In my circles, there’s this belief called “generational curses”. Generational curses is the belief that the weaknesses you struggle with stems from your parents, or parent’s parents. What biblical support is there for this belief in generational curses? And, what freedom do we have?
This belief comes from this passage “…visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7).”
This morning, however, I was reading Ezekiel, the eighteenth chapter, and began reading these words that opposed the modern belief at that time of “generational curses”. In Ezekiel 18:19, it says; “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’.” It was common belief that sins were carried from one generation to the next, and God would judge them for that. If a man was a thief, his children would also assume this as part of their identity. The family line would be known as thieves, whether they personally did it or not. That was just who they were. And it was accepted that God would judge this family line for a few generations because of the sins of that one man. He essentially brought ruin to his kids and grandkids. And they suffered for it.
In the next verse God says, “A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent. (Ez 18:20)”. God changes the common belief of generational curses. It was challenging for the people to understand this because in this culture, as opposed to the Western world, they held a high view of the family unit. Each one’s identity was knitted to the family unit, or clan. And, also, within a high patriarchy society, meant that the father of the lineage defined the identity of the group. However, God introduced a new concept: individualism. God will no longer curse generations – the family unit and lineage, but will judge an individual based on actions of that person.
The blessings or punishment from God is now contingent on that one person’s conduct. See, God takes no pleasure in punishing a people for the actions of an individual. Rather, God desires to save the whole and condemn that one. How liberating and relieving this must have been to hear?! For the righteous sons and daughters, to know that whatever bad things their mother or father did, will no longer define their identity nor their future!
You are not cursed! Your family history does not define who you or your destiny. God has given you a fresh start!