Blessing becomes Curse?

Proverbs 27 14 d

Q. What is the meaning of Prov 27:14 “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him”?

A. Blessing is a good thing, but can turn into a curse when it is done:
• with a loud voice i.e. in an inappropriate manner, &
• early in the morning i.e. at the wrong time.

The Amplified Bible expands the verse as:
He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse to him [for it will either be annoying or his purpose will be suspect].
The JFB Commentary has “excessive zeal in praising raises suspicions of selfishness.”

Both the manner and timing of a blessing, not just the content, are important. We need to watch not just what we say, but how and when we say it.

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Dealing with Insults

insult 1

Q. People around us are continually criticizing us, with words which are insulting. I don’t know whether it has to do with racial discrimination or not, but it is very difficult to bear. What should we do?

A. First, distinguish who you are dealing with. Are they scoffers or mockers? To scoff or scorn is to show contempt by insulting words or action. It combines bitterness with ridicule. The inner emotion is a sense of superiority, which outward expression is to scorn or mock. If you are dealing with a scoffer, do not descend to their level. Ignore them. Don’t give them fuel:
Prov 9:7-8 He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.

Second, listen to what your critics are saying. Although you do not like to hear them, is there any truth in what they are criticizing you? If there is, correct those things. They are doing you a favor by pointing them out to you, although with hurtful words.

Third, discern why are they so critical? It could be racial discrimination as you surmised, which is never justified. Or they may be jealous, so they try to put you down to prop themselves up. In these cases the problem is with them, not you, so don’t worry. Or it could be because of your stand for the Lord, in which case you should rejoice and be glad, because you are considered worthy to suffer shame for Him, and your reward in heaven is great.

Mt 5:11-12 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
• Lk 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
• Acts 5:41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Fourth, consider the how. Positively, learn to:
• cast all your anxiety on Him,
• be content, and
• give a blessing instead, because
o He cares for you,
o when you are weak and rely on the Lord, then you are strong because He is strong,
o we will inherit a blessing.
Negatively, never take your own revenge. Never return insult for insult. The world’s way is to retaliate, give them their due, but that’s not the way for Christians. Leave it in God’s hands. He will repay the scoffers.

Rom 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
• 2 Co 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
• 1 Pet 1:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
• 1 Pet 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Hope this helps.

Curse on Rebekah?

Isaac Jacob 4

Q. Jacob said to Rebekah that if Isaac found out he wasn’t Esau, it would bring a curse to him. Rebekah responded that let the curse be on her. Was there ever a curse on Rebekah in the end?

A. Isaac did not curse Jacob, because he himself said, “Cursed be those who curse you” (Gen 27:29), and he knew Jacob shall be blessed (Gen 27:33).

He did not curse Rebekah either, probably because he loved her (Gen 24:67), and likely knew that she was more aligned with God’s choice of the younger than he was, as he favored the older (Gen 25:28).

Her “curse” came in the form that she never saw her favorite son Jacob again. She thought she was sending Jacob away only a short time – a few days with Laban plus the duration for the return trip:
Gen 27:43-45 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury subsides, until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there.

In fact Jacob stayed with Laban 20 years – 7 years for Leah, 7 years for Rachael, and 6 years for the sheep and goats:
Gen 31:38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks.

By the time Jacob returned, Rebekah already died. She never got to see him again for her trickery. Sin always pays.

Rebekah’s Trick

Isaac Jacob 5

Q. Rebekah already knew God would bless Jacob and put all his brothers under him. Why wouldn’t she just tell Isaac instead of using a plot to trick him?

A. Rebekah knew Esau would serve Jacob. At that point she did not know what would God bless Jacob with, nor that he will be master of his brothers (Gen 27:29), that knowledge came later, after Isaac blessed Jacob, not before:
Gen 25:23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”

Gen 25 did not say whether Rebekah told Isaac what the Lord said to her. I can only assume that she probably did, having received an important revelation from God, but the text did not state that explicitly.

She resorted to a trick because she, like her husband, was playing favorites, and knew that Isaac preferred Esau:
Gen 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Like her mother-in-law Sarai, Rebekah took matters into her own hands, which caused more problems than good:
Gen 16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Scripture is very truthful in recording the strengths and weaknesses of biblical characters. That’s why we believe it is reliable and trustworthy.

Isaac Blessing Esau?

Isaac Esau 2

Q. Why would Isaac bless (predict) Esau to break away from Jacob? Isn’t that cursing Jacob with trouble in the future? Maybe that accounted for all the problems in Middle East today? Why was Jacob rewarded for deceiving Isaac and stealing Esau’s blessing?

A. Isaac blessed Esau because he loved him, even though God already told Rebekah “the older shall serve the younger” (Gen 25:23):
Gen 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Despite Isaac’s favoritism, all he could do was to state the negative of Jacob’s blessings for Esau:

Esau: Gen 27:39a Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling,
Isaac: Gen 27:28b And of the fatness of the earth,

Esau: Gen 27:39b And away from the dew of heaven from above.
Isaac: Gen 27:28a Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,

Esau: Gen 27:40a By your sword you shall live, And your brother you shall serve;
Isaac: Gen 27:29a Be master of your brothers,

Esau: Gen 27:40b But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck.
Isaac: Gen 27:29b And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.

The best that Isaac could bless Esau with was that he will break Jacob’s yoke from his neck. I do not consider that as cursing Jacob with trouble in the future, as Isaac himself blessed Jacob with “Cursed be those who curse you,” (Gen 27:29). He knew better than to curse Jacob.

I also don’t think Isaac’s prediction or prophecy caused the problems in the Middle East today. The children, representing two nations and two peoples (Gen 27:23), struggled within Rebekah (Gen 27:22) even before they were born:
Rom 9:11-12 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

Jacob was not rewarded for deceiving Isaac and stealing Esau’s blessing. He was blessed because of God’s choice, before they were born and had done anything good or bad. God did not explain His choice, just as He did not explain why He allowed Esau (Edom) to break Jacob’s (Israel’s) yoke from his neck. The election was purely His sovereign choice, and He allowed Rebekah’s and Jacob’s deception to offset Isaac’s prejudice to accomplish His purpose. The Bible did not say anything beyond that, and I can go only as far as the Bible revealed.