Deuteronomy 27:26 “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
Curses in the Old Testament were reserved for those Israelites who did not obey the Law of Moses. But even before the Law was given, our father Abraham had a special covenant with God.
Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “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.”
Centuries before the Law was given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, God promised a very special covenant with Abraham if he would simply obey God’s command to leave his country and move to the land He would later show him. The promise was to bless those who blessed Abraham and to curse those who cursed him. There would be no curse on Abraham, the man of faith. Indeed Scripture records how God blessed Abraham abundantly, especially after he showed his willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac at Mt. Moriah.
Now of course centuries later the Israelites came under the Law of Moses. It would impose curses on anyone who did not obey the entire Law—not only the letter of the Law, but also the spirit of the Law. This impossible-to-reach standard was meant later to lead the Israelites to Christ.
Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” …13 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 pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. …29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
If we belong to Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we are Abraham’s children. Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law through his death on the cross. Instead, the blessing given to Abraham is now ours. We have been redeemed and no longer “deserve” the curses from our past sins.
Proverbs 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
Therefore curses cannot come to rest upon us if we are truly in Christ.
Numbers 23:7 Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ 8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced?
Deuteronomy 23:5 However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.
This is what God graciously did for the Israelites in the desert when Balak sent Balaam to curse them after they left Egypt. In the same way, no one can curse us whom God has not cursed. Rather any curse can be turned into a blessing.
This is what Scripture generally teaches about curses.
“Generational curses” therefore are canceled when sinners turn to Jesus Christ in true repentance—meaning they turn away from their sins and begin to walk in obedience to His commands.
In the author’s opinion, curses today are carried out by demonic forces. Therefore in some cases, after repentance and turning to Jesus the new believer may need to rebuke the demons or unclean spirits which have afflicted the family for generations. Scripture clearly teaches that disciples have authority over demons. But it is very important for believers to understand that once driven out, demons may try to return.
Luke 11:24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Therefore for curses to be completely “broken,” true repentance (“the house swept clean,” “put in order,” and filled with Jesus and the word of God) is an absolute requirement. Even following true repentance the impure spirit may want to return to afflict the new believer as taught in verse 26 above. He or she therefore needs to be taught to persevere in rebuking and resisting the spirit with authority.
Partial repentance on the part of a new believer will result in the curse remaining in part, meaning the demonic affliction does not leave completely.
In Scripture we do not see Jesus or his disciples “breaking curses.” Rather in terms of the supernatural we see them healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the gospel. We personally have decided to follow Scripture closely, and therefore we do not practice “breaking curses.” It probably does no harm to break curses as taught by some in the Church today, but it is not taught in Scripture. It is more scriptural simply to rebuke and drive out the demon or demons which administer the curse.