Genesis 12:1-3: Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Shortly after God recreated the earth (Genesis 1 and 2), His created man disobeyed Him and brought a curse from God on all mankind, and the earth, that would have a lasting effect on every person who would ever be born. Even though man and the earth were cursed, men continued to reproduce and the earth continued to function, albeit in a way that was much less pleasant than God’s original plan. God’s action as a result of man’s disobedience was a curse and a judgment, but it was NOT a show of God’s wrath.
God’s plan for mankind has always been to provide a peaceful environment and judgments against the actions of men that violate the law are absolutely necessary for society to function in an atmosphere of peace without chaos.
Please do not confuse God’s Judgment with God’s Wrath. A short period of time of God’s judgment is NOT the same as the wrath of God that is displayed in the Book of Revelation among other scriptures. Judgment, sometimes instant, sometime incremental, is meant to bring change in behavior. Wrath, on the other hand is a means of utterly destroying the rebellion that causes sin to manifest. Through appeals and repentance, judgment can be stopped and reversed, sometimes with a lessened ability to thrive in life, but there is NO reversal, no escaping from, God’s wrath.
Throughout the ages, God has stepped into the realm of time and humanity and judged men’s actions that, had they NOT been judged and stopped, would have seriously interfered with God’s plan for humanity.
A courtroom is a place where justice is sought and judgment is meted out. Anyone who has ever been in a courtroom as a spectator, or as a member of a jury called to hear testimony and decide a case against a person accused of wrongdoing, is aware that the ‘full weight and authority’ of that court is behind the proceedings as well as the final judgment/decision of the case. That authority, granted by the laws of the land in which the court is established, has the power to enforce the sentence levied against the accused and will use that power to ensure the sentence is carried out.
Here in the US, courts are established and function on local, state and federal levels, and they conduct their business according to the laws of the entity which has the ‘jurisdiction’ to start indictment procedures, levy charges, and conduct trials in order to enforce the laws of that entity.
The decisions of judges and juries are, in most cases, subject to appeals rights that are granted by law to those convicted of criminal activity.
God’s Blessing and Cursing
I doubt there are few true believers who cannot quote Genesis 12:1-3, but how many are aware of the seriousness of God’s words in those three verses? The King James version says there is a ‘blessing for blessing’ and ‘curse for curse’ action involved based on how a person, or a nation, treats the Jews, but it goes much deeper than that. Some have called it a ‘like for like’ blessing and curse, but a deeper look into the meaning of the words speaks much more.
The KJV says: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse 1 him that curseth 2 thee:,
1 curse , (arar, Strong’s 779, pronounced aw-rar’) meaning to execrate (declare to be worthless or abhorrent, to loathe), and to bitterly curse (to declare to be loathed, excommunicated/cut off and utterly damned/destroyed).
2 curseth (qalal, Strong’s 7043, pronounced kaw-lal’), meaning to revile, to show contempt for (the feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base or worthless, to scorn, to insult, to disrespect.
As you can see, the words translated ‘curse’ (God’s action against those who curse Abraham/Israel), and ‘curseth’ (man’s action towards Abraham), in Genesis 12:3 are two distinctly different Hebrew words with similar yet somewhat different meanings. The word 1curse refers to the God’s attitude of toward those who curse Abraham and Israel, and His actions/judgment already levied against such people, while the word 2curseth refers to the hate-filled and disrespectful actions of the Gentile nations toward Abraham and the Jewish people, all of whom “were in Abraham’s loins” when the scripture was written.
From the above explanation, it should be understood that, while the “blessing for blessing” pronouncement may be a “like for like” action, the “curse for curse” pronouncement is hardly that. God so respects Abraham that all who treat Abraham and the Jewish people with disrespect, trying to make them feel, or appear to be, inferior and worthless, are in eternal danger.
As a sidenote, the word ‘disrespect is a transitive verb, indicating some action taken “toward someone” rather than being an intransitive verb describing an action that does NOT happen to someone. God appears to be saying that He is always aware of the intent behind our words, possibly the more so as they are spoken against ‘The Apple of His Eye’ (compare Hebrews 4:12 KJV).
Also notice that the writer of Genesis uses the word ‘them’ in the blessing action of verse three, referring to people (plural), possibly even nations of people, who by blessing the Jewish people can partake of God’s promised blessings; in contrast, the word ‘him’, used in the cursing action indicates that God sees every individual separately when anyone curses Abraham/Israel.
Based on these explanations, a better and more accurate translation of Genesis 12:3 would be: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that disrespects or makes light of thee, I will utterly despise and destroy.” It boils down to this: any person making light of, or disrespecting, Abraham is in effect, disrespecting and making light of God Himself. This is the same as mocking God and we are told in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. Remember, every word you speak is a ‘spiritual container’ of what is in your heart.
God does NOT mince words and when He is speaking to Abraham in this passage, He wants us all to know His true feelings on the matter.
So, what does all this have to do with the appearance of judgment and God’s Court being in session?
God, Jehovah, the God of Jews and Christians, has not only spoken HIS word on the Jewish people and how He expects the world (Gentile nations) to treat them based on His love for them, but he watches over that word and monitors the world in order to identify those who a) align with His word and treat the Jewish people as He demands and to separate them from those who b) defy His word and treat the Jewish people with disdain, hatred and disrespect (see Job 34:21 KJV, Proverbs 15:3 KJV, 1 Peter 3:12 KJV). God’s observations become evidence He will use in determining the fate of those who are called into His court to answer for their words and deeds.
