“Know this: in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” II Timothy 3:1-4
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 “Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed them.”
Psalm 31: 11-13 “I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, and am repulsive to my acquaintances; those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind…for I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side; while they take counsel together against me, they scheme to take away my life.”
Leviticus 24:13 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take outside the camp him who has cursed, then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.”
I have never liked the sound of the word, ‘blaspheme.’ Also, I’ve not been sure what the word means. Does it mean putting the word God together with a curse word? Does it mean saying Jesus Christ in a sarcastic or angry tone? The dictionary says that blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity. Yet people do that every day, people who know God and those who do not. Also, God tells us not to take it to heart when we overhear someone cursing us, so why would cursing God make Him so angry?
I read one definition of cursing which said, “to invoke evil or misfortune.” Perhaps this is the link to understanding how blaspheming or cursing God or another escalates to dangerous levels, spiritually and physically.
Yesterday, I ran into a neighbor who has that Middle Eastern look, though he is from Tanzania. He was quite distraught about an incident at work. While in the men’s room, he was approached by a man who asked if he wore a white ball cap, insinuating that my neighbor may be one of the Boston bomb suspects. My neighbor describes his response as going cold inside, feeling extreme fear as he looked around, and frightened by the recognition that there are others who may be plotting to harm him.
Cursing is to invoke evil or misfortune and is not merely disrespectful; such words can incite and encourage hatred and violence. This is the result man to man; yet how much more deadly is it to curse the God of the universe whose Spirit holds back the apocalyptic tide of mayhem. No wonder blaspheme is such an ugly word.