Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: The Creator looked on His work and blessed it. And after sin entered the world, He did the opposite. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're all covenant breakers. We're all treacherous. We're all adulterers and adulteresses against God. We've listened to the "voice of this world" and our own voices and others voices rather than to the voice of God.

Leslie Basham: It's Tuesday, December 16; this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Have you ever tried to grow a garden? No matter how much you take care of it, weeds always spring up. In fact, everywhere you look, mess and disorder is threatening to take over.

The whole struggle can be traced to a curse, uttered in the very first garden to the first people. It was a curse given in hope so that people like us would be looking for a Savior. Here's Nancy to explain.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In our last session we looked at the opening pages of the Scripture and saw that God is a God of blessing. God blessed His creation. God blessed Adam and Eve. He spoke words of blessing. Those were the very first words God spoke to His creation, were words of blessing.

And as the Bible story unfolds, and the Bible is a story, and we're going this week to be examining the unfolding of that story. As the story develops, we see that as long as God's creation--and that includes us, human beings--as long as God's creation walked in harmony with their creator, they were blessed. As long as they walked in fellowship, as long as they were faithful to their relationship with God, they were blessed.

And that's essentially the summary of Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. And then we come to Genesis, chapter 3.

And I never fail to be kind of jolted when I get to Genesis, chapter 3 because you've had these two chapters of joy and blessing and fruitfulness and abundance and goodness and then, all of a sudden, it's like somebody just takes a can of dark paint and just throws it over this beautiful canvas--and it's wrecked! And it happened so quickly.

What we have in Genesis 3 is the introduction of the concept of the curse, the opposite of the blessing. And you'll notice as we get into Genesis, chapter 3, that the very same God who blessed His creation also cursed it.

And, I think, with a broken heart because God loved His creation. God wants to bless. It's His intent to bless. And I think it was grievous to the heart of God to see that relationship with His creation broken and to have to curse the creation that He had blessed.

So, in Genesis, chapter 3, beginning in verse 14, Adam and Eve have now broken the covenant with God. They've broken fellowship. They've been unfaithful. In a sense, they committed adultery.

They were unfaithful to their lover--God. And God comes into the garden--now that's grace, that God comes seeking out His adulterous partner if you will. He says, "In spite of the fact that you've blown it, you've been unfaithful, you've perverted our relationship, I still want a relationship with you."

But God comes and He speaks in verse 14 to the serpent who had deceived Adam and Eve. And He said, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock. On your belly you shall go. Dust you shall eat all the days of your life."

Then, verse 16, He turns to the woman and He tells her what will be the implications of the curse on her life. And every mother knows that this is true. He says to the woman, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing. In pain you shall bring forth children." And then He goes on to talk about how her marriage relationship would be affected by the curse, by this broken relationship between God and man.

Then verse 17, God speaks to Adam and He says, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'you shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you. In pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground."

That wasn't God's plan, originally. But that's part of the curse. It's death. "In the day that you eat, you will surely die. For out of the ground you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." The curse.

Now, the word "curse" means "to bring evil or misfortune upon someone or something." It's to "damn, to condemn, to judge, to inflict harm or unhappiness or grief on someone." To afflict. It's the opposite of blessing.

Now we see in this third chapter of Genesis, no more abundance, fruitfulness, fullness, happiness--now it's cursing, hardship, pain, struggle, broken relationships, toil, turmoil; it comes as a result of the curse.

The word "curse" in the Old Testament, actually there are a couple of Hebrew words that are translated "curse," but generally it speaks of a judgment, a punishment imposed by God on His creation.

It means "to bind" something or someone so as to reduce their ability or to render them powerless. That's God's judgment. That's God's curse.

Remember, God has said to be fruitful, multiply, expand, have abundance--and now He's saying, "You'll be diminished. You'll have pain; you'll have grief; you're going to be reduced; you're going to be bound; you're going to be rendered powerless."

The cursing is God's judgment on those who break His covenant. It's God pronouncing judgment. Cursed is the man who--and you read this over and over again through the Old Testament.

Now let me say, ultimately it's God alone who is the One who can curse. Cursing is the revelation of God's justice. And it supports His claim to have our absolute obedience, for us to be faithful to His covenant.

Cursing, particularly in the Book of Genesis but all the way through the Scripture is usually parallel with the concept of blessing because it's just the opposite.

