Curses - RR187BC102

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Curses
Course: Course - Deuteronomy
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 102
Length: 0:32:32
TapeCode: RR187BC102
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Let us worship God. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name for the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endureth to all generations. Let us pray.

Almighty God our heavenly Father, we thank Thee that Thou who dost dwell in the heavens of heavens are also with Him who is of a contrite and humble spirit. We thank Thee that Thou art closer to us than we are to ourselves. Make us still to know that Thou art God. Lift up our hearts, make us mindful that there is more to life than we can see and more to this world than we can imagine. Make us to know that all things serve Thy holy will and Thy will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven. Our God we thank Thee, in Christ’s name, Amen.

Our scripture is Deuteronomy 28:15-68. We have a very long text today with one subject: Curses. Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.

18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.

32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.

33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

35 The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

36 The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither theLord shall lead thee.

38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will theLord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

63 And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”


It used to be that in times that were evil, such as

It used to be that in times that were evil, such as ours, the clergy especially the Puritan would spend weeks going through this section to shake up the people and to recall them to the faith and it worked at times. The history of the past, of both Israel and the Christian peoples could be written in terms of the various stages of disasters and troubles. It’s interesting how many times this type of judgment has fallen upon one or another Christian nations, so called, and they have been reduced to cannibalism as here states and how such things are quietly suppressed by historians. We don’t like memories or recollections of things of the past. Very few people now know about the great flu epidemic of 1918 and 19 which scholars say if it had continued for two weeks at the rate it was accelerating would have wiped out the human race. It’s not a pleasant fact, people don’t like to know that those things can happen and have happened so such things are quietly forgotten. These curses are the antithesis of all the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 that we considered last week. The rejection of God’s covenant law means that the covenant becomes an overwhelming flood of judgment. All men, all persons born of Adam, all tribes, all races tongues and people are under the curse of Adam’s fall. Those who are the people of the covenant, that is, Jews earlier and now Christians, are doubly under the curse for rejecting the covenant as renewed in Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ. [00:17:05]

The number seven is a type of fullness of totality

The number seven is a type of fullness of totality. In verse twenty two seven judgments we are told pursue Israel both from men and pestilences for faithlessness. There is no probability here only certainty. Irresistible curses pursue the faithless people. Over civilized men who feel too wise to need God are reduced by these curses to the level of the animal he believes man to be. As Otto Scott has said God is no buttercup. In verse sixty three we are told: as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you so the Lord will rejoice over you to curse you, to cause you to perish and to destroy you. Men see only a progression of population whereas history tells us of depopulation as a result of God’s judgments. Now, the preference of men and nations is to confuse the line between good and evil. Men resent a clear distinction between good and evil, white and black; they prefer a universal grey with few villains classified as possibly black. A common type of question asked by such persons aims at fuzzing of moral boundaries. What God does here is to draw the line sharply and clearly, good and evil cannot be confused without sin. And yet I have heard of people deny that anyone is hopelessly bad except possibly Hitler so they condemn the biblical line between good and evil. In verse twenty one the word pestilence can also be rendered death. Death cleaves to the godless to eliminate them from the land. That is why the law itself is eschatological and postmillennial. It tells us this is the way God operates and HE’s going to clean house of this element after a particular point. [00:20:03]

God’s law works to eliminate evil, if men and nations

God’s law works to eliminate evil, if men and nations do not apply it God applies it against them in judgments. In verse twenty three following we are told that God uses the weather to judge men and nations, drought will destroy their fields and reduce men to hunger and death. We’ve had floods last year in this that have done a great deal of damage to some of our most productive grain fields. We forget that one out of twelve people in the world depend upon our grain for life. So if we were to have a major disaster hunger would hit one twelfth of the world. Diseases and madness will overtake God’s enemies so that men shall grope at noonday as the blind grope within darkness. That verse alone has an interesting history because not only preachers but men in high places again and again have used that verse to describe their times and have recalled men to a biblical sanity. That verse means that the most obvious things will become incomprehensible to the morally blind; to those who reject God the King enemies will overcome them. Moreover their wives, children and possessions will fall into enemies hands, a people once free and powerful will amaze the world by the extent of their collapse and fall. At every turn perverse circumstances will overwhelm a perverse people. The curse will continue and intensify against a perverse and apostate people. They will in effect be returned to Egypt, that is to captivity and bondage. Just as Deuteronomy 28:1-14 promises earthly blesses so too verses 15-68 promise earthly curses. In verses 15-24 the promised curses are against the people and the land, in verses 25-48 God’s curse drives them from the land, then in verses 49-68 God smashes them for failing to learn from all his judgments that He requires repentance and obedience. [00:23:20]

