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Tag Archives: generational sins

God Doesn’t Move… But Many Run Away

The phrase “like father like son” first appeared in 1616, written within a book called Bibliotheca Scholastica Instructissima.  This piece included proverbs collected by an Englishman named Thomas Draxe.  Apparently, this idiom existed in the English language prior to this date, verbally communicated in similar manners or ways.  The point expressed by this saying implies that sons tend to emulate their fathers in action. behavior and word.  The eyes of a young child are watching, copying what they see.

Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, Genesis 3:7-8.

The Bible has another way of explaining like father like son.  The theological term used in the Old Testament is generational sins: weaknesses or tendencies that are handed down to individuals through the generations from parents or members of a family. These sins can involve behavioral patterns and ways of thinking that keep us trapped in the past.  When Adam and Eve broke the only rule in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:16-17, God didn’t move, but this couple ran, hiding in shame.

Then the Lord passed by in front of him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers upon the children and the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers],” Exodus 34:6-7.

When the news that Aaron, his brother, helped the people of Israel create a golden calf, righteous anger led Moses to break the 10 commandments.  After coming back down the mountain, Moses introduces generation sins with the phrase iniquities of the father.  Any violation of God’s moral law is considered an iniquity.  Thus, each time a father strays from the Word of God, setting a bad example for his children, these sinful tendencies are passed down three to four generations.  Isaac learned how to lie from his father Abraham, Jacob’s family was notorious for disguising the truth and Solomon developed an unwholesome obsession with women after his birth from an adulterous affair.

‘Because the Lord was not able to bring these people into the land which He promised to give them, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17 But now, please, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, saying, 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving wickedness and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting (avenging) the wickedness and guilt of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generations [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers],’ Numbers 14:16-18.

Everyone has some sort of tendency to collect or pick what they see on a daily basis.  This subconscious practice shapes who you and I become.  Some may do this to fit in, others to obtain a hobby with a few to merely pass time.  Nonetheless, the scene in the Garden of Eden is replayed daily when conviction leads to guilt and shame.  Instead of drawing near to God, many run away ashamed, embarrassed and haunted by past mistakes.  When any hopes for perfection are shattered, may the grace of God lead you to stick around.  Wait for God’s forgiveness and mercy to be poured out through confession like a cold glass of water on a hot and humid day.

by Jay Mankus

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When Life is Cruel and Unfair

The title of Clint Eastwood’s classic western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly provides a much more accurate assessment of life than I initially thought.  In this context, the good symbolizes blessings, fruits of hard work, rewards, success and victories in life.  Meanwhile, the bad includes accidents, disappointment, failure, injuries, setbacks and unforeseen events.  Ugly represents examples of when life is cruel and unfair, taking the forms of curses, demonic influences and generational sins.

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, Exodus 20:5.

On my first day back to work following bereavement for my father in law’s funeral, I received more bad news.  One of my co-workers Dominic, suffered a brain aneurism on one of his day’s off.  Dominic is one of those people you enjoy interacting with, engaging, friendly, kind and at times longwinded.  Nonetheless, Dominic had just received a promotion, relocating to a new building in Maryland.  His future looked bright until a severe brain aneurism has left Dominic on the verge of death.  For a young man with a girl friend and the rest of his life in front of him, this fate doesn’t seem fair.

However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:  Deuteronomy 28:15.

The only way to explain this tragedy and similar heart breaking stories can be found in the ten commandments, specifically Exodus 20:5.  Moses reflects upon this biblical truth within an entire chapter in Deuteronomy.  Moses spends the first 14 verses of chapter 28 highlighting signs of God’s blessings.  The remaining 54 verses uncover hints of curses and or consequences of generational sins.  Due to the extent of details shared within this chapter of the Bible, it’s safe to say more curses exist than blessings.  Subsequently, people shouldn’t be surprised by examples of when life is cruel and unfair.  In view of this harsh reality, it’s essential to live each day on earth like it’s your last, assuring and preparing yourself for life beyond this world, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Gospel According to Forrest

Forrest Gump once said, “stupid is as stupid does.”  Although Tom Hanks played this fictional character, there is a lot of truth to this statement.  Recently, Riley Cooper, a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles went to a Kenny Chesney concert, had a few drinks, got into a heated argument with a black security guard and blabbered out a racial slur directed toward him.  When you do or say something stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to apologize day after day to make the media feel better.  Living about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, Riley Cooper is being crucified on the airways every hour, as callers are picking up the first stone like the account in John 8:1-11.  According to the Gospel of Forrest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does.”

