Blessings & Curses

Curses

Origin of curses
Disobedience

(Deu 28:15 NIV)  However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

Failing to respond to God’s call

(Judg 5:23 NIV)  'Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the LORD. 'Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the LORD, to help the LORD against the mighty.'

The city of Meroz came under God's curse for failing to fight. We are under a curse if we do not respond to God’s call. That is why Christians that do not serve God sometimes do not see success in other areas of their lives.

(Jer 48:10 NIV)  "A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!

(Hag 1:4-6 NIV)  "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" {5} Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. {6} You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

The people did not respond to God’s call to rebuild the temple. As a result they came under the curse of insufficiency.

Involvement in the occult
Physical objects (amulets, charms)

(Exo 20:3-5 NIV)  "You shall have no other gods before me. {4} "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. {5} You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

(Acts 19:18-19 NIV)  Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. {19} A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

(Deu 7:26 NIV)  Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

 

Movies, songs, computer games with occultic themes
Martial arts (spiritual type)
Mind control (eg hypnosis, meditation)
Astrology, horoscopes, fortune telling
Spiritual healing
Idolatry

(further study 2 Kings)

(Exo 20:3-5 NIV)  "You shall have no other gods before me. {4} "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. {5} You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

(Deu 27:15 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol--a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of the craftsman's hands--and sets it up in secret." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Dishonour of one’s parents

(Deu 27:16 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

(Eph 6:1-3 NIV)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. {2} "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- {3} "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Violating another’s right/taking what is rightfully other’s

(Deu 27:17 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor's boundary stone." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

The third curse relates to the division of the land. Each family's allotment was to be respected; consequently, moving boundary stones came under God's curse (see 19:14).

We should not violate the rights of others. In our modern day society, violating one’s right can be in simple ways like infringing copyright rules. The originator of the product has the right to income from the product and we should not violate it.

Are we treating our employees, spouse, and children fairly? Are we granting them basic rights?

 (Deu 27:19 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Even more severe is violating the rights of the helpless and underprivileged. An extreme form of this practice is abortion or killing of a helpless fetus which is so prevalent in society today.

Leading others astray

(Deu 27:18 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray on the road." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

The Bible puts great importance on those who are impacting advice. There are severe penalties if we advise others wrongly.

(Mat 5:19 NIV)  Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Teachers of the word and counselors should pay careful attention to the advice they are giving.

Illicit sexual relations

(Deu 27:20-23 NIV)  "Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father's wife, for he dishonors his father's bed." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" {21} "Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" {22} "Cursed is the man who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" {23} "Cursed is the man who sleeps with his mother-in-law." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Another form of sexual conduct that is strongly prohibited in the Bible is homosexuality.

(Lev 18:22 NIV)  "'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Anti-Semitism

God made a promise to Abraham 4000 years ago. He promised to bless those who bless Abraham and cursed those who curse him.

(Gen 12:2-3 NIV)  "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. {3} I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

This is not just a specific promise to one man. That promise is carried throughout the line of Isaac and Jacob. When Isaac blessed Jacob, he referred back to that same promise of God to Abraham.

(Gen 27:29 NIV)  May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

That is why Satan is so keen to get people to hate the Jews. It is not only because Jesus is a Jew, it is also because hating the Jews brings with it God’s curses.

History is filled with exceptional hatred for that one particular group of people. During World War I, we saw extreme persecution of the Jews and wonder why Hitler would hate the Jews so much.

Today many of the Arabs and Muslims fall under the same curse if they do not cease their hatred for the Jews. That may explain why it is so difficult to evangelize to the Muslim nations. Perhaps we need to ask God to remove the curses and forgive them so that their eyes can then be open to receive the gospel.

Trusting in man rather than God

(Jer 17:5-6 NIV)  This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. {6} He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.


Distorting the message of the gospel

(Gal 1:6-9 NRSV)  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- {7} not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. {8} But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! {9} As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!


Theft, lying and robbing God

(Zec 5:1-4 NIV)  I looked again--and there before me was a flying scroll! {2} He asked me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide." {3} And he said to me, "This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. {4} The LORD Almighty declares, 'I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.'"

According to this verse, the curse does not just affect the individual it affects the whole household.

If robbing man is that serious, surely robbing God would be even more serious. The Bible says that if we do not offer to God his due (tithe), we are actually robbing Him.

(Mal 3:8-9 NIV)  "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. {9} You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.

 

Ancestral curses

(Exo 20:3-5 NIV)  "You shall have no other gods before me. {4} "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. {5} You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

The sins of one generation can cause a curse that flow to the third and fourth generation. If we come from ancestors with paganistic backgrounds, we have to renounce such curses on our lives.

