“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
As I am being absorbed in my meditations in Galatians there are some amazing things that are surfacing. These things are relative to what is going on in my own life, but are deeper even than I first observed them. This is what I call the miracle of meditation. The longer I remain in thought of a certain truth of God’s word the more it takes root, and the more it grows and reveals more than I knew before; and the more it affects my whole life.
Such is the subject of curses and blessings in the Bible. And I will speak of two main curses.
The first one was pronounced on all mankind in the garden when Adam and Eve rejected God’s word as truth. They disobeyed because the enemy convinced them that God was a liar. The curse of death came upon them and all their posterity; and since then all die.
The second curse came from Mt. Sinai in the Ten Commandments, which God gave Moses for a special people. His law was given to those He had chosen to represent Him. But, just as His first image-bearers failed, so did the nation that He had chosen.
The law, instead of leading them to obedience, and therefore restoring mankind in a right relationship with God, became a curse to them and us. It was a law too strict, and impossible for them to obey, but as we continue in God’s Word we see that there was purpose in God giving man more than he could do.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Curses and oppressions are part of the same nature of man. The state of oppression is the natural state in which all men have lived, since the beginning of man’s unbelief and disobedience. The oppressive spirit is the natural spirit of men who live under a curse. The oppression began with the enemy, bringing man into his camp, setting God’s creation against Him, and serving his purposes. The antithesis between Satan and God has been continual until this day.
But, God didn’t just leave us there, accepting the oppression against Himself. The curses upon us are His activity against us. So, from both directions we are oppressed. On both sides we are hemmed in, between Satan and God. We are prisoners in our individual oppressive spirit and state of being. When we experience the adversities of this life it is natural for this spirit to strike out against another or for us to remain aloof from relationships that God created as good. Such was the case with Cain and Abel. Such are relationships within families and nations today.
As long as there is life on earth these curses stand. All are born under these curses into this oppressive state. Only God, who pronounced the curses, can deliver us from them. The means is by reversal. Through disobedience the first curse came. Through disobedience the second curse remains in effect.
It is only through obedience that we are set free from these curses.
OBJECTION 1: Death cannot be reversed.
That is correct, if all we mean is physical death. But God (who is Spirit) created man in the likeness of His own image to live eternally. All will die physically, but every soul will live eternally. The removal of the curses assures us of eternal life with Him. Those who continue under the curses will experience an eternal death and oppressive state. We will not go into how God’s Word describes eternity for those who die under the curse of death and the law.
OBJECTION 2: Only one man has been able to obey the Ten Commandments.
So we see that man is unable to deliver himself from these curses.
Promises of Deliverance
God set things in His own way and will, to deliver from the curses, as He had planned before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:2-6 The law shows how destitute we are and where we continue to fall. He wants us to fall, on our knees before Him, in agreement of our sin and our inability to save ourselves; to come in our sin and repentance, believing His promises of salvation.
Let us meditate on His promises of deliverance. They are the promises of a “great salvation” revealed in His Word to us by His Holy Spirit.
Obedience, the requirement of the law, is possible only by faith. Faith is possible only by grace, as a gift, and not of our own work. Ephesians 1:8-10 Faith is as difficult as obedience.
His Spirit reveals God’s grace through His Word. This grace is revealed in and through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He is the deliverer, the Savior of those who believe in Him; those the Father draws to Him with a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26) This is a supernatural work by His Spirit. His Spirit uses the Word to convince and bring us with new hearts to Him. When we reject His truth of His Son, Jesus Christ, for salvation, we are of the same nature of our first parents; in essence still calling God a liar. (1 John 5:10-12)
Some might even call this a third curse.
Paul explains this in Romans 7:24, and 8:1-2.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Paul’s greeting to the church in Galatia was, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:3-5
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us;” Galatians 3:13
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5:13-14
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12
So how do we know if we are still under the curse; or if we are free. Read Galatians 6:7-8 ~ “be not deceived.”
