House Cursings or Blessings? (2)
Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PRCS in Walker, MI
“The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just” (Prov. 3:33).
Now let us look at some examples in Scripture. How does this apply to the people in II Kings 9:30-37 and I Kings 17.
Think of Jezebel and Elijah during the days of dreadful famine in Israel. We all know Jezebel. Jezebel does not strike us a one who would say, “The dear common people of my nation are suffering and sliding into poverty. Many of them are even having a hard time finding enough to eat. I should give up some of my luxuries to show my willingness to take up my part of this burden.” Jezebel is not that kind of person. She would maintain her wealth and luxury.
Jezebel was born a princess and is now a queen and would live her life as such. She lived in wealth and had everything she could hope to have. She was rich. She was royalty. There is no way for us to know this from the Bible’s description of her but tradition has it that she was beautiful too. She had what so many people of the world would love to have. Despite all of these earthly things, which might make many jealous of her, her household, no matter how fine or beautiful, was cursed by God through and through. As a princess and a queen she had lived in a palace all of her life, right up until she was thrown from the window. We know that at her death she went to a place which was not so nice. God’s curse is in the house of the wicked.
Now let us look at an example of the just. How was Elijah doing at this same time? For a time he lived by the brook Cherith. I don’t suppose he had what we would normally call a house. He certainly wasn’t living in luxury. Yet God blessed him for obediently doing His will and gave him his daily bread.
Then Elijah went to the widow of Zaraphath. There was no fine living here either. Widows often were not rich. When Elijah met her, she was down to her last handful of meal and a bit of oil, and had a couple of sticks to prepare her last meal. We would not volunteer to live with a widow woman who was this poor. From an earthly point of view, we would prefer to live in luxury with Jezebel.
The widow would prepare one final meal, and then she and her son would begin the slow process of starving to death. These were not bright days for her and her household. Because she was a widow, she does not have a husband who works hard every day to earn the money the family would need to buy their daily bread. She wouldn’t be able to earn much money to continue to purchase the food she needed.
Yet the widow’s household knew the blessing of God. The barrel of meal did not fail. This barrel was not always full being refilled to the brim each time the widow took out the needed meal. She emptied it only to find that, when it was time to eat again, there was just enough at the bottom of the barrel once more. The barrel was never full but every time she opened it to prepare the daily meal, God saw to it that there was just enough there for everybody in the house. The same was true for the oil.
Elijah and the widow’s house knew the blessing of God to be more than mere earthly meal and oil. Elijah did not spend his days during the famine quietly sitting under a shady tree waiting for the widow to bring his daily portion of food. He must have taught her about God and how He must be worshipped. When her son died, she asked, “What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? Art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” This means she had learned about sin and how sin offends God. She learned God is just and punishes sin. However, she had learned to put aside her old ways of sin. She says her sins were called to remembrance. These were not sins in which she continued to live. She also learned that what Elijah said was true when her son was brought back to life. God is able to call for life where once there was only death. The physical return to life of her son pictures the giving of spiritual life where once there was only death. The widow would not know this if all Elijah did was sit around the house and do nothing. He instructed the widow and she believed by faith. God’s blessed the house of the just. They shared the joy of knowing that some day God would send the Messiah to save His people from their sin.
There is no middle ground. There is a curse in the house of the wicked and God blesses the dwelling of the just. God does not curse the house of the wicked some of the time and bless them at other times. God does not bless the just, but then allow His curse to come on them now and then. It is always one or the other. God does not change either. Those who are under His curse shall always be under God’s curse. Those whom God has justified will always be blessed by Him. God will be faithful to us. God is good to the just, the just who have had their sins taken away by Christ. We, in gratitude for His blessings, must now live in thankful obedience to Him.