The first mention of generational sins in the Bible is found in Exodus 20:5. As God unveils the Ten Commandments to the Nation of Israel, Moses is urged to inform individuals of the sins of the father. This includes any addiction, bad habits, careless choices, unwholesome desires or any act of disobedience that is in direct conflict with God’s commands, decrees and precepts. Following Moses’ disclaimer about generational sins, the ten commandments are centered around loving God and loving your neighbor.
And Cain said to his brother, [b]Let us go out to the field. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 And the Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And [the Lord] said, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed by reason of the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s [shed] blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast], Genesis 4:8-12.
After the act of original sin, a joint venture by Adam and Eve, who was right there with her while taking a bite from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge in Genesis 3:6, the second sin in the Bible is mentioned in the passage above. Just as Eve made a decision to break God’s only boundary in the Garden of Eden, Cain made up his mind to eliminate his competition and the source of his envy/jealousy. Cain’s act of murder was passed down to his children and grandchildren, up to four generations.
Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say; for I have slain a man [merely] for wounding me, and a young man [only] for striking and bruising me. 24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech [will be avenged] seventy-sevenfold, Genesis 4:23-24.
Although I’ve read the book of Genesis on numerous occasions, I failed to see the confession made by Lamech to his two wives. Following some sort of altercation and dispute, Lamech admits to killing a young man who physically assaulted him. Lamech reflects upon what God said about Cain and his earthly punishment. When I heard Lamech’s confession, this is clearly a sign from God to break any generational sins in your family before it’s too late. Follow the apostle Paul’s advice in Galatians 5:16-25 to break this sinful pattern so you don;t follow in your father’s wayward footsteps.
by Jay Mankus