The following pages are rich with insight into generational sin, curses, and freedom form those sin and curses in your life.
Take time to read each scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you Divine insight into their importance and application.
Click on any of the topics below to expand (or close) a presentation of key scriptures.
Generational Sins (The Message)
The Second Commandment.
- Exodus 20:1-6 GOD spoke all these words: (2) I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. (3) No other gods, only me. (4) No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. (5) Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am GOD, your God, and I'm a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. (6) But I'm unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
- Deuteronomy 5:6-10 I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a house of slaves. (7) No other gods, only me. (8) No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. (9) Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am GOD, your God, and I'm a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. (10) But I'm lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
God's description of Himself, of His Goodness, Mercy, and Justice.
- Exodus 34:6-7 GOD passed in front of him and called out, "GOD, GOD, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient--so much love, so deeply true-- (7) loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn't ignore sin. He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father's sins to the third and even fourth generation."
- Numbers 14:18 GOD, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; Still, never just whitewashing sin. But extending the fallout of parents' sins to children into the third, even the fourth generation.
Law of Judgment: "Eye for an eye"
- Exodus 21:23-25 But if there is further damage, then you must give life for life-- (24) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, (25) burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Generational Sins at Work
Generational Sins at Work (The Message)
A warning to Israel that they and their children will waste away in a foreign land.
- Leviticus 26:39 Any who are left will slowly rot away in the enemy lands. Rot. And all because of their sins, their sins compounded by their ancestors' sins.
Descendants of Solomon corrupted by iniquity, leading nation into idolatry and corruption. In general, each one worse than the previous.
- 1Kings 15:26, 34 (26) He was openly evil before GOD--he followed in the footsteps of his father who both sinned and made Israel sin.... (34) He was openly evil before GOD, walking in the footsteps of Jeroboam, who both sinned and made Israel sin.
- 1Kings 16:25-26 But as far as GOD was concerned, Omri lived an evil life--set new records in evil. (26) He walked in the footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who not only sinned but dragged Israel into his sins, making GOD angry--such an empty-headed, empty-hearted life!
- 1Kings 22:52-53 As far as GOD was concerned, he lived an evil life, reproducing the bad life of his father and mother, repeating the pattern set down by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. (53) Worshiping at the Baal shrines, he made GOD, the God of Israel, angry, oh, so angry. If anything, he was worse than his father.
Descendants of Solomon and of Israel just before the Exile
- Jeremiah 16:10-12 "When you tell this to the people and they ask, 'Why is GOD talking this way, threatening us with all these calamities? We're not criminals, after all. What have we done to our GOD to be treated like this?' (11) tell them this: 'It's because your ancestors left me, walked off and never looked back. They took up with the no-gods, worshiped and doted on them, and ignored me and wouldn't do a thing I told them. (12) And you're even worse! Take a good look in the mirror--each of you doing whatever you want, whenever you want, refusing to pay attention to me.
Children of Israel in Babylon during the Exile.
- Lamentations 5:1-15 "Remember, GOD, all we've been through. Study our plight, the black mark we've made in history. (2) Our precious land has been given to outsiders, our homes to strangers. (3) Orphans we are, not a father in sight, and our mothers no better than widows. (4) We have to pay to drink our own water. Even our firewood comes at a price. (5) We're nothing but slaves, bullied and bowed, worn out and without any rest. (6) We sold ourselves to Assyria and Egypt just to get something to eat. (7) Our parents sinned and are no more, and now we're paying for the wrongs they did. (8) Slaves rule over us; there's no escape from their grip. (9) We risk our lives to gather food in the bandit-infested desert. (10) Our skin has turned black as an oven, dried out like old leather from the famine. (11) Our wives were raped in the streets in Zion, and our virgins in the cities of Judah. (12) They hanged our princes by their hands, dishonored our elders. (13) Strapping young men were put to women's work, mere boys forced to do men's work. (14) The city gate is empty of wise elders. Music from the young is heard no more. (15) All the joy is gone from our hearts. Our dances have turned into dirges.
Scribes and Pharisees identifying with their ancestors who killed the prophets.
- Matthew 23:30-32 And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. (31) You protest too much! You're cut from the same cloth as those murderers, (32) and daily add to the death count.
Each Dies for His Own Sin
Each Dies for His Own Sin (The Message)
Original declaration: each dies for their own sin.
- Deuteronomy 24:16 Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children for their parents. Each person shall be put to death for his own sin.
King Amaziah of Judah applies Deuteronomy 24:16.
- 2 Chronicles 25:3-4 When he had the affairs of the kingdom well in hand, he executed the palace guard who had assassinated his father the king. (4) But he didn't kill the sons of the assassins--he was mindful of what GOD commanded in The Revelation of Moses, that parents shouldn't be executed for their childrens' sins, nor children for their parents'. We each pay personally for our sins.