Each of us has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents and sixteen great grand parents. That makes a total of 30 persons, any of whom may have caused a curse to come upon our lives.

Judging others

(Mat 7:1-2 NIV)  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. {2} For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Those who "judge" like this will in turn be "judged," not by men (which would be of little consequence), but by God. The person who takes it on himself to be the judge of what another does usurps the place of God (Rom 14:10) and therefore becomes answerable to Him.

It is from the verb translated “to judge” that the English words critic and criticize are directly derived. When we permit ourselves to criticize other people, we are pronouncing judgment on them and therefore incurring God’s judgment upon our own lives.

Curses by others and ourselves
Words are instruments of blessings and curses

The primary means vehicle of both blessings and curses are words.

For example, when we unknowingly curse ourselves with such remarks, as “I am really stupid”.

Or when we curse others with words such as “You will never amount to anything”.

(James 3:5-6, 9-10 NIV)  Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. {6} The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. …9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. {10} Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Curses placed by those who have authority over us

God has placed people in our lives that have authority over us. One of them is our parents.

(Eph 6:1 NIV)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Another form of authority that God has installed is the husband’s authority over his wife.

(Eph 5:22-24 NIV)  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. {23} For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. {24} Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

When someone has authority over us – like a parent or husband – and that someone places a blessing or curse over us, it has great effects.

The Bible gives us an example of a curse pronounced by Jacob, unknowingly, on his wife Rachel. Rachel had stolen her father’s idols without the knowledge of Jacob. When her father finally caught up with them and confronted Jacob, he denied stealing his idols and pronounced a curse on the person who stole it, not knowing it was his wife.

(Gen 31:32 NIV)  But if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

The curse took effect when Rachel died after childbirth.

Curses placed by servants of Satan

An example of a curse in the Bible can be found in the story of Balam. When the king of Moab was afraid of the Israelites, he decided to counter them by having Balam pronounce a curse on them.

(Num 22:6 NIV)  Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed."

Many Christians today take lightly the curses pronounced by servants of Satan. We think that they are totally harmless. Yet this is not what God thinks. Rather than dismissing the whole issue, God knows that the curses would be bad for Israel. Therefore He set out to ask Balam to stop cursing Israel and bless Israel instead.

(Num 22:12 NIV)  But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."

Elsewhere the Bible talks about how spells cast by servants of Satan causes damage to God’s people and how God wants to break that curse.

(Ezek 13:20-21 NIV)  "'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. {21} I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

As Christians we may want to consider this as a possibility why things are not going right for us. We can ask God to cancel whatever curses that may have been placed upon our lives by servants of Satan.

Self imposed curses

(Mat 12:36-37 NIV)  But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. {37} For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

We sometimes say things about ourselves that we may not really mean. Jesus warned us against such idle words and told us of its great effects.

If we had said things to ourselves like “I am so stupid”, we need to cancel those curses.

The Bible gives us an example of the workings of self imposed curses in the story of Rebecca, Jabob’s mother. She persuaded her son to deceive his father to get his father’s blessings. When Jacob refused because he was afraid to invoke his curse, Rebecca responded that she would be willing to be the recipient of any curse that may come as a result.

(Gen 27:12-13 NIV)  What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing." {13} His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."

After the pronouncement of the curse on herself, Rebecca’s mood quickly changed to one of pessimism and depression.

(Gen 27:46 NIV)  Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."

Another example of self curse is that pronounced by the evil queen Jezebel.

1 kings 19:2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."

(2 Ki 9:33-37 NIV)  "Throw her down!" Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot. {34} Jehu went in and ate and drank. "Take care of that cursed woman," he said, "and bury her, for she was a king's daughter." {35} But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. {36} They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel's flesh. {37} Jezebel's body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, 'This is Jezebel.'"

The Bible tells us that Jezebel died a horrible death.

Another kind of curse that we may not be aware of because it is so subtle is statement emphasizing our inability. An example of that is found when Moses sent out spies into the Promised Land. When the spies came back, most of them reported that they were unable to take the land. The people agreed and pronounced a curse on themselves.

(Num 14:31-33 NIV)  As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. {32} But you--your bodies will fall in this desert. {33} Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert.

God took their pronouncements seriously and vowed that as they have pronounced, it will come to pass.

(Num 14:28-30 NIV)  So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: {29} In this desert your bodies will fall--every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. {30} Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Let’s be careful of making such remarks as :

“This is driving me crazy.”

“This runs with the family so I should also get it.”

“I just know this one will go wrong as well.”

“I can never make ends meet.”