So we have the two blessings in Genesis, chapter 1 and then in Genesis 3 you have the two curses. And it continues to go through the Book of Genesis, the cursing on not only Adam and Eve but then on Cain their son and then ultimately Noah.

There's a curse that comes on his son who dishonors his father and on their children down to the next generation. Cursing that is the opposite of the blessing God intended. All that cursing is the result of rebellion. It's the result of a broken covenant.

You see, it's man who said to God, "We don't want Your blessing on Your terms. We want it on our terms."

And God says, "No, you can't have it on your terms. You have to have it on the terms of faithfulness to My covenant."

So we see that those who keep God's covenant, those who are faithful to the covenant relationship are blessed. But those who fail to keep God's covenant, they're cursed! They come under God's righteous judgment.

Now, we don't like to talk about judgment today. We like to talk about grace and mercy and blessing. But, I'll tell you what, you'll never really appreciate or experience the blessing of God if you've not understood what it is to be under the curse of God.

Those who fail to keep God's covenant fall under His curse. And we see this from the very first sin. The original sin was a breach of covenant.

What happened in Genesis 3, God says to Adam, verse 17, "Because you've listened to the voice of your wife"--now, does that mean that a man should never listen to his wife? I don't think that's what God is saying at all. What He is saying is, "In this instance, what your wife said contradicted what I said to you."

And Adam said, "I'll listen to my wife instead of to God."

So what did Adam do? He breached the covenant with God. He wasn't faithful to his covenant relationship with God. He valued what his wife said more than he valued his relationship with God.

And when you and I start to value the input or to accept the input of anyone into our life when it's contrary to the Word of God, if we listen to and heed what's contrary to God's Word, we breach our covenant with God; we're unfaithful to that covenant.

"Because you've listened to the voice of your wife and you've eaten of the tree of which I commanded you 'you shall not eat of it,' therefore, the earth is cursed and you will have to live with those consequences."

It wasn't just the man who breached the covenant. It was the woman. She didn't trust God. You see, to have a covenant relationship with God means to trust Him, to rely on Him.

And instead, she listened to and trusted the serpent. She came out from under God's authority and she came out from under her husband's authority. She stepped outside the covenant relationship with God and with her husband.

And so, now what we have is, a picture where all of creation that was once under a blessing, is now under a curse because we have all broken God's covenant. So, what are the implications?

We live in a cursed world. The women struggle in childbirth. And we have aging, the deterioration of our bodies. We have crime and violence and broken homes and divorce and distance, alienation from God and death and war against our flesh. Even as believers, we want to obey God but we don't want to obey God and we struggle to obey God.

So, every hardship, every heartbreak, every heartache that we have to endure is an expression of the curse. It's a reminder that you and I are covenant breakers.

But let me hasten to say, that with that curse comes the message of hope. It's foreshadowed in the Old Testament. It's promised in the Old Testament.

And it's fulfilled in the New. What's the promise? That one day God would send one who would deliver us from the curse.

So, the bad news is that we're covenant breakers. We're adulterous. We're treacherous. And, as a result, we live in a cursed world.

The good news is that God has sent One to break the curse. And that's what we're going to talk about in our next time together.

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back to pray. Maybe you've never thought much about the curse, never identified yourself as a covenant breaker.

If Nancy's teaching is shedding light on these concepts, you can get a copy on cassette for a suggested donation of $5 or CD for $7. Just call us at 1‑800‑569‑5959. When you do, be sure to ask for our free newsletter.

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Again, to sign up, just call us at 1‑800‑569‑5959. Or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also tell us what you're learning about blessing and cursing by sending a letter to Revive Our Hearts.

There are many curses listed in the Bible that come as a result of disobedience. Find out why reading about God's judgment can be a very hopeful, encouraging thing. We'll talk about it tomorrow. Now, let's pray with Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Father, we're more prone to think of others as being covenant breakers than ourselves. We tend to think that we're not so bad.

But help us to see, oh God, that we've been treacherous against You. We've broken Your law. And it's in part because of us and our sin that this world today is cursed, that the planet as Romans [8:22] says "writhes in pain and torment."

Thank you also for the promised redemption. We long for it; we wait for it; we hope for it and by Your grace, we are in the process of experiencing Your ability to make all things new and to turn cursing to blessing through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.

Leslie Basham:

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministry.

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