A young man recently asked me “How do you remove a curse from your life?” Of course he asked this as we made our way out the door with only a few minutes to spare. When it comes to Bible questions the answers aren’t always so quick, but I did the best I could.
The first thing that came to me was the Apostle Paul’s statement from Galatians 3 “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them.” In other words as long as we are still living under the delusion of independence and think we can live “For” God by doing good and avoiding evil we are indeed cursed. The never ending cycle of trying to keep the Law, failing, getting up and trying again is recorded for us beautifully in Romans 7. While the Law plays it’s necessary part in our salvation, by leading us to Christ, as long as we live thinking we, ourselves, are meant to keep it we truly are under a curse. The Good news is Paul goes on to say, “Christ 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.” You see, through the cross, Christ became the curse so we might be set free!
Throughout the Bible there are many, many times curses are pronounced starting in Genesis 3 immediately after the fall of Man. God comes to declare the fate of the first three culprits: the serpent, the woman and the man. To the serpent he says, “cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life…” To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth… and finally to the man he said, “Cursed is the ground because of you…”
When I think of a curse what comes to mind is some old scary looking lady, sort of witchy looking, who casts a spell on someone; but I don’t think this is what’s going on here. It seems to me God didn’t actively engage in putting a curse on the serpent, woman and man rather they placed themselves under It. You see God had already told Adam not to eat of a particular tree and warned them of the consequences. So when they broke the one and only rule, and separated themselves from God, by default they found themselves under a curse. God was simply coming to tell them the details of what that meant; but being the awesome God he is he also promised them deliverance through the seed of the woman. By the way, the identity of the seed is also revealed in Galatians 3.
Obviously there are many examples throughout the scriptures of curses and it’s not my intention to give a detailed account here, but I would like to make one more point. Prior to Christ dying on the cross, being buried and rising again there was absolutely no hope for us to be saved from the curse. Thankfully now in Christ we can be free to live above it. Of course, even though we’ve been rescued from the curse through Christ’s work on the cross, we still live in a fallen world so we are witnesses everyday to the results. One day that will be changed too though and we will finally get to enjoy what the fullness of God’s creation was always meant to be.
In God’s timing the new heaven and new earth will appear and the final effects of the curse will be removed. “The former things will not be remembered or come to mind.” All the decay and death we see in this fallen world will be no more. No longer will there be an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred…they will build houses, plant vineyards and live long enough to enjoy them rather than leave them to someone else. Finally we will see even the animal kingdom transformed. “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” One thing apparently will stay the same though; dust will still be the serpent’s food (Isaiah 65:17-25).