By Rosetta Thomas
When Saul and Jonathan were slain in battle on Mount Gilboa, David placed a curse on it (2 Samuels 1:21). Today, over three thousand years later, Mount Gilboa remains a dry and barren piece of land even though the surrounding areas have vegetation. When Jericho was destroyed, Joshua placed a curse on the city, and he said that any man who rebuild it will lose both their first born and last born. About five hundred years later, a man, Hiel by name, rebuilt Jericho and he lost his first born and his last born, just as Joshua had said (1 Kings 16:34). The truth is that, in as much as blessings are real, curses are also real and in as much as blessings work, curses also work.
A Curse is defined as “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something” (Oxford Dictionary). Blessings on the other hand is defined as “words that are empowered for one’s good” (Agyinasare, 2015).
“Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim” – Proverbs 26:2.
This simply means that for curses to work in a person’s life, there must be a cause. The cause of every curse is rooted in the sin of disobedience to the Word of God.
In Deuteronomy 28:15 the scripture tells us:
… if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
We must always remember that whoever breaks the edge the serpent will bite and curse is one of the ways in which we can be bitten by the enemy.
There are many sources from which curses can affect our lives. The late Derek Prince, one of the foremost Bible teachers on this subject matter indicated that some of the sources from which curses come are from God himself, from God’s servants, from the servants of the devil, from relational authority figures like our parents, from the things that we brought on our own selves/self-Imposed curses, from acts of idolatry, from soulish prayers and utterances and from unscriptural Covenants. (Prince, 1994).
Signs of a Curse
Prince further indicated that among others, some of the signs of a curse include: humiliation, inability to reproduce in any area of one’s life, mental and emotional breakdown, repeated or chronic illnesses, breakdown of family and marriage, repeated miscarriages, accident prone as well as suicidal or unnatural deaths.
Some actions that attract Curses
A lot of actions attrack curses, some of which are: lying, stealing, murder, fornication, adultury, sexual perversion, unnatural sex, ill-treating the weak, bribery, idolatry, breaking marital covenants or breaking people’s marriage, dis-honouring pledges, dishonouring one’s parents, repaying evil for good, unjust gains, witchcraft practices, fearing and reverencing man over God, cursing those God has blessed as well as pride and arrogance.
Regardless of what curses we encounter; we have a responsibility to consciously break them, otherwise, they will follow us and will eventually travel through our bloodlines to subsequent generations.
The story is told of the families of two American men who lived in the 18th Century: Max Jukes, a god-less atheist and Jonathan Edwards, a puritan preacher who was also the author of the famous book “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Max Jukes first came to public attention when it was discovered that 42 persons who at some point passed through the New York Prison system, were traced back to his ancestry. In 1877 Richard Dugdale, a Sociologist, studied 1,200 of Juke’s descendants and discovered that his legacy included 7 murderers, 60 thieves, 190 prostitutes, 150 other convicts, 310 paupers, 440 who were physically wrecked by addiction to alcohol and 300 who died prematurely. A quite opposite was found in the findings of the study that A.E. Winship, an American educator, did on Jonathan Edwards’s family. Of the 1400 descendants that he was able to trace, 1 was a U.S. Vice-President, 1 was the controller of the US treasury, 1 was the Dean of an outstanding law school, 1 the dean of a medical school, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 60 doctors, 65 professors, 75 Military officers, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 clergymen and 285 college graduates. Most importantly, unlike the descendants of Max Jukes, none of the descendants traced in Jonathan Edwards lineage were a liability to the US government (Ballard 2017 & Agyinasare, 2015).
Whether we like it or not, the life we live is a seed and it also has far reaching impact on our descendants, even those yet to be born.
In Exodus 34: 7 the scripture says:
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Judah had a problem with women as can be seen in the book of Genesis where we are told that he slept with his daughter in law. This sin travelled through his blood line and we see it manifesting in David’s life and exploded in the life of Solomon who married all of 1000 women.
Levi had a serious anger problem to the point where he killed a man. We see the manifestation of this anger in Moses who, in anger killed a man, broke the tablets with the 10 Commandments and struct a rock which ultimately caused him to miss the promised land.
Abraham, the father of faith, had a problem with telling lies and half-truths. On more than one occasion he lied that Sarah was his wife, and we see this manifesting in the life of his son Isaac who also lied by telling people that Rebekah his wife was his sister.
The fact is that many of the character traits we carry are rooted in our bloodline and many of the challenges that you and I are suffering can be traced back to something our forefathers did long ago. For this reason, we must be very careful how we live our lives.
How curses work!
Nobody can cheat God because we will always reap whatever we sow (Galatians 6:7). In my capacity as a daughter of two small farmers, I have a little understanding of farming. From what I know, if one plants corn, they will only reap corn, and not oranges because a seed always produces its kind. Additionally, one grain of peas that is planted has the potential to produce hundreds and even thousands of other seed, and this is because the harvest is always greater than the seed.
