I’m sure you have heard about the generational curse. If not, it is a teaching where the children pay for the sins of their parents. Having heard this over the years caused me take a closer look. Why? I found it curious that God would hold later generations accountable for the sins of their parents, even today.
The Origin of the Generational Curse
Did you know the generational curse was first pronounced on Mount Sinai? It was part of the Second Commandment concerning idolatry.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Exodus 20:5
God mentions this again in Exodus 34:7, again during an event concerning the Commandments.
What Did God Say about the Curse?
Let’s take a closer look at Exodus 20:5. We see God spoke concerning the Children of Israel worshiping idols or false gods. Yet something stands out in His words. God said He would visit or pass judgment on the generations that hate Him! And in Numbers 14:18, God said He would not clear the guilty! This began to make more sense to me. Will God judge the righteous as unrighteous? Never!
So to reiterate, God said judgment would follow the generations of those who transgressed the commandment. By worshiping idols, they demonstrated hatred toward the One Who delivered them from bondage. He separated them from all the people of the earth to be His Chosen People. If they reject Him by turning to false gods, they would reap the reward of their actions through at least four generations if they continued.
Is This Still in Force Today?
Let’s look at a verse often used concerning this subject.
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? Ezekiel 18:2
While speaking to Ezekiel concerning Israel, God revisited this judgment. By now, it became a reworded proverb, or a popular saying. In other words, the children feel the effects of their father’s transgressions. But what did God say next?
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:3-4
As you read this, the tendency might be to think this is some new thing God thought to do. Actually, God just made it clear that a person will reap only what they themselves sow. God will not punish the righteous with the wicked. Again, others may say, “God can do what He wants. He is God!” This is true. And what He wants is justice and right judgment!
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? Job 8:3 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Psalms 89:14
So Does This Apply to Us Today?
The truth is, this never applied to us in the first place! God spoke this to Israel, not the Church. So to preach or teach this as doctrine or revelation promotes false accusations and places people under fear and bondage! When this is embraced, we begin to blame our parents for the troubles in our lives. And our children will blame us for their sorrows. But God is just! We all must give account for our own sins. Our children are free of any wrong we might have done. And we are free from any our parents might have done.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
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