End of a proverb about sour grapes.
- Jeremiah 31:29-30 "When that time comes you won't hear the old proverb anymore, Parents ate the green apples, their children got the stomachache. (30) "No, each person will pay for his own sin. You eat green apples, you're the one who gets sick.
Clear outline of God's judgment and repentance principles.
- Ezekiel 18:1-32 GOD's Message to me: (2) "What do you people mean by going around the country repeating the saying, The parents ate green apples, The children got stomachache? (3) "As sure as I'm the living God, you're not going to repeat this saying in Israel any longer. (4) Every soul--man, woman, child--belongs to me, parent and child alike. You die for your own sin, not another's. (5) "Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships-- (6) doesn't eat at the pagan shrines, doesn't worship the idols so popular in Israel, doesn't seduce a neighbor's spouse, doesn't indulge in casual sex, (7) doesn't bully anyone, doesn't pile up bad debts, doesn't steal, doesn't refuse food to the hungry, doesn't refuse clothing to the ill-clad, (8) doesn't exploit the poor, doesn't live by impulse and greed, doesn't treat one person better than another, (9) But lives by my statutes and faithfully honors and obeys my laws. This person who lives upright and well shall live a full and true life. Decree of GOD, the Master. (10) "But if this person has a child who turns violent and murders and goes off and does any of these things, (11) even though the parent has done none of them-- eats at the pagan shrines, seduces his neighbor's spouse, (12) bullies the weak, steals, piles up bad debts, admires idols, commits outrageous obscenities, (13) exploits the poor "--do you think this person, the child, will live? Not a chance! Because he's done all these vile things, he'll die. And his death will be his own fault. (14) "Now look: Suppose that this child has a child who sees all the sins done by his parent. The child sees them, but doesn't follow in the parent's footsteps-- (15) doesn't eat at the pagan shrines, doesn't worship the popular idols of Israel, doesn't seduce his neighbor's spouse, (16) doesn't bully anyone, doesn't refuse to loan money, doesn't steal, doesn't refuse food to the hungry, doesn't refuse to give clothes to the ill-clad, (17) doesn't live by impulse and greed, doesn't exploit the poor. He does what I say; he performs my laws and lives by my statutes. "This person will not die for the sins of the parent; he will live truly and well. (18) But the parent will die for what the parent did, for the sins of-- oppressing the weak, robbing brothers and sisters, doing what is dead wrong in the community. (19) "Do you need to ask, 'So why does the child not share the guilt of the parent?' "Isn't it plain? It's because the child did what is fair and right. Since the child was careful to do what is lawful and right, the child will live truly and well. (20) The soul that sins is the soul that dies. The child does not share the guilt of the parent, nor the parent the guilt of the child. If you live upright and well, you get the credit; if you live a wicked life, you're guilty as charged. (21) "But a wicked person who turns his back on that life of sin and keeps all my statutes, living a just and righteous life, he'll live, really live. He won't die. (22) I won't keep a list of all the things he did wrong. He will live. (23) Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn't it my pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right--really living? (24) "The same thing goes for a good person who turns his back on an upright life and starts sinning, plunging into the same vile obscenities that the wicked person practices. Will this person live? I don't keep a list of all the things this person did right, like money in the bank he can draw on. Because of his defection, because he accumulates sin, he'll die. (25) "Do I hear you saying, 'That's not fair! God's not fair!'? "Listen, Israel. I'm not fair? You're the ones who aren't fair! (26) If a good person turns away from his good life and takes up sinning, he'll die for it. He'll die for his own sin. (27) Likewise, if a bad person turns away from his bad life and starts living a good life, a fair life, he will save his life. (28) Because he faces up to all the wrongs he's committed and puts them behind him, he will live, really live. He won't die. (29) "And yet Israel keeps on whining, 'That's not fair! God's not fair.' "I'm not fair, Israel? You're the ones who aren't fair. (30) "The upshot is this, Israel: I'll judge each of you according to the way you live. So turn around! Turn your backs on your rebellious living so that sin won't drag you down. (31) Clean house. No more rebellions, please. Get a new heart! Get a new spirit! Why would you choose to die, Israel? (32) I take no pleasure in anyone's death. Decree of GOD, the Master. "Make a clean break! Live!"
We are All Under Iniquity
We are All Under Iniquity (The Message)
We are all under iniquity.
- Romans 3:23 Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,
A horrible description of the true nature of Man.
- Romans 3:10-18 There's nobody living right, not even one, (11) nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. (12) They've all taken the wrong turn; they've all wandered down blind alleys. No one's living right; I can't find a single one. (13) Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mud slides. Every word they speak is tinged with poison. (14) They open their mouths and pollute the air. (15) They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year, (16) litter the land with heartbreak and ruin, (17) Don't know the first thing about living with others. (18) They never give God the time of day.