Dear Father, we need your blessings today as we desire to live by the obedience of faith that is ours in Christ Jesus and the power of your Holy Spirit. Fill us with your love, the love that has set us free to love as you love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Related Article: Deliverance From Oppression
“Surely oppression drives the wise into madness,” Ecclesiastes 7:7
Oppression is not an ordinary subject of conversation, nor one that we spend much time thinking about; but it has become a primary thought for me, which has grown to greater proportions of my thinking in the last three years. It came to a point just a few months ago ~ at the point of deliverance; and I have just begun to know what to write about this subject of which most are not aware. I am not speaking here of the new birth that is ours in Christ at conversion, but beyond this, to a realization of where we live, even as Christians, in the world today; in the deliverance from the spirit of oppression that pervades and rules this world.
The thought of oppression usually comes when we hear of the holocaust. Christians associate the word with the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt. In other countries beyond the United States we hear of oppression, but we don’t consider the idea of oppression as pertaining to our own lives. We live in a free country where we have the liberty to do what we want to do, go where we want to go, and say what we want to say. We can choose our own circle of friends and the sounds we want to hear, or we can choose isolation and silence. Either of our own choosing makes it seem as if we are free. But my purpose in writing on this subject is to make aware the truth that, in this world we are all under oppression. Until we are delivered from oppression we will not understand this truth. It is when we are free that we can look back and see where we were.
An example that comes to mind is that of the Pharisees, when Jesus opened the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth. Jesus had come to heal the sick of heart and to open the eyes of the blind. The Pharisees did not know that they were blind and so, could not be healed. They were unaware that they were oppressed and that they were oppressors.
My meditations in Galatians have helped to bring some thoughts together on this matter of oppression. Paul’s salutation to the churches in Galatia is “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age….” (Galatians 1:3) Who considers that we all live in this same evil age? This is the bad news of oppression; but the good news is that the Lord Jesus Christ is still delivering His people. He came once and for all time to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”Psalm 9:9
Sin and Oppression
So, how are we associating sin with oppression? We shall attempt to show the twin effect of the two. Oppression can bring about sin; and sin can bring about oppression. It is a vicious cycle, but one that we need to understand. When we are delivered from the power of one we are delivered from the power of both. They both stem from the fallen nature of man. No one is exempt, no matter how free we think we are.
The extent of this matter, like many others that come to mind, cannot be covered in a single article. So far we have the biblical references that speak of oppression and deliverance from it. These alone are eye opening. Deliverance from oppression begins by definition, seeing where it began, where we are individually in the state of oppression, how it is perpetuated, how we are delivered, the reality of deliverance, and the deliverance of others.
We will end this introduction with the definition. (Mirriam-Webster)
- a. Unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power
b. Something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
- A sense of being weighed down in body or mind
I welcome your comments. If there is interest I may share with other posts on this subject.
“In righteousness shalt thou be established:
thou shalt be far from oppression;
for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”
Dear Father, thank you for another blessed day of your grace and peace. We praise you for delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into the kingdom of your dear Son. Let us with true freedom in Christ share this good news with those who are still in bondage. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
“So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.” Psalm 73:22
Why am I so foolish?—because I am ignorant. Why am I ignorant?—because I do not know God. Without the knowledge of Him I am but a sinful creature, no different than the other creatures that He has made. How many times, through the means of His grace, has my heart been”grieved” at the revelation of my beastliness beofre HIm and before men.
In this Psalm Asaph sees himself in the middle of sinful humanity. He sees himself as one of the whole of humanity, identifying with the pride of the wicked. Envious of their prosperity his “feet were almost gone.” His steps had “well nigh slipped.” But, he goes on to speak of God’s relationship to His people—to those whom He has delivered by His grace.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ NEVERTHELESS ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What a blessed word is this to me and those who are being tamed by the grace of our Father, and His Spirit—to those He has brought to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ
“I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.”
Which is greater—the Father’s wisdom, or my foolishness? Which is dominant—the Father’s knowledge, or my ignorance? Which is the overwhelming and overcoming factor in the life of God’s children—His grace, or our sin?
“Father, you know that we have none in heaven but you, that there is none upon earth that we, as your children, desire beside you. Our flesh and our hearts fail in our own endeavors, but you are ‘the strength of our hearts, and our portion forever.” This is all the power of the working of your grace within us. We praise you for all things, and for this day of grace. In Jesus’ name we pray, and thank you.”
“All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee,O Lord;
and shall glorify thy name.
For thou art great, and doest wondrous things, thou art God alone.
Teach me thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
For great is thy mercy toward me, and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”