December 8, 2019

Blessings and Curses as a Result of Our Words

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The Bible records the history of people who received blessings or curses as a result of their words. Through their history, let us think of what kind of words we should speak.

1. Peter received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus . . . “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:13–19

When Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered without any hesitation, “You are the Christ, the Son of living God.” As a result of his faithful words, Peter was able to receive the tremendous blessing of receiving the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

2. The robber on the right side of Jesus was saved

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Lk 23:39–43

When Jesus was on the cross, the people and the rulers ridiculed Him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself.” Even the robber on the left side of Jesus mocked him, saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save us!”

However, the robber on the right side was different from all of them. He defended Jesus, saying that there was nothing wrong with what Jesus had done. He even showed his faith towards Jesus, saying, “Please remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” When Jesus was in the most painful situation, suffering on the cross and being ridiculed and mocked, the faithful words of the robber on His right side moved and comforted Him. As a result, Jesus allowed him to be with Him in paradise. The robber on the right side was able to receive the blessing of salvation through his gracious words.

3. The Jews cursed not only themselves but their descendants as well

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Mt 27:24–25

The Jews committed the sin of crucifying Jesus who came as Christ. They asked for punishment, saying, “Let his blood be on us and our children.” In the end, they were punished according to their vicious words. Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70; and during World War II, six million Jews were massacred by the German Nazis. As a result of their backbiting words, not only were they destroyed, but their descendants were also destroyed.

4. Moses was unable to enter the land of Canaan

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron . . . The LORD said to Moses, “. . . Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water . . .” . . .Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Nu 20:2–12

Because of one word, Moses was not allowed to enter the land of Canaan, which was the greatest desire in his life. It was by God’s power that water came out of the rock when it was struck. Moses was supposed to honor God, however, he didn’t do that, rather he said, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?” Moses couldn’t enter the land of Canaan that he had dreamed of because he spoke words that did not honor God.

5. Ten spies led the Israelites to commit sin

At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land . . . “. . . they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anakcome from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron . . .” Nu 13:25–14:13

Among the twelve spies, ten spies didn’t believe God’s word that He would grant them the land of Canaan, and they spread a bad report, saying that they would never be able to conquer the land of Canaan. As a result, all of the Israelites grumbled and complained against God. In the end, the spies who spread a bad report and Israelites who agreed with them and grumbled and complained were all destroyed in the desert. (Nu 14:35–38)

This history in the Bible shows us how important words are. If you speak gracious and faithful words, you will always receive God’s blessing. However, if you speak faithless and wicked words, curses and ungracious results will follow. Remembering the teachings of the Bible, let us receive great blessings from God by always speaking gracious and faithful words.

Food for Thought
How was the robber on the right side able to receive salvation?
Why couldn’t Moses enter the land of Canaan, which he had desperately wanted to enter?
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