Curse For Curse

by Joseph Hunting

Four thousand years ago God made a promise to Abraham that has determined the rise and the fall of both individuals and nations according to their relationship with Israel. The promise is made in the simplest language, and yet it is surprising how few have heeded its warning: "I will ... curse him that curses you" (Genesis 12:3).

Whilst Abraham had many sons and grandsons which included the founders of some of the Arab nations of today, it is interesting to note that God repeated this promise exclusively to Isaac and Jacob, the founders of the Jewish race. This extraordinary promise has never been repealed and its effect has been documented so accurately in both secular and Biblical history that it defies natural explanation and logic.

Death of the Firstborn

Those familiar with Biblical history will recall the fate of Pharaoh who was the first to pit himself and the armies of Egypt against the defenceless Hebrew slaves. There is an interesting side-light in this story not generally referred to. Pharaoh had condemned all the Hebrew baby boys to death by ordering their drowning in the Nile. God told Moses to demand Israel's release from bondage with these majestic words: "Thus says the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: and I say unto you, Let my son go that he may serve me: and if your refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn" (Exodus 4:22-23).

Pharaoh himself was esteemed as a god in Egypt and he certainly wasn't going to be dictated to by the God of the Hebrews, as his response reveals: "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go" (Exodus 5:2).

Well, he asked for it! Pharaoh was as good as his word, and so was the God of the Hebrews. Thus it was CURSE FOR CURSE. The firstborn of Egypt were slain, and for good measure, three days later the armies of Egypt that set out to recapture the liberated slaves drowned in the Red Sea -- Hebrew babies had been drowned in the Nile -- now the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea -- CURSE FOR CURSE!

Death on a Gallows

The story of Haman's downfall also has an interesting side-light. Long before Haman plotted the destruction of the Jews, Mordechai had saved the king's life and this had been noted in the palace records and been filed away and forgotten.

On the very night that Haman had plotted to hang Mordechai the king couldn't sleep, so he commanded that someone read him the "book of records", hoping no doubt that this boring exercise would soon have the desired result of curing his sleeplessness! When it was told him that Mordechai had once saved his life he decided to honour him. The ensuing story is a classic that outdoes Gilbert and Sullivan -- Haman chose that moment to approach the king to request Mordechai's execution on a gallows specially prepared at the suggestion of his wife. Let the original script writer tell the story.

"And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak to the king to hang Mordechai on the gallows he had prepared for him. And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman stands in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

"So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delights to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delights to honour, let the royal apparel be brought which the king wears, and the horse that the king rides upon, and the royal crown which is set upon his head: and let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delights to honour, and bring him on horseback through the streets of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delights to honour.

"Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as you have said, and do even so to Mordechai the Jew that sits at the King's gate: let nothing fail of all that you have spoken" (Esther 6:3-10).

Finally Haman himself was hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordechai -- CURSE FOR CURSE!

And Jew-haters down the centuries to Eichmann and Hitler have suffered a similar fate. Why is mankind so slow to heed God's warning?

Curse for Gloating

It's often interesting to read a diary of past events. Ezekiel kept a diary of events in his day, and in chapter 24 he recounts all that he Lord told him concerning the ninth year of the captivity of King Jehoiachin on the tenth day of the month of that year. Why was that day so important? It was because that was the very day that Nebuchadnezzar and his armies came up against Jerusalem. The siege which lasted two years caused terrible suffering until it ended on the ninth day of Av in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign (see 2 Kings 25:2).

During those awful years of the siege the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites and Philistines gloated over the plight of Jerusalem and its stricken inhabitants. " ... you said, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate, and the house of Judah, when they went into captivity ..." (25:3). The prophet details the Divine wrath that fell upon each of these nations, none of which survive to this day. It was CURSE FOR CURSE indeed!

Edom was the receiver of a special curse because there were at least ten rebukes listed against them (Obadiah 1:10-14) when the people of Israel were being punished by God and they gloated, they ravaged them, they harassed those that were trying to escape. CURSE FOR CURSE? "For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as you have done, it shall be done to you: Your reward shall return upon your own head ... there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD has spoken it" (Obadiah 1:15,18).

Curse for Greed

In recent times Lebanon has been much in the news. In Bible times its most famous port was Tyre, and we turn again to Ezekiel's diary for an amazing prophecy and its equally remarkable fulfilment regarding this city.

The prophet records that in the eleventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity, when Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, the inhabitants of Tyre rejoiced because they would now get the trade that had flowed to Jerusalem. " ... because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken ... I shall be replenished now she is laid waste" (26:2). So God decreed that Nebuchadnezzar would utterly destroy Tyre and the prophecy: "I will scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock" (26:4) was fulfilled.

And that was not the final end of Tyre. The city was rebuilt on an island just off the coast, and Ezekiel foretold the method Alexander would employ to capture and destroy the city more than two hundred years later. "And they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the water ... and I will make you like the top of a rock: you shall be a place to spread nets upon" (26:12,14).

Alexander's soldiers did exactly what the prophet had said they would do. Secular history records that they used the rubble of destroyed buildings on the mainland to build a giant causeway for his troops to cross to the island.

That causeway has today altered Lebanon's coastline and it is now a place where fishermen literally spread their nets. CURSE FOR CURSE was fulfilled to the letter, so much so that Tyre's gleeful greed over Jerusalem's demise was rewarded with the judgment of the Almighty: "And they shall make a spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise" (26:12).

A Time to Ponder

Some two thousand five hundred years after Ezekiel penned his diary, Israel, after nearly two thousand years of dispersion, is back again in the land God promised to them. The Arab descendants of Abraham are there too, and surrounding them are those who form the Arab bloc of nations that have the hatred of their forefathers still clinging to them. National leaders of today would do well to take time out from their busy schedules to ponder the curse so devastatingly fulfilled as revealed in Ezekiel's diary.

Where are the Philistines, the Amalekites, the Moabites, Edomites and Ammonites? Where are they today? They have long since ceased to exist, yet Israel has survived to this day.

Yet indeed, even modern history confirms the curse God has put upon anti-Semites. Hitler was a modern Haman. He planned the extinction of the Jewish race, commencing with those of Europe even as Haman planned their extinction in Babylon. Yet both these madmen died like dogs, Hitler in the flames of his own funeral pyre of a gutted Third Reich, even as Haman on his own gallows. Was there ever greater evidence that CURSE FOR CURSE is always in effect?