by: FCC Staff
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.
When we were young we all were told to not make silly faces, or “your face will get stuck like that.” Yet as often as we did it, our faces never got stuck. It was an empty threat, a curse that never came to fruition no matter how many times we stuck our tongues out or rolled our eyes.
Today’s proverb tells us that the same is true when we level warrantless curses at others. We may WISH we could would strike someone down, or that their negative behaviors will blow back on them, but as we wait, and watch…no, it seems like those we would curse are getting away with whatever they like.
In the ancient world, a curse was asking some being from the supernatural world (a god, a demon, etc.) to take notice of someone and punish them or bring some kind of misery into their lives. This was done for any number of reasons, but mostly to satisfy some selfish desire for revenge or retribution. It was a very common practice, much as it is today, in other forms.
We might not invoke the supernatural in our quests for retribution, but we can spitefully try to avail ourselves over others when we perceive that they have wronged us. Paul taught the Roman believers, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 9:19-21)
Our curses, our own ideas of justice and vengeance are outside of the will of God. Jesus died for the sins of the entire world. All of them. Every single person, every single sin. God’s vengeance was satisfied in Christ’s sacrifice. What more then can we demand in order to “get even” with someone, in ADDITION to the death of Jesus? Doesn’t seem like we have the right to demand more. If those who have harmed us come to faith in Christ, then their sins, against God, that have affected us, are wiped away. If not, then the full penalty for sin will be paid in Hell. Does this not right any wrong, pay any debt, satisfy any desire for vengeance we may have?
Our curses, our own petty quests for vengeance, will come to nothing, just as our proverb for today tells us. If anything, they will only bring more misery and suffering on our own heads. So today, let’s set aside our desire to curse others and instead, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12:14) In doing so we free ourselves from the burden of bitterness and open the door to God’s justice, which seeks restoration first.
Prayer for Today
Father, give me the strength to resist avenging myself on others, or cursing those who I feel deserve it. Open my eyes to see others the way you do, to love them as you do, to sacrifice for them so they can be restored. By your Holy Spirit give me the faith to trust in your justice and know I am free to bless everyone who comes into my life, whether they are kind to me or not. Amen.