The Curse from the Ground


“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
And He said, “What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.  And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth”   
Genesis 4:9-12.

Curses release the powers of evil against us.  Because the devil was “a murderer from the beginning” (see John 8:44), few things can release his evil powers like the shedding of innocent blood.  Here we see that Cain was “cursed from the ground,” because he murdered his brother.  The very earth itself curses man today in many regions because of the innocent blood that has been shed upon it.  Therefore, many revivals and moves of God could not be released in these regions until there was repentance for the sins that had been committed in those places by previous generations.

Why would the curse brought on by one generation get passed on to the next?  Because every time there is sin, there is a wound that is inflicted upon the glorious harmony that was originally established in the creation.  For wounds to be healed they must be disinfected and closed, which is true throughout the creation.  For the consequences of sin to be removed, there must be repentance, reconciliation, and restoration.  A good biblical example of this is found in 2 Samuel 21:1:

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD.  And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

King David’s administration suffered a famine for a sin that his predecessor had committed.  The curse did not come upon David’s administration to punish him, but because the ground was cursed.  When the curse became evident, David made restitution to those who had been wounded by Saul’s sin so that the curse could be removed.  Thus, we find righteous men in Scripture such as Daniel and Nehemiah asking forgiveness for the sins of their fathers.  The reason that the sins of the fathers are passed on to following generations is not to punish the children for what the previous generations did, but to remove the curse and bring repentance and restoration.  Curses upon regions are to alert the righteous that the healing of a spiritual wound in that region is needed.

King David lived under the law, so the only way the curse could be removed because of Saul’s sin was to let the Gibeonites have revenge on Saul’s house.  Under the law it was an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (see Exodus 21:24).  However, we are no longer under the law.  The curse is now removed by the cross of Jesus.

Even so, there must be an acknowledgment of sin, and repentance for the cross to be applied.  For there to be repentance, there must be an identification with the sinner, or credentials for repentance.  It required the king of Israel to repent for the sins of the previous king.  Likewise, only a white man can repent of the sins of white men against blacks.  Only a Baptist could repent for the sins of the Baptists, or a Charismatic for the sins of the Charismatics.

“Reconciliation” movements have arisen in the church in recent years to do just this.  They have resulted in extraordinary releases of God’s grace on cities, countries, and even whole regions of the world.  Repentance for social and spiritual sins committed in our history is not the only thing that is needed to release revival, but it can sometimes be the spark that brings the release of life and light.  Our personal repentance can do the same in our personal lives.  This can also be true for a church.  Many churches suffer under an unnecessary curse because they have not repented for previous sins that they committed as a church, or even the sins of previous leaders of the church.

In the text from Genesis about Cain, the curse from the ground caused him to become a wanderer on the earth.  Because man was created to cultivate the earth, the earth needs man.  However, we can never be completely at home, or at peace with the earth, until the curses have been removed that are the result of human sins against one another.  This is why the problems with refugees, such as the Jews and the Palestinians, are problems that can threaten the peace of the whole world.  The reason that regions cannot seem to free themselves from poverty can often be traced to the sins of previous generations.  In all things, repentance can be the beginning of the release of God’s grace and favor in our lives.


~ Pastor Rick Joyner

Rick JoynerPastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.

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