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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, ‘God has taken away my disgrace.’”—Genesis 30:22–23 (NIV)
The Curse of the Billy Goat was a sports-related curse that was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 by William Sianis after he and his smelly goat Murphy were asked to leave Wrigley Field during the World Series. They lost the series that year and didn’t make it back until 2016. That year, they won it all for the first time since 1908!
Look, obviously curses aren’t real. But imagine how this 2016 team must have felt being the team to remove the shame and feeling of being cursed. Imagine how Cubs fans in general felt. I imagine it was a joyful vindication.
Now, imagine how Rachel must have felt. Although she was Jacob’s preferred wife, the one he truly loved and had worked 14 years for, she couldn’t bear him children. Meanwhile, her sister Leah (and also Jacob’s wife) was churning out kids like there was no tomorrow.
Rachel must have felt cursed and reproached; stricken and abandoned. But then . . . God did a miracle and she conceived. And look at her words: “God has taken away my disgrace” . . . What a powerful statement! And one we can understand fully. How so?
Well, unlike the Cubs or Rachel who were not actually cursed, we truly were cursed! We were under the curse of sin—the very curse that brought about death, decay, and suffering. Deuteronomy 27:26 (NIV) tells us, “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” But God didn’t leave us in our cursed state. He never forgot us, and “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5 ESV). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13 ESV).
God in the flesh, the Word incarnate, the spotless, blessed, favored, dearly-loved Son and Lamb of God, took our curse upon Himself. He bore the full force of it on the cross, and He took away our disgrace by giving us the glorious gift of grace! And now, because of Jesus, we who believe are no longer under the curse of sin; instead, we have received the blessed privilege of sonship and have been qualified “to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12 NIV).
Can I get a shout of praise for our beautiful Savior?!
DIG: Have you ever felt cursed? What led to this? How did you get past it or “break” the curse?
DISCOVER: What does it mean to know that God remembers you, that He won’t leave you abandoned in your pain?
DO: As you have been blessed by God and not cursed, be a blessing to someone today! Who knows . . . maybe your act of kindness and Spirit-led blessing will help them come to know Jesus, thereby breaking the curse of sin in their own life!