Patience and Longsuffering
God, Who is longsuffering, compassionate and patient, waits and allows all those who are subject to His law and commandments to make wise decisions regarding His commandments. By placing the ‘blessing and/or cursing Israel option’ before all people, He shows His justness and righteousness, not only to Jewish people, the object of His promises to Abraham, but to all those who are given the choice to either obey, or defy, His word and command to ‘bless and NOT curse’ them.
All people of the world, throughout the centuries since Abraham was made the beneficiary of God’s everlasting covenant regarding the land He promised to Abraham and his offspring, have been providing, and are continuing to provide, the evidence3 God will use to judge them for their actions; and God’s eye misses nothing.
3 Matthew 12:37 KJV
Just as human courtroom decisions are backed by the full weight and authority of the court, God’s decisions in His Court of Justice are backed by HIS authority.
All Will Answer
As was shown in the explanation of Genesis 12:3, every person as well as every nation will give an account of their treatment of the Jewish people. God sent the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland as a means of punishment for their rejection of His love, mercy and compassion, in the person of Jesus, the Messiah, but as a means of determining who of the Gentile peoples of the world would obey His word in Genesis 12:3 and bless the Jewish people in their exile. History records those who have been merciful and kind to the Jews as well as those who treated them with hatred and disdain.
We are seeing a worldwide increase now in the hatred of the Jewish people by those who do not believe God will honor His word; that lack of belief is obvious in the actions of entire nations that would like nothing more than to see every Jew destroyed and their promised land divided between the enemies of Israel and God.
Many times God has warned the nations about touching “the apple of His eye” and foretold what their fate would be if they fail to heed His warnings. Still, there are many who continue to defy God and risk His wrath and judgment for their defiance. Here in the United States, those who are unbelievers, as well as many who claim to be Christians, have treated the Jewish people with utter contempt and hostility. Such is bad enough on the part of individuals, but even worse when done by governments, especially governments that have signed agreements with the nation of Israel to be their help in time of attack by other nations that want to destroy the Jewish state.
God proclaimed that He would make Jerusalem a “cup of trembling’ (Zechariah 12:2-3 KJV) to all the nations round about Israel for their attempts to divide Jerusalem, the city where God has placed His Name (2 Chronicles 6:6 KJV). Many times the US government leaders have offered their “peace initiatives” that included a demand to divide Jerusalem and give the Eastern part of the city, wherein is the Jewish Temple Mount, to be the capital of a Palestinian State within the ancient borders of Israel.
Those government leaders have gone even further and deliberately tried to coerce the nation of Israel to divide their God-given land with the many millions of sworn enemies surrounding her and publicly state they ‘yearn for peace in the Middle East’. So many “Land for Peace” initiatives have been undertaken by the US government over the past 45 years, many of which were openly attempted, it would be impossible to name them all. Even worse is those that were done in secret by those in our government who only wanted the glory of bringing peace to an area where peace seems an impossibility. However, that glory belongs to God and to Him alone. He will bring an everlasting peace when Jesus returns to destroy all the enemies of God at the end of the seven year Tribulation Period.
Meanwhile, all those nations and phony “Friends of Israel” who interfered with God’s plan WILL be held accountable, some in the very near future and all others when they stand before Jesus, face to face, to give an account of their deeds.
Just as the courts of law in most nations are involved daily in calling their courts to order so that Justice and Judgment can be accomplished, even so the Judge of all the earth will hold His court when He is ready to present HIS evidence, pass judgment and carry out the proper sentences on those who foolishly mocked God and mistreated ‘The Apple of God’s Eye’.
For more than forty years, I have seen what should be obvious to any keen observer, events that, based on the timing of their occurrences, were judgments against the United States for their heavy-handed actions against the State of Israel in attempts to make the Jewish people bow to the wishes of whatever administration was in power in Washington DC at the time. Some of those events brought catastrophic results, destroying cities with the loss of many lives. In my mind, most of those events were intended to bring repentance, godly sorrow and a change in behavior that would end in a return to the God of Heaven Who was so instrumental in establishing this nation.
However, as merciful and longsuffering as God is, when those events produced little if any repentance, He still waited patiently for the people of this nation to seek Him. Now, it appears that the days of God’s patience may be nearing an end. On any given day, the signs of a further distancing from God by the people of the US are apparent. How much longer will God remain patient in the face of such open hostility and increasing sin, rebellion and hatred toward Him through their hostility toward Israel on the part of our citizenry?
Do not be surprised at sudden judgments that may seem to ‘appear out of nowhere’ against those nations and peoples that should know better than to challenge God and invoke His judgment.
God’s timing and justice is always perfect. When that Court is convened and the Judge of all the earth has made His decision, there will be no appeal of the sentence of His judgment on those who have mocked God and the Jewish people. His sentence will be carried out and many people will suffer and die.
Possibly the worst part of having that sentence read is knowing that, as bad as the sentence and punishment is, it is nothing compared to God’s wrath which is laid up for all who disobey Him.
A wise course of action for all people would be to seek God now, study His word and become convinced of His love for all people and for The Apple of His Eye, and not risk God’s judgment OR His wrath.
Blessings and Maranatha!
©Bud Hancock. All rights reserved.