC. If you do not fall in any of these categories you must consider yourself blessed, very blessed. Obey God and stay away from sin and we will have no reason to fear being cursed by God or anyone else.
OC blessings promised promotion but the NC promises persecution and to suffer for Him is a great blessing. “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:21 Understand NC blessings and do not consider them curses because you are bound by an OC mind set.