“I am always in some kind of trouble.”

“I would rather die than go through life this way.”

How to know whether you are under the influence of a curse

(Deu 28:15 NIV)  However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

Deut 28 gives a comprehensive list of curses that can come upon us. If we are inflicted by one or more of these problems, it could be an indication that we are under the influence of a curse.

Mental or emotional breakdown

(Deu 28:28 NIV)  The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.

(Deu 28:34 NIV)  The sights you see will drive you mad.

(Deu 28:65 NIV)  … the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.

Repeated (or hereditary) and chronic illnesses

(Deu 28:21 NIV)  The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.

(Deu 28:59 NIV)  the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.

Barrenness

(Deu 28:18 NIV)  The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

There will be barrenness of the womb or the tendency of the woman to miscarry. But barrenness is not restricted to the womb; there is barrenness in our effort, work. The crops of the land, herd, lambs, etc will also be barren.

Breakdown of marriage and family

(Deu 28:41 NIV)  You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity.

Many of today’s parents have seen their children taken captive by a rebellious subculture devoted to drugs, sex, satanic music and occult practices.

Financial insufficiency

(Deu 28:17 NIV)  Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

(Deu 28:47-48 NIV)  Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, {48} therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

General failure

(Deu 28:29-30 NIV)  At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you. {30} You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit.

(Deu 28:38-39 NIV)  You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. {39} You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them.

Humiliation

(Deu 28:37 NIV)  You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.

(Deu 28:43-44 NIV)  The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. {44} He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.

Suicides, unnatural or untimely deaths

(Deu 28:62-63 NIV)  You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. {63} Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you.

 

Oppression from enemies

(Deu 28:25 NIV)  The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.

(Deu 28:33 NIV)  A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days.

 

How to release oneself from curses
We need to determine the root of the curses
Prayer and fasting, letting the Holy Spirit reveal to you
Gift of knowledge in others
Pray that God will release us from these curses
Is it all right to curse under some circumstances?

Christians should not resort to curses, not even against those who do wrong against us.

(Rom 12:14 NIV)  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

(Rom 12:21 NIV)  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

There are however specific situations wherein God may use us to pronounce curses on people for the sole purpose of accomplishing His purposes. Below is one example.

(Acts 13:8-12 NIV)  But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. {9} Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, {10} "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? {11} Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. {12} When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

David was another servant of God who pronounced curses. In Psalm 69:22-25 and again in Psalm 109:6-13, he pronounced a series of curses on account of treachery and disloyalty to a righteous man who had been unjustly accused and condemned. About one thousand years later, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostles recognized that these curses of David had found their fulfillment in Judas Iscariat, who had been the betrayer of Jesus. (Acts 1:15-20)

There is one important feature to all the curses referred to above. They did not proceed from the mind and will of the man who uttered them. They were not the expression of mere human anger or vindictiveness. God sovereignly chose human channels through whom to administer His justice.

Blessings
God wants to bless us

(Rom 8:32 NIV)  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Origin of blessings
Obedience and delighting in the word of God

(Deu 28:1-2 NIV)  If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. {2} All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:

(Psa 1:1-3 NIV)  Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. {3} He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

(Psa 112:1 NIV)  Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.

 

Trusting and taking refuge in God

(Psa 34:8 NIV)  Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

(Psa 40:4 NIV)  Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Earlier we talked about the curse of trusting in man and oneself. The corollary of this is that blessings come to those who trust in God.

Protecting the weak

Earlier we talked about curses associated with violating the rights of the weak. Here the Bible promises blessings to those who uphold the needs of the weak.

(Psa 41:1-3 NIV)  Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. {2} The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. {3} The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.

Many Christians give generously to the church or in support of missions. That is good but let’s not forget also giving to charity. We also need to help the weak, not just the lost.

Observing the Sabbath

(Isa 56:2 NIV)  Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

Christians today, who are actively serving God, sometimes do not observe the Sabbath or designated rest that God demands. Rest is absolutely necessary and is not an option. If we heed to this, the Bible says that we will be blessed.

Pronouncement of blessings by others
Giving to others

Prov 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

Physical objects

(Lev 8:10-12 NIV)  Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. {11} He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. {12} He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him.

Oil became the channel of blessing for Aaron.

 (1 Cor 10:16 NRSV)  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?

The emblems of Holy Communion became a channel of blessing for those who partake it.

Benefits of blessings

(Deu 28:1-13 NIV)  If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. {2} All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: {3} You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. {4} The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. {5} Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. {6} You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. {7} The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. {8} The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. {9} The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. {10} Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. {11} The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity--in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground--in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. {12} The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. {13} The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.