The results of iniquity.
- Romans 6:23 Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
Special Exceptions where Children Die for their Father's Sin
Special Exceptions where Children Die for their Father's Sin (The Message)
Rebellion of Korah, Datham and Abiram results in the earth swallowing them and their men, their wives, children, and all of their possessions.
- Numbers 16:27-34 So they all backed away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram by now had come out and were standing at the entrance to their tents with their wives, children, and babies. (28) Moses continued to address the community: "This is how you'll know that it was GOD who sent me to do all these things and that it wasn't anything I cooked up on my own. (29) If these men die a natural death like all the rest of us, you'll know that it wasn't GOD who sent me. (30) But if GOD does something unprecedented--if the ground opens up and swallows the lot of them and they are pitched alive into Sheol--then you'll know that these men have been insolent with GOD." (31) The words were hardly out of his mouth when the Earth split open. (32) Earth opened its mouth and in one gulp swallowed them down, the men and their families, all the human beings connected with Korah, along with everything they owned. (33) And that was the end of them, pitched alive into Sheol. The Earth closed up over them and that was the last the community heard of them. (34) At the sound of their cries everyone around ran for dear life, shouting, "We're about to be swallowed up alive!"
Sin of Achan results in his entire family and all possessions being stoned, burned, and buried.
- Joshua 7:1, 18-26 (1) Then the People of Israel violated the holy curse. Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took some of the cursed things. GOD became angry with the People of Israel.... (18) He called up the family members one by one and singled out Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah. (19) Joshua spoke to Achan, "My son, give glory to GOD, the God of Israel. Make your confession to him. Tell me what you did. Don't keep back anything from me." (20) Achan answered Joshua, "It's true. I sinned against GOD, the God of Israel. This is how I did it. (21) In the plunder I spotted a beautiful Shinar robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a fifty-shekel bar of gold, and I coveted and took them. They are buried in my tent with the silver at the bottom." (22) Joshua sent off messengers. They ran to the tent. And there it was, buried in the tent with the silver at the bottom. (23) They took the stuff from the tent and brought it to Joshua and to all the People of Israel and spread it out before GOD. (24) Joshua took Achan son of Zerah, took the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, sheep, and tent--everything connected with him. All Israel was there. They led them off to the Valley of Achor (Trouble Valley). (25) Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? GOD will now trouble you. Today!" And all Israel stoned him--burned him with fire and stoned him with stones. (26) They piled a huge pile of stones over him. It's still there. Only then did GOD turn from his hot anger. That's how the place came to be called Trouble Valley right up to the present time.
- Joshua 22:18-22 Look at you--turning your back on GOD! If you rebel against GOD today, tomorrow he'll vent his anger on all of us, the entire congregation of Israel. (19) "If you think the land of your possession isn't holy enough but somehow contaminated, come back over to GOD's possession, where GOD's Dwelling is set up, and take your land there, but don't rebel against GOD. And don't rebel against us by building your own altar apart from the Altar of our GOD. (20) When Achan son of Zerah violated the holy curse, didn't anger fall on the whole congregation of Israel? He wasn't the only one to die for his sin." (21) The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the tribes of Israel: (22) The God of Gods is GOD, The God of Gods is GOD! "He knows and he'll let Israel know if this is a rebellious betrayal of GOD. And if it is, don't bother saving us.
David and Bathsheba's firstborn son dies at the age of seven days.
- 2 Samuel 12:14-18 But because of your blasphemous behavior, the son born to you will die." (15) After Nathan went home, GOD afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he came down sick. (16) David prayed desperately to God for the little boy. He fasted, wouldn't go out, and slept on the floor. (17) The elders in his family came in and tried to get him off the floor, but he wouldn't budge. Nor could they get him to eat anything. (18) On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him. They said, "What do we do now? While the child was living he wouldn't listen to a word we said. Now, with the child dead, if we speak to him there's no telling what he'll do."
Death of the children as well as the fathers: of Anathoth and of Judah.
- Jeremiah 11:21-23 That sent a signal to GOD, who spoke up: "Here's what I'll do to the men of Anathoth who are trying to murder you, the men who say, 'Don't preach to us in GOD's name or we'll kill you.' (22) Yes, it's GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking. Indeed! I'll call them to account: Their young people will die in battle, their children will die of starvation, (23) and there will be no one left at all, none. I'm visiting the men of Anathoth with doom. Doomsday!"
- Jeremiah 13:14 And then I'll smash them, smash the wine-filled jugs--old and young alike. Nothing will stop me. Not an ounce of pity or mercy or compassion will slow me down. Every last drunken jug of them will be smashed!'"