From a spiritual perspective, there is a good reason why people say stupid things.  Since the birth of Cain, every child born on earth has been implanted with a virus.  The Bible refers to this birth defect as the sinful nature or carnality in the original King James version, Romans 7:14-18.  As a result of this disease, individuals and their children have never been the same.  Thus, politicians, professional athletes and average citizens daily fulfill the words of Forrest Gump.

Take for example the daughters of Lot, trying to cope with the loss of their mother, death of their future husbands and a father stricken with depression, Genesis 19:30.  Emulating the practices of their uncle Abraham, Lot’s daughters felt more comfortable trusting in their own wisdom rather than wait on God to provide.  Therefore, they each partake in Indecent Proposal IV & V.  Once their dad is drunk as a skunk, with his beer goggles on, Lot thinks the woman in his tent is a mistress or perhaps a dream that he is sleeping with his wife once again.  Instead, Lot’s daughters take the gutter to a new low, sharing their father on consecutive one night stands, Genesis 19:32-35.  “Stupid is as stupid does!”

Similar to the descendants of Ham, these woman gave birth to the Moabites and Ammonites.  Like Abraham and Lot’s daughters, the Moabites trusted in Egypt when times got tough.  In addition, the Moabites called on Balaam to curse Israel, setting in motion their exclusion from the nation of Israel.  Meanwhile, the Ammonites worshiped the idol Milcom, which also led Solomon astray.  By breaking the first and second commandments, Exodus 20:3-4, a generational curse is poured out upon this nation, Exodus 20:5.  This is why Jesus adds Matthew 18:5-7 to the Bible.  He knew how precious and innocent children are.  Therefore, if you still have time to act, live out Matthew 18:8-9, purging sin from your life so that your children and children’s children don’t inherit the sins of their parents.  Check out Restoring The Foundations ministry online if you want to know more about how sin impacts children.

by Jay Mankus

Mind Over Matter

Over the last few decades, the Name It and Claim It movement has gained traction, permeating into mainstream Christianity.  This theological position combines the bible with metaphysics, using faith as a force to speak the truth within an individual’s mind into existence.  Unfortunately, this view fails to address obstacles such as generational sins and sins of the father, Exodus 20:4-5, ungodly beliefs like John 8:31-38, soul spirit hurts in Matthew 11:25-30 and demonic influences, Ephesians 6:12.  In addition, some of these churches now encourage members not to seek a doctor when sick, claiming if they had genuine faith, they would be healed.

I tend to lean toward what I call a Read it and Believe it view of Christianity.  In other words, as you read and study the Bible, you begin to learn God’s precious promises.  As you examine how the Israelites and first century church leaders claimed these promises, you can apply these same principles into your own prayer life.  During trying moments, you might want to use prayers of King David or Jesus himself as an outline for prayer.  Faith in this context is in the word of God, not your own mind.  Belief is exercised through the power of the Holy Spirit as described in 2 Peter 1:3-4.  According to this passage, God has given us everything we need for life in the form of the Holy Spirit.  In my mind, this is a more realistic and accurate view of a biblical life.

During my tenure as a high school Bible teacher, I slowly began to see how weak individual minds were.  Not in an intellectual sense, but in their belief, confidence and power of God to change their current situation.  Many of my students had given up hope that their circumstances could ever improve.  Divorce, heartbreak and trials poisoned their minds with doubt, leading many to dwell on matters beyond their control.  This mindset can develop into a defeatism mentality, creating Christians who never successfully take their minds captive, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  This is likely why the name it and claim movement has become attractive to so many Christians today.

To my knowledge, there are only 2 clear examples of mind over matter in scripture.  The first is used by the apostle Paul in the context of an athlete training for the Corinthian Games, similar to the modern day Olympics.  Runners must force their minds to overcome the pain they are experiencing so that one can push their body beyond a normal limit, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.  Practice and training prepares a runner for the various competitions in life.  Meanwhile, the disciple Peter is referring to having a certain mindset, one like Jesus in 1 Peter 4:1.  This use of the mind relates to the thought process which helps you endure your current state, enabling you to reach the goal or end result you desire and seek to obtain.  This mindset is accessible when Christ is Lord over all areas of your life.  Therefore, as 2012 draws to a close, my prayer for 2013 is that people begin to scratch the surface of the love and power of God, Ephesians 3:14-21.

by Jay Mankus

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