Have you heard that something can be both a blessings and a curse? Sometimes money can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I am able to exist … purchase a house and vehicle, purchase clothing and food, tithe and help the needy. The curse is that money could easily become my master and dominate me. Money could give lots of happiness, yet it can give terrible sadness as well.
But money is not the only thing that could give blessings and curses. An exceptionally beautiful girl might experience the same problem. God gifts her with her appearance and this could advantage her with being popular, yet the curse is that she could be taken advantage of.
In the spiritual realm, the same happens. Take Jesus’ birth as an example. Naturally, that sounds very simplistic. What actually happened? Tomorrow being Christmas Day, we remember God coming to planet earth on a rescue mission to save lost souls for heaven. The sin impact left man spiritually dead and eternally ruined … but God, according to His promise entered our world, took on our humanness, remaining sinless through the Incarnation (no sin transfer) and died our death, paying our sin price, to satisfy God’s wrath against us, which He endured substitutionally. This was a great blessing for mankind … but as much as a blessing that it was, it was also a curse. Let me explain …. All this started in Bethlehem in Judea when Herod was king in Jerusalem.
Matthew tells us:
Mt 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
The long expected and anticipated King of the Jews … there is the blessing … and the curse starts with the Magi searching for this King to worship Him! The blessing is God’s salvific plan … the curse is king Herod’s fanatic mad plan:
Mt 2:3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
Herod was disturbed because any “king” would be a threat to his throne. The people were either disturbed because this might be the anticipated Messiah or because they knew how Herod would react. So we see Herod’s response:
Mt 2:4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
Here we learn that this “king” was not just any king. It is the Christ! That is … Herod understood this baby born was actually the Messianic King promised in the Jewish Scriptures! This is a threat to his throne and his power-crazy ego cannot have it. Look at the chief priests and teachers of the law’s response to Herod:
Mt 2:5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”
They gave him the location plus the prophecy from Micah. It’s strange that even though they quoted Scripture they did not accept this One that was born as Messianic King. However, Herod’s evil, wicked mind was scheming of a way to remove the threat to his throne (which was itself a misunderstanding of Messiah’s role and function). Notice the secrecy related to his interaction with the Magi in verse 6. Then, full of pretense, he sends them to find the Christ (v7). They found the Christ Child, worshipped Him and gave Him gifts fitting for a King (v11). In a dream, God warned then not to return to Herod (v12). Herod was furious … so much so that his evil, sinister heart responded horrifically.
Mt 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
This is nothing less than insane madness. However … God is sovereign.
He is in control … and knowing what Herod would do … before he did it … we read:
Mt 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod.
So with the blessings of the Messianic King’s arrival there was the wicked curse attempting to get rid of the baby the Magi went to worship as King. We read of the terrible mourning:
Mt 2:18 A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.
One cannot read this and not stop and consider those mothers and fathers whose little sons were slaughtered by the instruction of a demon possessed king. So we have the blessing of a Saviour King and the curse of a destroying king. The one the Son of God and the other the son of the devil. Such things are hard to grasp and understand. Even 2000 years on, we want revenge. We might even ask why God allows such things to happen … and what we have to do, is rely on His Word for answers such as:
Dt 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
As said before, there are no answers to our “why” questions. We don’t need answers even though “curses” disturb and upset us. This is why we need to feast upon the Word. That is where our comfort and strength must come from … especially in the darkest times.
Ro 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What we struggle to understand becomes the mechanism of God to prepare us for glory. See verse 29!
Dear God, Lover of my soul, thank You that nothing is outside of Your control. Help me to trust You through the blessings and curses, for You know what is good for me. You guide me through the darkest night. Amen.