Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2—NKJV)

Did you ever ponder the superstitions surrounding both the notorious and the commonplace curses? How much danger do such curses pose to the believer? Tecumseh’s curse, Pharaoh’s curse, voodoo, hexes, dream catchers, evil eyes, jinxing and Friday the 13th captivate the curious and sometimes unnerve the otherwise level-headed.

Some of the more lighthearted superstitions, like “it is bad luck to walk under a ladder,” are not guarantors of bad luck as much as displays of sheer stupidity. Others may be self fulfilling prophecies, like “a broken mirror signifies seven years of bad luck.” Such bad luck is easily counted by the dour eye or the “Eeyore” personality, especially since the Bible predicts that man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). It could be just as easily proven that a broken mirror signifies seven years of good luck!

But what of the curses that come from others? Can someone literally cast a spell upon another? When someone throws a blasphemous curse of eternal damnation your way or wishes evil to brought upon you by unseen powers, can it work? The Bible teaches some interesting things about the subject of the “curse.” It teaches that there are two categories of men to which two distinctly different set of rules apply.

The first category is the natural, unsaved state of all men at birth. It is the state of being born under the curse of Adam. It is the eternal curse of being lost, of being drawn along the downward slope to perdition in Hell, which coincidentally is a “fulfillment” of anyone’s sworn wish for your damnation, though their “curse” is not the cause. This is the worst curse possible. Your sins condemn you before the presence of the Holy God and make you unfit for Heaven. You are cursed apart from Christ.

The Bible further describes you as belonging to Satan (John 8:44), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2–3). Satan is not inclined to care about your welfare; as a matter of fact he hates you because even in your fallen state you bear the marred image of your Creator, whom he hates with a flaming jealousy. Though Satan is not all-powerful and can do nothing to thwart God, the power he does have is beast-like in its exercise. It would not surprise me that for those in his clutches there would be very powerful influences active in the unseen world against you. This fact accounts for the multitude of superstitions found in every human culture to account for the unaccountable.

The only escape from such peril is to be lifted out of the first category of men by the mighty hand of God and placed in the second category, that of the redeemed. Salvation is granted by the sovereign grace of God because Jesus Christ bore the curse of my sin to the cross of Calvary and paid the debt I owed for my sin. Now Romans 8:28–39 says in effect, “all things work together for good to those who love God” and nothing can separate me from His love. Our text teaches that the fool’s curse cannot alight and Psalm 109:28 states, “let them curse, but You (God) bless; when they arise, let them be ashamed, but let your servant rejoice.” Psalm 34:7 states, “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” Read 2 Timothy 1:7–12.

A thorough reading of the account of an attempted cursing of Israel in Numbers 22–25 shows that God supersedes the malignant oaths of the enemy and also shows that, though the curse no longer rests on us, we can bring the effects of the curse of sin upon ourselves by willful disobedience (Numbers 31:16, Jude 11). We are no longer under the curse of God’s judgment, but sin is, and we invite judgment when we sin. “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4) and “The foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’ (2 Timothy 2:19)”

Are you released from the worst curse of all, the curse of eternal damnation (“fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”—Matthew 10:28)? Are you allowing the curse of sin to rest on others by being passive in your evangelism? Do you live and serve under the providential care of your Heavenly Father free from fear of men? Trust and obey.