- Jeremiah 16:3-4 I have signed the death warrant on all the children born in this country, the mothers who bear them and the fathers who beget them-- (4) an epidemic of death. Death unlamented, the dead unburied, dead bodies decomposing and stinking like dung, all the killed and starved corpses served up as meals for carrion crows and mongrel dogs!"
- Lamentations 5:7 (7) Our parents sinned and are no more, and now we're paying for the wrongs they did. (See full passage above)
Death of the children of the wicked of Babylon, no possession of their land, and destruction of their cities.
- Isaiah 14:20-23 No state funeral for you! You've left your land in ruins, left a legacy of massacre. The progeny of your evil life will never be named. Oblivion! (21) Get a place ready to slaughter the sons of the wicked and wipe out their father's line. Unthinkable that they should own a square foot of land or desecrate the face of the world with their cities! (22) "I will confront them"--Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies-- "and strip Babylon of name and survivors, children and grandchildren. (23) " GOD's Decree. "I'll make it a worthless swamp and give it as a prize to the hedgehog. And then I'll bulldoze it out of existence." Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.
Disobedience is Among Many Reasons for Curses from God
Reasons for Curses from God
- Daniel 9:11 All of us in Israel ignored what you said. We defied your instructions and did what we pleased. And now we're paying for it: The solemn curse written out plainly in the revelation to God's servant Moses is now doing its work among us, the wages of our sin against you.
- Deuteronomy 11:26-28 I've brought you today to the crossroads of Blessing and Curse. (27) The Blessing: if you listen obediently to the commandments of GOD, your God, which I command you today. (28) The Curse: if you don't pay attention to the commandments of GOD, your God, but leave the road that I command you today, following other gods of which you know nothing.
- Deuteronomy 28 Many curses listed for disobedience.
First Curses in the Bible: To the serpent, woman, ground, and man.
First Curses in the Bible
- Genesis 3:14-19 GOD told the serpent: "Because you've done this, you're cursed, cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals, Cursed to slink on your belly and eat dirt all your life. (15) I'm declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He'll wound your head, you'll wound his heel." (16) He told the Woman: "I'll multiply your pains in childbirth; you'll give birth to your babies in pain. You'll want to please your husband, but he'll lord it over you." (17) He told the Man: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree That I commanded you not to eat from, 'Don't eat from this tree,' The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you'll be working in pain all your life long. (18) The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you'll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (19) sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you'll end up dirt."
First Curse Spoken by a Man
First Curse Spoken by a Man
- Genesis 9:25 He said, Cursed be Canaan! A slave of slaves, a slave to his brothers!
Jews Cursing Themselves and Their Children
Jews Cursing Themselves and Their Children
- Matthew 27:25 The crowd answered, "We'll take the blame [Jesus' blood], we and our children after us."
General Statements about Curses
General Statements about Curses
- Proverbs 3:33 GOD's curse blights the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.
- James 3:9-10 With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. (10) Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can't go on.
- Proverbs 26:2 You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.
Jesus has the Last Word about Curses
Jesus has the Last Word about Curses
- Matthew 5:43-44 "You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' (44) I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer ....
- Luke 6:27-28 "To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. (28) When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.
Jesus Provides Freedom from the Curse
Jesus Provides Freedom from the Curse
- Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the Cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse.
Last Statement about Curses in the Bible
Last Statement about Curses in the Bible
- Revelations 22:3 Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service--worshiping...
Freedom from Generational Sin and Curses
Confession of Father's (and own) Sins
Confession of Father's (and own) Sins (The Message)
- Leviticus 26:40-42 "On the other hand, if they confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors, their treacherous betrayal, the defiance (41) that set off my defiance that sent them off into enemy lands; if by some chance they soften their hard hearts and make amends for their sin, (42) I'll remember my covenant with Jacob, I'll remember my covenant with Isaac, and, yes, I'll remember my covenant with Abraham. And I'll remember the land.
- Daniel 9:4,5,11,20 I poured out my heart, baring my soul to GOD, my God: ... (5) we have sinned in every way imaginable. We've done evil things, rebelled, dodged and taken detours around your clearly marked paths. (11) All of us in Israel ignored what you said. We defied your instructions and did what we pleased. And now we're paying for it: The solemn curse written out plainly in the revelation to God's servant Moses is now doing its work among us, the wages of our sin against you. (20) While I was pouring out my heart, baring my sins and the sins of my people Israel, praying my life out before my God, interceding for the holy mountain of my God....
Appropriating the Cross
Appropriating the Cross (The Message)
- Galatians 3:10-14 And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: "Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law." (11) The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: "The person who believes God, is set right by God--and that's the real life." (12) Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: "The one who does these things [rule-keeping]continues to live by them." (13) Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the Cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. (14) And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham's blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God's life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing--just the way Abraham received it.
- Colossians 2:13-14 When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive--right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, (14) the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's Cross.
- 1 Peter 1:18-19 It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. (19) He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb.