They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;
Nehemiah 10:29 (KJV)
Curse – Doesn’t this tie in nicely with Galatians 3:13? Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law! That righteous, holy, and good law that was given to us to enrich our lives – we’re finally free of it! Right? Why would something so sacred be considered as a curse?
Or wait, could we be reading that wrong? Is the law the curse? Well that’s not was Paul writes in Galatians. He writes that the curse is of the law, not that it is the law. So in the verse from Nehemiah are they entering into a curse because they are entering into the law? No. Jack B. Scott states in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament that it’s only a curse “for a broken oath”. This helps explain that the curse only exists if God’s holy law is broken. This makes sense in conjunction with Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 as well.
So if the Messiah, Yeshua, has redeemed us from the curse of the law, then He hasn’t redeemed us from the law itself – only from the result of people’s disobedience. The sacred status of the law is still viable, we’ve just been restored to innocence and aligned with it again. Now if we continue to be disobedient, the curse becomes very real again.
So how do we go forward? Do we live according to our own experiences and by our own ideas of what’s wrong and what’s right? Or do we look to YHWH’s guidance which He has already bestowed upon us through the Tanakh? Do we choose to return to the curse or to live a long life with peace?