Today I would like to call our attention to 2 Samuel 21. There we can read an interesting story that gives us insight into the spiritual world and how blessings and curses work.
Surely, we wish to be the ones living under God’s blessings and avoid the curses for ourselves and our members. In this chapter we can see that Israel went through a famine that was lasting 3 years. There was a continuous famine as the land did not produce much fruit. After three years, David sought the face of the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
At this time Saul and a big part of his family had already died and David was king for a long time. This is how scary sin is. Sin does not go away, it just piles up and it brings curse, unless we repent of it and make restitution. What had happened was that although the people of Israel had sworn to spare the Gibeonites, Saul had sought to strike them down and annihilate them. The Israelites did not keep their promise towards the Gibeonites. Saul tried to kill them all. There was the blood of the Gibeonites crying out to God from the ground. When David found out about this source of the curse, he called the Gibeonites and he made restitution to them.
Sometimes is not enough to just repent before God. Like in the cases of Zacchaeus and Onesimus, sometimes there is the need to offer restitution, and sometimes there is the need to ask forgiveness to the people we have done harm.
What was the conclusion? It says that, after restitution was made, God answered prayer on behalf of the land. That means that before, although the Israelites prayed for the land to bear fruit, the prayers could not be answered. Why? Because of the sin and curse they were under. After there was true repentance and restitution through David, the prayers on behalf of the land were answered and the land was blessed and started to produce crops well. Conclusively, the famine ended. How was that possible? Through David that sought the Lord till he explained him there was a curse and the reason for it. So for us, how important is this? If there is unfruitfulness, we need to seek the face of the Lord as we live.
As Christianity grows and as our community grows sins pile up more and entangle, and we can easily come under curse. It can be the sins we ourselves committed against others or like in this case it can be even the sin someone else committed in the past. In Europe, particularly, Christianity is quite old, and there is such an extensive history of sins of believers, churches, and religious leaders. The old state churches can be regarded as Saul, and the new vibrant churches as David. Amid that what kind of people do we need to be? Not the people that just judge and condemn others adding sin to sin and curse to curse, but rather we need to be people like David and like Jesus.
We need to become the lambs of God that take away the sin of the world, that disentangle the past sin, that release our people from sin and curse and rather open the way for God’s blessing to come down. In the case of David, he even had to pray and make restitution for the sin his opponent Saul had committed. In the case of Jesus, he prayed and offered his body and redemption to the very ones that were killing him.
May the Lord inspire and strenghten us to live a life of redemption following the life of Jesus.