OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: FRIDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER 2017
THEME: THE EFFECTS OF A CURSE
“He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.” Proverbs 11:26
Read: Judges 9:16-24; Judges 9:45-57
9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;
9:17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:
9:18 And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;)
9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:
9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.
9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
9:22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,
9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
9:24 That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.
9:45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.
9:47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.
9:48 And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.
9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.
9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower.
9:52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.
9:53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull.
9:54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A women slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
9:55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.
9:56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
From today’s reading, the effects of a curse are glaring and obvious. Jotham was a son of Gideon who escaped the murderous rampage of his brother Abimelech. After Abimelech had killed seventy of his brothers, Jotham stood and placed a curse on him and the men of Shechem who conspired with Abimelech to carry out this evil act. Three years after this curse was pronounced, God sent an evil spirit to bring about the fulfillment of the curse. In the process of the curse being fulfilled, so many terrible things happened. Land and property were destroyed, a large part of the population was annihilated and ultimately, the cursed Abimelech died. May you never come under a curse! And if you are already under any curse, it is broken today in Jesus’ Name! Let me tell you a story I heard when I was very young. An old man met a bubbling young man on his way to the farm one day. Being advanced in age, the old man was bent, used a walking stick and limped slightly. Seeing this old man, the young man began to laugh at him; so the old man asked him what he did to deserve such ridicule. “Why shouldn’t I laugh? What can you do?” the young man asked, and the old man replied, “I know I am too feeble to run after you or fight you, but the basket is never satisfied of water”, and then he went on his way. Suddenly, a strong thirst gripped the young man. He dashed to the first hut and asked for water. After drinking so much, he continued his journey. Not long after, he became thirsty again. He stopped at the second hut and drank so much water. Thereafter, he returned to the first hut to ask for some more water, and the people there discern that something was definitely wrong with him. “What is wrong with you?”, they asked. He told them, “One old man said to me, “The basket is never satisfied of water”. “Really, can you describe the old man?”. He did, and they accompanied him to search for the old man, until they found him and begged for his forgiveness. The old man gave in, and then pronounced, “Alright, from now on you will cease to be the basket, and you will begin to have satisfaction.” That was how the young man was delivered from the strange thirst.
Do everything possible to avoid being cursed by God. If a curse from a fellow man can be disastrous, how would the curse from God be? If your biological father curses you, you can run to your spiritual father or pastor, who has spiritual authority over you, and he can cancel it. If your pastor curses you, you can run to the general overseer set over him, and he can cancel it; though he will also demand that you restitute your ways. However, if God curses you, to whom will you run?
Father, help me to never partake in anything that will attract curses to my life.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Chronicles 17-18
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 6: DEEPER, DEEPER
1 Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2 Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3 Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
4 Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
5 Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.