How God Turned A Curse Into A Blessing

Rowland Femi Gbamis | Ontario, Canada

“Then Moses stood at the camp entrance and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him” (Exodus 32:26 NKJV).


All human beings love success and pray to be spared failure in life. However, not every success is good and not every failure is terrible. There are times when failure in a venture turns out to be in the better interest of him who fails. Let us, for in a moment, see how God turned a curse into a blessing. Jacob, the patriarch of the Israelite nation, had once cursed his son Levi for his fierce anger and cruel wrath (Gen. 49:5-7). If yours seem to be an unpleasant lot in life and you badly wish to exchange your curse for a blessing, borrow a leaf from Levi. No one ever imagined Levi, the third of the twelve sons of Jacob, becoming the ancestor of a priestly tribe known for its dedication to Tabernacle worship among the Israelites (cf. Num. 3:5-9).


In Chapter 34 of Genesis, we read of a horrendous incident involving Leah’s daughter, Dinah, who goes out into one of the Hivite cities herself, and Shechem rapes her. The case of Shechem is that of a misplaced passion of a heathen young man who sees a fair lady, and he was attracted to her physically. Shechem’s behaviour among the ungodly is not uncalled for because he is not a Jew; hence he is not bound by any known laws that prohibit him from such action. As far as Shechem is concerned, he was deeply attracted to Dinah (v.3) because of her beauty and consequently, he raped Dinah! Today, it is not surprising that God’s children, particularly our sisters, are still being admired by the unbeliever and the ungodly because of their unholy alliance with the world’s people (1 Cor.15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14-18-emphasis mine). As God’s children, the people we associate with matter a lot. Accordingly, while Jacob and his sons heard of the rape of Dinah, Shechem and Hamor, his father, all agree to rectify the situation with Jacob.

Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, a thing which ought not to be done. But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.” Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. Ask me ever so much dowry[d] and gift, and I will give according to what you say to me; but give me the young woman as a wife.” (Gen. 34: 6-12).

Unfortunately, despite all the pleas, Simeon and Levi had a scheme to settle the rift through a brutal and well-orchestrated plan. The two sons of Jacob-Levi and Simeon deceptively lured their in-laws-to-be by catching in on their words, “marry our children, and we will marry your children.” The deed is done! Simeon and Levi say in their minds: “We agree if all of the males in the city of Shechem will be circumcised” (Gen. 34: 13-19). While the men are still in pain from the circumcision, Simeon and Levi, the brothers of Dinah, go in and kill with their swords every male in the city who was circumcised (vv. 25-27). They looted everything in the city: “They took their sheep, oxen, donkeys, what was in the city and what was in the field, and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive; they plundered even all that was in the houses.

Action And Consequence

Levi and Simeon incurred their godly father’s curse upon themselves because of what they did in the city of Shechem in Canaan when Jacob came from Padan Aram and pitched his tent before the city (Gen. 33:18).

Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the land inhabitants, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I.” But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?” (34:30-31).

For the above reason, when Jacob was about to die, he gathered all his children to pronounce prophetic blessings. While others, apart from Reuben, got their various blessings, Levi and Simeon got cursed due to their actions.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will, they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob; And scatter them in Israel (Gen. 49:5-7).

Consequently, their descendants would be fugitives scattered over the land. As for Simeon, the curse took its natural course. However, it was not so with Levi and his descendants. Levi’s descendants were scattered among their kins but not as hopeless fugitives according to the curse. Instead, the Levites became honoured ambassadors of the Almighty Jehovah in all Israel:

At that time, the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. 9 Therefore, Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him (Deut. 10:8-9).

There could not have been a more enviable spiritual status for Levi anywhere at any time, yet Levi and his descendants had it!

The Turning Point

Several questions come to mind: How did the change come about? How come that cursed Levi suddenly became the blessed? What turned the fugitive into an honourable ambassador of the King of kings? The turning point came when God called Moses up to the top of a mountain to receive the written law for Israel. However, because Moses’ return was delayed, the Israelites formed an image which they worshipped as their God under the leadership of Aaron (Exo. 32:1- 4). On his return to the camp, Moses destroyed the image that Aaron had moulded for them and demanded: “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me” (Exo. 32:26)! Remarkably, only the sons of Levi signified their loyalty to God by moving to Moses’ side, and that was the turning point in their lives. From that moment onward, God began to turn their curse into blessings. All because they change sides from idolatry to total allegiance to the true and only one God. The latter is the only condition for God to turn man’s curse into a blessing (John 3: 16; Acts 2: 37-38).

Call To Action

Moses proclaims: “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me!” Herein lies the decision that everyone must decide. We either obey God to be on His side of obedience or toll the part of our fleshly desires. (Rom. 6:12, 16). One needs to declare for the Lord as against the devil and the world (1 John 2:15-17). Your past may be dark, stained with crimes and guilt that still haunt your soul. However, if you come to the Lord’s side, God will cleanse your past and give you a new life and a new place of service in His vineyard. Are you under a curse? All those who are not Christians are cursed with God’s wrath hanging loosely over them (2 Thess.1:7-9). Lastly, our God is still in the business of turning people’s curses into a blessing through the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16; John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Are you ready today to be transformed into his likeness who died for you? If so, take God’s precious word and by believing and receiving all of its instructions, repent of your sins; confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God; and then be buried and raised with Jesus in the water of baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

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