Blessing and curses re-produce themselves from generation to generation and with each generation, the blessings get more enriched if the conditions for the blessing are maintained and the curse get worse if the conditions for that curse are still in place.
If you check the foundation of many churches today that have breakaways, you will realize that that their founders broke away from their churches in some form of rebellion against leadership. Until that curse is broken, misunderstanding will always arise and there will always be breakaways. Some families are failing today because someone in the family tree rewarded evil for good that was done to them. Please recall that the Bible says that evil will never depart from the house of the one who repays evil for good (Proverbs 17:13). Similarly, some men are suffering today because they jilted some young women to marry someone else. Beloved, there is a pay day, and we may forget but God will always remember.
Today, many people are surprised that even after giving their lives to the Lord they find they are still affected by a curse. Many even wonders if the Bible contradicts itself based on what is recorded in Ezekiel 18:20 where the scripture say:
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Beloved, what this scripture is highlighting is the fact that no one will suffer “eternal damnation” or “go to hell” because of the sins of someone, but rather each person will be responsible for their own sins. When I stand before God on the day of judgment, I will not be questioned on the sins of my parents. I will have to give account to God for my personal sins and failures. Sin however has consequences, and it is these consequences that are passed down from generation to generation. Essentially, curse is one of the consequences of sin.
Many persons will argue that once God has forgiven us, we are free, but it is important to note that forgiveness does not automatically remove the consequences of sin. If someone steals from their organization, they may be forgiven but they will still lose their job. If an immoral person who caught an incurable disease, repents; God will forgive them but there is no guarantee that they will be healed. Similarly, if a church leader who fell in sexual sin repents, they will be forgiven but they may still have to deal with the shame, reputational damage, and mistrust from others. Forgiveness therefore does not remove the consequences of sins and so we must always ensure that we seek for the mercies of God to avert judgment meted to us by the consequences of sins that we have committed or inherited.
Steps to Breaking Curses
Being under a curse is like being in a hole and it is like being in a dark dungeon where there is no hope to see the light of day. In Isaiah 42:22, the scripture tells us:
But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
Today, God want to assure us that regardless of the depth of any curse in which we may find ourselves, there is a way out. We may even know without a shadow of a doubt of a pattern that is running through our family from generation to generation, like an unending thread, and we may be even worried that we are next in line to meet that family destruction. The report from the doctor may look all too familiar because the same thing had previously happened to a family member and you may realize that just like your fore-parents, you chose the wrong partner in marriage or is having a hard time bearing children. It does not matter what your story is, today, God wants to assure us that there is a way out.
In Isaiah 49:24-25, the Lord promises that the lawful captives shall be delivered:
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. – Isaiah 49:24-25
In this regard, God wants to assure us that regardless of the error or mistake that we or our fore parents made which got us into captivity, we can be delivered.
It is important to note that the solution to all curses is rooted in the application of the Word of God. Jesus became a curse for us so that we can enter a life of blessing. We must therefore firmly stand upon the word of God so that we can have access to our deliverance.
Derek Prince gave a four-step process for breaking curses which I will list here:
- Recognize that you have a problem and its causes
- Repent of all the sins that opened the door for the curse
- Renounce the curse
- Resist the curse
To break a curse, we must know what it is. We must then repent of the sin behind it and this repentance also includes repenting of the sins committed by our fore parents, just like Daniel did when He was seeking the face of God (Daniel 9:1-19).
Next, we must renounce the curse that is confronting us, and this may involve some level of spiritual warfare because Satan will never let go his victims without a fight.
I must say here that this may even require the assistance of a pastor. In the case of breaking a curse that was pronounced by a pastor, a spiritual leader like a Bishop or Overseer who has a higher anointing than the one who placed the curse in the first place, will be needed to break that curse (Agyinasare, 2015). For example, the curse that Joshua placed on Jericho was eventually broken when Elisha who had a double portion of Elijah’s anointing broke it:
In this regard, the Scriptures in 2 Kings 19:19-22 say:
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake. [2 Kings 2: 19-22]
Once a curse is broken, we must further take steps to ensure that we do not go back into whatever situation caused the curse in the first place. This may include practical steps like living a fasted life and avoiding all appearance of evil.
In conclusion I’d like to remind us that in as much as blessings are real, curses are also real, and they will travel through our bloodlines if we do not make a concerted effort to break them. We can break curses by recognizing the problem, repenting of the cause, as well as renouncing and resisting them. No matter what “hole” we find ourselves, God has a way out and no matter how much we may be lawful captives in the hands of the devil, God can still deliver us. The doorway to every curse is disobedience and so we must always ensure that we walk in complete compliance to the Word of God.
Having said that, let us rise and break every curse that is impacting our lives and let us cut the thread so that we will deliver not just ourselves but our generation, even those yet to be born.
Agyinasare, Charles (2015). Release Me: From Curses to Blessing.
Ballard, Larry, (2017). Multigenerational Legacies – The Story of Jonathan Edwards. Famiy Ministries Youth With a Mission
Last Accessed: August 21, 2022
Prince, Derek (1994). Blessings and Curses.
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