Summary: Since Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law with his death on the tree, we are blessed with the blessings of Abraham.
THE CURSE OF THE LAW
ABIMBOLA. O. SALU
Galatians Chapter 3 verses 10 – 13 reads:
“10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit
A curse is a terrible thing. It effects can be instant or it can linger for years before it manifests. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines a curse as “an appeal to a supernatural power to inflict harm on someone or something, a cause of harm or misery “. From these definitions, it is clear that a curse is not something that is desirable. It brings harm, misery, pain and suffering. It is the opposite of a blessing which is more desirable. No one in his right mind will seek to be cursed. It is an instrument in the hands of enemies to destroy their opponent. It is, to use an old English expression, “an ill wind that brings no good”.
The Bible is full of examples of curses. The first living thing to receive a curse is the serpent. See Genesis 3v. 14. “So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. ” . Adam, the first man brought sin into the world because he listened to his wife and ate the forbidden fruit .The Lord told him in Genesis 3 v. 17 "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life”. The effect of these curses pronounced from the beginning of time is still very much in place up till today. The serpent still crawls on his belly and eats dust and man still toils to eat.
Some curses manifest immediately they are uttered. For example, when Elisha was jeered by some youths, the Bible records in 2 Kings 2 v. 24 that “He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.” Some curses do not manifest immediately but their effects can nevertheless be devastating. See Mark 11v. 21 which says” In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!
A whole nation can be cursed and such a curse can bring defeat. An example of this was when Balak hired Ballam to curse the nation of Israel. See Numbers Chapters 22 to 24. However, because God loved Israel, he turned the curse into a blessing See Deuteronomy 23 v. 5. Also, Exodus 21 v. 17 pronounces that "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.
According to Psalm 37 v. 22, “those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.” Also, to Proverbs 3 v. 33, says “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous”. So the reward of a righteous person whom the Lord loves is a blessing and he will also inherit the land. Those the Lord curse are the wicked and they will be cut off.
Where there are no legal grounds for a curse, the undeserved curse will have no effect. See Proverbs 26 v. 2 which says” Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.”
Galatians 3 v. 10-13 talks about the curse of the law. In verse 10, it says” All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. The book of law being referred to is the Pentateuch or the 5 Books of Moses. These are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These are basically the laws of God handed down to the children of Israel. In Deuteronomy 27 v. 15-26, 28v. 15-68, 29 v. 20-28 and 30 v. 7, the curses that will befall those who disobey God’s commandments are specifically spelt out.