When God curses, he curses! Deuteronomy 28 lays out the curses of breaking the covenant and they go into detail. I have always thought of these as pointing to a harsh and demanding God. But as I think about this in terms of the gospel a new picture comes to mind, especially in light of such passages as Romans 1. There Paul explains that as a result of sin God gave sinners over to their own depravity. When you think about the destructive nature of particular sins it is easy to see how natural consequences are the curse of God. At the same time, even the curses that go beyond natural consequences can be seen for their graciousness when you consider the addictive nature of sin. Addicts often don’t see their addictions. They have been seduced by them. For example, alcohol or pornography gain such a powerful hold on people it is hard to imagine them letting go. It takes a powerful work to break one free from this thing that he views as desirable. God’s curses in this light are gracious means to break the stranglehold of these addictions. If we can see that in these particular sins, is it not also true of other, less heinous sin? Isn’t all sin characteristically the same in this regard? I think so, though some has a greater hold on us so we are blind to it’s seductive and destructive power.
“The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. (Deuteronomy 28:20-22)
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 28:20-68, Ps 119:25-48, Is 55, Mt 3