The promise is of the death of Israel for covenant

The promise is of the death of Israel for covenant faithlessness. This meant that in time Israel was replaced by the church as Galatians 6:16 makes clear, it became the true Israel of God. The church now and Christian nations are no less subject to rejection and judgment for faithlessness. What begins as drought and sickness becomes epidemics, disease, disgrace and death. Every aspect of life is cursed, man and body, economy and foreign relations, everything. Both blessings and curses are total. Man wants a blurred and indistinct line between good and evil whereas God’s judgment in history moved to clarify the lines that men have sought to erase. The curses like the blessings are on the people and the land. In Genesis 3:17 Adam is told by God cursed is the land for thy sake. In Deuteronomy 28:1-14 the ground and man are blessed by man’s obedience, then in verses 15-68 cursed by his disobedience. Blessings mean freedom and prosperity, curses mean captivity and disasters. These verses tell us that causality governs us, there is a causal relationship between disobedience and curses. They tell us that every aspect of life comes under the curse. They tell us also that because God is the Lord overall he uses men and nations and weather and diseases to judge a people. The curses are progressive, the people are given time to come to their senses and return to God and His covenant law. Apart from God the covenant breakers will find no ease, no peace; instead they shall have a trembling heart, failing of eyes and sorrow of mind. The failing of eyes means that because sin blinds them they will not recognize the most obvious facts, they will be self-blinded. [00:26:02]

Nothing will help men who will not seek help from God

Nothing will help men who will not seek help from God. Having denied their creator and covenant God they have denied life and affirmed death. In Proverbs 8:35-36 we are told:

“For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

For a law abiding man the law if it be God’s law is life and protection. For the lawless it means condemnation and death. One of the most tragic developments of history in our time has been the antinomianism of the church. The rejection of the law by the church is an affirmation of death because grace is the concomitant of the law. We are now surrounded by the culture of death, we who are a part of the culture of life. We see this culture of death in great things and small. Years ago I first learned that it would be wise to separate myself from a brilliant thinker when I discovered that despite his very, very serious health problems he had a steadied contempt for all the rules of health. He would go out of his way to break them. He saw them as unworthy of serious concern. His course was suicidal. And this type of thing is repeated countless times all around us. Man’s suicidal drive is apparent in a variety of ways. Deuteronomy 28 tells us that we live in a world of laws, that curses and blessings inescapably and irresistibly pursue us. The rules are made by God, not by man. The blessings and curses are God ordained and they are the condition of life. Those who try and create their own conditions invite judgments, God’s judgments. Thus we live in a trying time. Those who are under the curse resent those who are not. [00:29:05]

They will take an especial delight in hostility to

They will take an especial delight in hostility to you, in doing evil to you, in trying to break you down by their steadied contempt for God’s morality and your fidelity to it. It is a time of total war. We are seeing something happen in spite of everything that the world around us wants to do, they want to fuzz all the lines, to blur them. But out of hatred for us they are sharpening the lines! They see the line with a clarity they will not admit and so we face a hostility, a desire to hurt us, a desire to do us in because being under the curse they sense even where we do not that we are under God’s blessing. Polarity is coming in, we of God’s own must stand firm and not allow these evil ones to shatter us and to break us as they want to do with their steadied contempt of justice, of godliness, of truth. God will in due time deal with them and we shall be those who make tomorrow, who create a world of blessings. Let us pray.

Our Father, we thank Thee that by Thy grace we have been separated from the world of the curse to the world of the blessings. We know our Father that we are in a war, empower us, bless us, protect us in that warfare that we may truly emerge as more than conquerors. By Thy grace and mercy Thou hast made us Thine. Now give us grace to be more than overcomers and to be the people of victory and of the future. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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