TD Jakes - The Choice That Breaks The Curse
Where the men at? Holler at your boy. You hear that? Do it again, holler at your boy. That's Jacob down in there. I told you. I told you. Jacob was dying, but Israel sat up in the bed and strengthened himself. The fact, men, the fact that I have a Jacob does not mean that I don't have an Israel that can bless you. Sisters, just because you discovered my Jacob don't you think for one minute that I don't have an Israel that's stronger than Jacob that can rise up over top of the Jacob, because after all, Jacob is dying. I said Jacob his dying, I said Jacob is dying, I said Jacob is dying. He's not dead yet, but Jacob is... and Israel will always strengthen himself.
Anyway, Levi and Simeon and Dan and Gad and Nepthali, they all gathered around the bed to get their father's blessing. Judah came too, Issachar was there to get the blessing from their father, and the father began to sit up in the bed and strengthen himself. And when Levi and Simeon come to the bed, instead of him blessing them, he cursed them. Jacob cursed them, he cursed them because he was angry at them, and he brings up their past and he says, now you come for a blessing, but I'm going to curse you. Cursed art thou, Simeon and Levi, because of your anger and because of your wrath and because of your cruelty. I curse you.
Let me give you the backstory. The reason the old man cursed them is because Simeon and Levi had found out that the men of Shechem had raped their sister Dinah and they decided, we're gonna retaliate and get even. They didn't ask their father, they didn't tell their father, but they took matters into their own hands. They were angry men and they had good reason to be angry. Whenever a man is angry, he has good reason to be angry, he didn't just get angry. There are no such things as kids that just are angry, that boy is mad about something. You cannot correct the behavior until you find the cause, they were angry because their sister Dinah had been raped by the men of Shechem. She had no business going over there in the first place, but that's another message. I'll preach that on Mother's Day.
And so they decided, this is what they did. They told the men of Shechem, since you have had our daughter we're gonna take you into the family, but in order to be a legitimate part of the family and get our blessing, you have to be circumcised. So all of the men of Shechem circumcised themselves so they could be accepted in the family. And Levi and Simeon waited until after they had shed the blood of circumcision and they were swollen and hurting and couldn't move, and then they swooped down on them and killed every last one of them. And when Jacob heard about it he was angry with them, he was angry with his sons because they were cruel and because they were mean and because they were con-artists and tricksters. He was angry with his sons because they took matters into their own hands and caused blood to be shed. He was angry with his sons because they were like him.
Could it be possible that there are men in this room who are angry with your son because that boy is too much like you? You see, Jacob had mellowed now, he wasn't the trickster he was when he was young, he had gotten wiser and more mature, and then he has kids and he has to fight a young version of himself. Isn't it funny how we forget the stupid things we did? When we're raising our children we sit on our high horses of judgment and say, "Boy, that was stupid, how could you do that?" only because you have amnesia, Jacob. You have forgotten the many stupid things you did and do. He cursed Levi for being too much like him, because generally whatever is wrong runs in the family. Oh, it's gonna be a quiet Father's Day today, ain't no dancing going on in here today. Y'all look like you sitting on pincushions.
Levi had lived with the curse of his father. That curse stayed on his sons and on his sons's sons, because when you have a curse it affects the next generation, generational curses pass down. Jacob, who had cursed him, cursed him for being like him, for being like his grandmother Rebecca, who was slick, and his great-great uncle, Laban, who was a trickster and a con-artist. This propensity had run through the family and now the old man is fighting the boy for being like the family. And the curse was of him, the curse was on him for years until we come to our text. And what is amazing, in this damnable situation, in this damnable situation, where Moses has gone up on the mountaintop to pray, and all of the children of Israel have stripped out of their clothes and they're dancing naked around the calf in the worst situation in the history of the inauguration of the nation of Israel became an opportunity for redemption. Everybody's naked and out of breath. I'll explain it later. And Pastor Moses has come back to the church and the whole congregation is... "What had happened was".
And Moses is angry, he's angry, he's angry. Moses himself is a part of the Levites, Moses was angry, angry with himself as a part of the tribe of Levi, Moses is angry because what he is kin to has gone out of control. The hardest thing to correct is the enemy that you are kin to. I know, right through the heart, went right through the heart. And so Moses says, "Who is on the Lord's side"? And you would've thought that Judah would've jumped up 'cause Judah means praise. You would've thought that Judah went to jumping, saying, "Hallelujah, glory to God, I'm on the Lord's side". You would have thought that Benjamin, because out of Benjamin would come all the kings of Israel, would come in with a crown on his head and says, "I am on the Lord's side". But of all the people to say something, here come the Levites. The ones who had lived with the curse of their father on their lives all of their lives jumped up and with one choice said, "I am".
I know I'm not much, I know I've done some dumb things, I know I've have made some horrible mistakes in my life, I know that y'all don't really like me because of the crazy things I did, but in spite of what you say about me, I made this decision. Just as I am without one plea, here I am, I'm coming to the Lord. I know, I know I did some things, I couldn't pass a drug test, I couldn't pass. Oh, y'all don't hear me. I couldn't have passed an alcohol test, I've got some spots on my background, some mess ups on my resume, I did something that has shut down something, it's hard for me to get a job, they won't give me a place to stay in, but in spite of all of that, I am. I wonder if there's anybody on the Lord's side with blotches on your record and mistakes in your past but you said, "I am".
