Monday, August 25, 2008

Generational Curses

Generational curses are blamed for everything these days. So often when I ask for healing prayer, if I mention the “G” word (genetic), or for no particular reason, the person praying will launch into praying against “generational curses”, the concept based on the second commandment, which says that since “God punishes the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations,” any problem a person has results from some sin, known or unknown, that their ancestor committed. The remedy, according to the teaching's adherents, consists of anything from personally repenting of that sin to undergoing five-hour rituals to undo their ancestors' Masonic involvement. One person told me that someone who prayed for her discerned witchcraft in her family all the way back to the eleven hundreds—for which she had to repent. People mean well (I think) but I’m amazed at the angry responses to my pointing out what the scripture truly says.

The second commandment and several other passages in the Bible really do say that:

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5

So what’s the problem? God in his mercy and grace didn’t leave us there! Even as far back as Ezekiel’s time, God stopped passing the blame through the generations!

"Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father? Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. " Ezk 18:19-20

This entire chapter is clearly about individuals not bearing any guilt but their own. Ezekiel was looking forward to the day when Jesus would bear the curse of sin and death, including the generational curse, for us.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13

Hallelujah! Jesus has already done it!!! We who follow Jesus are no longer under the Law! Each person is only responsible to repent for his or her own sins and Jesus’ death and resurrection have won us forgiveness! We don’t need any rituals to “break off” such curses; the New Testament never even suggests such a thing! Even in the Old Testament, God had Ezekiel rebuke the Israelites for saying such a thing.

The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:" `The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. EZE 18:1-4

This is a very serious issue since the kinds of curses that people should be concerned about are the ones that come from trying to be justified by the Law (Mosaic).

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." GAL 3:10

But what about genetic diseases? I’m not a genetic scientist but I can be reasonably sure (and fervently hope) that if a person’s parent has a disease it’s not a sure thing that they will contract it also. If a person knows that a genetic tendency runs in their family they will do well to take precautions such as eating a healthy diet and exercising. I realize that this part is oversimplification but I do know that we who follow Jesus are not required by any curse to contract these things!!

Yes, sometimes curses do harass people for other reasons but that’s another matter. God no longer punishes the children for the sins of their fathers! We are FREE in Jesus!

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