THE Church, unfortunately, has rejected knowledge on how generational curses can affect Christians. For rejection of knowledge, God says there is a price to pay.
Hosea 4:6 tells us, “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge: Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
The problem is not the lack of knowledge but the rejection of it. For rejection of knowledge, God says, He will also reject us and ignore our children.
One can then say, the fruits we see today in our families and communities, betray their generational roots, the seeds predecessors planted. We see patterns of failure, stagnation, illegitimacy, poverty, sickness in our families and the families of our Christian friends.
The Bible teaches that “by their fruits you shall know them.”
What kind of seeds did our ancestors plant that hound us today and present invisible barriers always pulling us back. Did our ancestors worship other gods ? What does God say about those who turn to Idols and forsake Him?
The fruits betray them.
Origins of generational curses
God warned the Israelites that for disobedience, their descendants would bear the punishment of a generational curse. Deuteronomy 28:14. “Do not turn aside from any of the commands and decrees I am giving you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”
To understand generational curses from the sin of Idolatry, we must know that curses are punishment from God for disobedience and do not come from Satan. Satan is like a parasite who will only take advantage of the presence of a carcass.
The presence of a curse attracts demons like flies are attracted to a decomposing body. Mathew 24:28 . Whenever there is a carcass , vultures will gather. Unfortunately, many Christians confront the devil when they see what resembles a generational curse in their lives.
They fast and pray and spend sleepless nights fighting the devil for maladies that he has no power to bring upon them. It is God who has decreed the punishment, so it is God we turn to. Leviticus 26 :1 “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 7 : 25-26 “The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.”
Exodus 20: 3-5 “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.”
For the sin of Idolatry, God punishes to four generations.
Babylon was a curse
Most of us are first, second and third generation Christians and we have come to Christianity with a baggage from our predecessors as well as our own! If we are going to be sincere with ourselves, we will accept that there is so much Idolatry in our family backgrounds.
A look at Deuteronomy 18 :10-12 shows what God warned the Israelites about Idolatry.
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire.” This was a pagan practice where children would be burnt in the fire to a Canaanite god of prosperity called Molech.”…or who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”
Anyone who practices these forms of Idolatry could be sure that curses would follow them to the third and fourth generation.
Curses for Idolatry
A person sitting in a fortune tellers dark room , as the medium peers into a crystal ball or reads his or her palms may think they are there alone.
The unfortunate thing is that when we visit a witch doctor we walk in with four generations-our children and our children’s children and our great grand children, who will incur curses for idolatry-incurable diseases, financial problems, depression, broken marriages and calamity after calamity-all as a result of one person from the family line who “worshipped another god!”
Generational curses from Idolatry affect our lives by the virtue that we are descendants of a family that practiced witchcraft or consulted witchdoctors and mediums and will follow our children’s children until the curse is broken.
We must understand that when God looks at us, He does not see an individual, but sees us as a bigger family, a nation, a generation and He judges us as a people of God.
When our ancestors committed sin we were “in their loins,” that is why we are guilty today.Hebrews 7:10 “One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.”
Upright and righteous
God had warned the Israelites of Idolatry, that they would be taken to worship the gods of stone in Babylon. Being taken to Babylon was a curse. Daniel 1: 1-2. “ In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.”
It came about as a result that was spoken of in Deuteronomy 28:36 “The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone.”
We see that the curse of being taken into captivity in Babylon did not spare Daniel who was an upright and righteous man in the eyes of God. He even refused to be defiled by the food in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace!
When it is a curse, it does not spare the saved. It affects Christians and non-Christians alike. For example, if there is a curse of barrenness, it will affect both the believer and non-believer.
Ezekiel 21:3-4. “And say to her: ‘This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north.”
Daniel was not the only righteous man who was touched by the curse. It also touched righteous men like Meshack , Shadrack and Abednego, Ezra and Nehemiah.
Many Christians believe that because of their righteousness, they will not be touched by generational curses.A young Christian lady claimed that she could never be under a curse, because Jesus Christ had become a curse for her.
A close look at her life however revealed that any time she got a good job, she always ended up losing the job as a result of the company downsizing. She had tried business and also failed. each time she was borrowing money and was unable to pay back. She is a committed Christian and loves the Lord. A lot of times she has gotten people to pray with her, but her situation just seemed to get worse.
Generational curses can touch both Christians and non-Christians alike.
Critical life matters
Daniel knew the pathetic situation in Babylon was not the portion of God’s children and embarked on searching the answer to the question why the curse was touching God’s own children -why were they captives in Babylon serving God’s enemies?
It is important to turn to the word of God when we seek answers to critical life matters like generational curses.
Daniel found the answer in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 25:8-11. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations.I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
According to Daniel 9:2, he found out that “the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.”
Sins of the forefathers
Once Daniel understood the situation, he confessed the iniquity and sins of the forefathers. When confronted with generational curses in our lives, it is time for confession.
Daniel identified with his forefathers as he repented. He understood that God was not dealing with him as an individual, but was dealing with him as a part of Israel, a larger family, a generation.
To understand generational curses and how to break them, that come from the sin of Idolatry, we must appreciate that God’s anger is against his own people and not his enemies.
It has to be clear that we are not only guilty for our own sins but also the sins and iniquities of our forefathers since we were part of them when they sinned. We were “in the loins” of our ancestors and sinned with them.
Daniel was able to pray and plead with God to make good his promise of delivering them from the slavery in Babylon which was set to last 70 years. If Daniel had prayed before the allotted time was over, the curse would still not have been broken.
However, the difference between believers in Christ and Daniel is that when we pray, our prayers will be answered immediately.
In the time of Daniel, the curse breaker had not been born. According to Galatians 3: 13, “ 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 pole.” Jesus Christ, is the curse breaker.
If Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, why do we still see generational curses in our lives?
To answer this we must understand all the benefits of the cross of Jesus Christ has brought into our lives-the great exchange (Sin for righteousness 2 Corinthians 5:21), Curses for blessings Galatians 3:13, Sickness for health Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24, Poverty for riches 2 Corinthians 8:9).
When Jesus died, He died for the sin of the whole world, but is the whole world saved? They need to do something. They need to accept they are sinners to be saved. The same way with the curse. There is something we have to do.
With salvation we have to accept we are sinners. I have to believe that Christ became my sin. I believe, accept and repent.
In the same way, although Jesus has become a curse for the whole world through His death on the cross, not everybody is free from punishment that has been released from the curse.
For the curse, we have to appropriate the blessings in the same way that we do for salvation. I accept that I and my family line are under a curse and in need of God. If I don’t acknowledge the curse I am not going to break it!
I look at the cross and see that Jesus Christ has carried my curse on His body through His death. In the same manner that Daniel prayed, I repent by renouncing and turning away from my sins and the sins of my forefathers- the sin of worshipping other gods.
Daniel 9:11-16 “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.
Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favour of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.
Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.”