Shake hands with three people and tell them, "I am on the Lord's side". I may not be much but I am on the Lord's side, I made some mistakes but I am on the Lord's side, I wish I could take it away but I am on the Lord's side, I've been lied on but I am on the Lord's side, I've been guilty sometime but I am on the Lord's side, I've been cursed but I am on the Lord's side, I've been bruised but I am on the Lord's side. That's who I want to hear praise the Lord. I don't mean no harm. But I don't want to hear you goody two shoes people praise the Lord; I don't know you, I can't relate to you, and sometimes I don't even like you. I want to hear somebody praise the Lord who knows you're not worthy, who knows you've been through hell, who knows that the odds were against you, who knows that if it had not been for the Lord that was on your side you would have been swallowed up. That's who I wanna hear, praise ye the Lord. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I did some dumb things but I made the right choice. I made some bad mistakes but I made the right choice. You cute folk don't have to praise him, but I've made too many mistakes, I had too many curses not to praise the Lord.
I'm going to show you one more thing. I want to show you what happened to your curse. I want to show you what happened to your curse. If you'll make the right choice, I'm going to show you what happened to your curse. I'm gonna show you why you don't have to be a statistic even though you were molested; I'm going to show you why you don't have to be a statistic even though you've never met your father; I'm gonna show you why you don't have to have a bad end just because your father left you and your mother, I'm going to show you why. There was a curse on your life, there's no denying that. The odds were stacked against you, there's no denying that. You didn't have the advantage that your neighbors did, there's no denying that. You cried yourself to sleep a million nights wishing you had what you didn't have, there's no denying that. You had to go to school by yourself, you had to clap when you made your own touchdown, you felt funny when the other kids' daddies celebrated them, there's no denying that.
You got married trying to be something that you didn't see, there's no denying that. You're trying to be a husband but you're never lived with one, there's no denying that. You're old enough to have baby but not man enough to be a father, and you're trying to feel your way, and there's no denying that. That if Satan had his way, your end would be terrible, you would never succeed 'cause there was a curse on your life. But 2.000 years ago, on an old rugged cross, there was a man from Galilee who walked the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem and he healed the sick and he raised the dead, but that wasn't what he came to do. He came to take the curse that was on your life, and the Bible said that he took every curse that was against us, and when he was nailed to the tree your curse was nailed to that tree. Somebody shout in this house.
Isaiah said, and I'm almost finished, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon him". Do you know what that means? He took a beating so you can go to bed. He took a beating so you wouldn't have to worry about it. He took a beating so he could reverse the curse. The Bible says every curse was nailed to the tree, and on the cross, the book said cursed is he that hangs on the tree. He was cursed so you wouldn't have to be, he was killed so you wouldn't be, he was bruised so that you would be liberated, he was beaten so that you could break the curse. And if you carry your curse now, it is your fault. He took the sting out of your death, the victory out of your grave, and everything that you should have been as a result of how you was raised was nailed to the cross with Jesus so that you can be free. And if you're paying that bill it's just 'cause you want to, you don't have to pay for it because Jesus. Anybody in the balcony hear me? Because Jesus. Because, do y'all hear me over there, because Jesus. Does anybody hear me over there, because Jesus.
So the next time the devil wakes you up at two o'clock in the morning and tells you what you can't be and tells you what you can't have, and tells you what you can't do, and reminds you of painful moments and memories and incidents in your life, and he tells you, "You will always be less than and you will always be limited;" and the next time the enemy makes you feel bad when you're walking through the mall and you see a boy with his daddy; and the next time the enemy makes you feel bad because you had to get somebody to walk you down the aisle; and the next time the enemy tries to make you feel bad because you think you didn't get what other people got, you throw the Word right up in his face and tell him, "He whom the Son has set free". He whom the son has set free. He whom the son has set free is free indeed. And I asked the Lord, what would you have me preach? He said, preach to the children who are carrying a needless curse.
Tell my young sons and daughters that I took the blows for your freedom, so that the rest of your life doesn't have to look like the past of your life. Tell my daughters that I will walk you down the aisle and I will open doors for you and I will make a way for you and I will take you on the college campus and I will give you favor with God and with men. And tell my children that, "If I be for you, I am more than the world against you". The Lord told me, he said let everybody else minister to the fathers, you got Forest and all of them to talk to the fathers. Talk to the children, even if they're 40 and 50 years old. Talk to the children whose fathers are dead and they feel uncovered, and tell them that I covered you, I got you, you will survive.
Quickly, without hesitation, everyone stand on your feet, quickly without hesitation, I have something to say to you today. This Juneteenth thing has always kinda like tripped me out, 'cause I'm not from Texas. I turned down an interview just the other day to interview about the Juneteeth thing 'cause I'm kinda uncomfortable with it. I'm glad Forest talked about it, I'm glad he talked about how ironic that a white guy's talking about Juneteenth, but I appreciate it 'cause it got me off the hook. The reason it's hard for me to celebrate it is because it frustrates me that for all of that time, in all of those fields, with all of those rapes and all of that abuse, that the slaves in Texas were free and didn't know it.
And when I think about Juneteenth, it's hard for me to celebrate it because I see too many people in my life who are free. Come on here, and they don't know it. And that's why I got out the bed this morning to tell you: You is free now, you is free now, you is free now. Going to school, you is free now. Go ahead and get married, you is free now. Go ahead and open up your business, you is free now. Go ahead and live your life, you is free now. Go ahead and laugh again and smile again and get your joy back, you is free now. Whatever your father did or didn't do, it has no consequence, you is free now. If you stay picking cotton is 'cause you want to, you is free now.