Gateways to God’s Covenant Blessings vs Gateways to Devilish Curses
In our “information age” we encounter a kaleidoscope of ideas about blessings, including those of media celebrity preachers championing techniques to obtain God’s material blessings. In John 6:22-40 Jesus expresses his eternal truth regarding those who seek mere material blessings. In verses 26 & 27 he says the efforts of our search must go further:
“Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.”
Jesus thus claims he is the Bread of Life — the one we must pursue to receive blessings worth having. Later in John’s gospel he says he is the gateway to blessing/abundance and therefore, the author of the New Covenant of life and abundance:
Jesus said again, “Truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:7-10 CSB
You likely know this about true blessings. But if I asked you about curses, have you dismissed the concept as primitively superstitious? I encourage you to consider three important Biblical Covenant gateways to both blessings and curses. The first is the Adamic Covenant where every blessing intended for man was found in God’s perfect creation.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Genesis 1:31 CSB
Later God warns Adam about the first significant gateway to the curse of death (our first and last enemy).
The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD God commanded the man,
“You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-18 CSB
The second significant gateway is the Abrahamic Covenant which lays out both blessing and curse.
The LORD said to Abram:
Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:1-3 CSB
The third significant gateway is the Mosaic Covenant which is much more explicit in delineating both blessings and curses. The most notable concentration is in Deuteronomy chapter 27:14 through chapter 30. In this Covenant, God acknowledges the influence of the Egyptians on his people during their exile there and anticipates the pull of idolatrous practices of the nations who will surround them as they settle in the Promised Land. He emphasizes the gateway that leads to his marvelous blessings, but warns them of the myriad of gateways leading to curses fashioned by the enemy of our souls.
As you think about God’s concern for his people in highlighting blessings and curses, it’s all the more important to realize that Jesus’ New Covenant of Life and Abundance (the supreme gateway) does not leave us ignorant of gateways to curses engineered by the devil, whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy. For example, read all of Apostle Paul’s treatise on curses that come through idolatry and sexual immorality found in Romans 1:16-32. Here is Paul’s closing statement:
…because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.
Although we who pursue the New Covenant relationship with Christ, experience and share his compassion for broken souls who surround us, we cannot join or applaud lifestyles that open us to the curses of corruption and destruction.
Contemplate the meaning behind these images and descriptions of the “Gates of Hell” in Caesarea Philippi (where Peter confesses Jesus is the Messiah), in contrast to the gates and doorways in this replica of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem. Ask God for Biblical wisdom to reject deceiving lies interwoven with gateways to curses, so you may fully embrace Christ’s singular gateway to Life and Abundance.
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