For several years I have been studying the Bible in relation to God and curses (see my book "How" and an upcoming book on "Breaking Curses"). Based on a study of Scripture alone I have determined that a "curses" has nothing to do with God using His omnipotent power to cause misfortune, but is rather the absence of God's protective presence (see Joshua 7:12; Malachi 3:6-9; also compare Deut. 28 with Deut. 31:16-18).
Last night, while reading a book titled "Ten Words that will Change EVERYTHING You Know about God" by Dr. Jim Richards and Chaim Bentora I found this excerpt by Hebrew Scholar Chaim Bentorah on Jeremiah 17:5 enlightening (as well as a scholarly confirmation):
"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." (Jeremiah 17:5)
"Curse in Hebrew is 'Arur, which comes from the idea of a situation where God is not present. To curse someone is to demand that God removes His protective covering, His Succoth, or arm of protection, from that person. In Jeremiah 17:5, the word 'Arur is passive. Hence, this is not an act of God, but a result of what will happen if we trust in the arm of flesh." (p. 60)
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