10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
This word is very serious, and we’ll take it word by word. When we look at bloodshed in the old testament from the perspective of the new, it is in a spiritual sense.
1) “Cursed”. If you are negligent in God’s work, it will be a curse to you. A cursed person in the Bible refers to someone whom God has judged in a very severe way. So, this is a serious warning that your wrongdoing will be judged very severely. God is the one who judges here. Above all things, this is to flee from and fear – God’s wrath and His curse. Even if you don’t know how to pray, this is one thing to cry for – that God would save you from His curse.
2) “God’s work”. What is the Lord’s work – this work that must be done so diligently? In Hebrew it is “melawkaw”. When you apply for any job, you get a job prescription that describes the work expected from you. So too, the Lord’s work is that work He has called you to do. Some do not even know what work God has called them to! How can you ever do the work, if you do not even know what it is! But if you know, you need to do it diligently, with all your heart.
Prov 18:9 – A lazy person cannot be blessed and is the brother to him who destroys. It is much worse if you’re slack in God’s work.
God makes His will clear throughout the Bible, as we read in the following passages:
Matt 28:19 – We are called to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all He has commanded us. It is His will that we further His cause and His gospel.
Ezekiel 3:18 – We ought to warn the wicked in his wicked way. If you do not warn someone in his sin, he will die in his sin, but his blood will be required from your hand.
If you protect the wicked, you hurt those that do good. You will be as guilty as those who do the wickedness. If you gossip about someone who does good, the person listening to your gossip, is as guilty as you are. When someone start to gossip about someone else, you should stop him and ask him to come with you to discuss the matter in the presence of that person. How many of you do that?
3) “Deceitfully” – Rather do your own work half-heartedly, but you cannot afford to do God’s work half-heartedly.
A certain young man came to me many years ago. He was engaged to a girl and said to me that one “cannot love the Lord Jesus, as you love a girl”. He told me how he dreams of her and how she fills his thoughts throughout the day. Later that girl left him, and he was completely shattered. No, Jesus must be first – always. The Bible teaches the same. The love to the Lord must be greater and far more than the love to a parent, child, wife, husband, and even God’s work.
In Judges 5:23 we read how God pronounces a curse on Morez, because they did not come to fight against the enemies God commanded to be destroyed. They were afraid, because the inhabitants had iron chariots. Others fought against them, but these were not prepared. Therefore the angel came and said that the inhabitants of that city would be utterly cursed, because they did not come to the help of the Lord. God expects you to assist Him, and work together with Him. When He speaks to you about someone to be warned or helped, He expects you to assist Him. God sends those preachers, even at school. Some listen and obey, and some don’t. He sends out His warnings, and expects you to work and assist Him in His work. Where are those today that will reinforce God’s work over and again, with all their strength?
4) “Cursed be he who keeps back his sword from blood” – What does this mean? Peter did not hold back his sword, but chopped off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Then the Lord said to him to put away his sword. Peter fought in the flesh. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers in heavenly places. We need to use the sword of the Spirit.
In Hebr 12:4 we read that you have “not resisted sin to the point of shedding blood” – It is not a battle against people, but sin. Christianity is not like Islam, who fights and kills and sheds the blood of their enemies. The Lord commanded us to love our enemies.
The Lord commanded Saul to destroy the Amalekites utterly – men, women, children, oxen, sheep, etc. This word applies to us as well – how we should treat sin in our lives. However Saul did not obey the Lord, but spared the best of the flock, goods, and the king. Here we see how one who is not perfect in the Lord, twist the Lord’s word. You might bluff your husband or wife, but not the Lord. Do not play the fool with God, but take Him at His word.
In 1Kings 20:42 they went to battle against the enemy, and took those captive, whom the Lord appointed for utter destruction. Then they let the king go alive. In those days, if you captured a prisoner, and he escaped from you, because of negligence, your life go for his life. Therefore the king of Israel’s life went for his enemy’s life.
Maybe someone visits you, and he is one of those who serve the Lord deceitfully. You know it, but you do not warn him and correct him, but let him go. His curse now comes to you. What would have happened to him, now comes upon you. God commands you to use the sword upon him, but you do not, because you’re afraid or have “good manners”. Then God turns around, and his curse rests upon you.
There’s the story of a certain boy who just completed matric, and with joy he shared it with his uncle. His uncle congratulated him and gave him 10 euro. He then asked him a series of questions, one following the other, of how his future will be. A summary of his answers were: He will study, get his degree, get a good job, then a nice wife, have children, and lateron grandchildren and eventually die. His uncle asked him to proceed, but he answered that he did not know what would happen after death. “In that case”, his uncle replied, “I’ve just met the biggest fool ever – someone who completed matric, and doesn’t even know what will happen after his death!”
We need to know what God has called us to do while here on earth, and we must do that with all our heart.
If you hold back the sword when evil is around you, that sword will be used on you. God’s word is the sword of the Spirit.