To understand this concept, we have to go back to the book of Exodus 34:6-9: “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him[Moses] and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’”
That last sentence is where the concept of generational curses originated.
What is a Generational Curse?
It is a punishment that God gives that not only affects the one who committed the sinful act, but it is powerful enough to affect the children, the grandchildren, and the great grandchildren. Through these words, God lets Moses know just how powerful He is.
After Moses had broken the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, God said let’s do it again, and commanded Moses to meet Him on Mount Sinai. This is where God reminded Moses of who He was. He started with warm, fuzzy words: compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, and faithful. But God ended a description of Himself with some fear-inducing concepts (Ex 34:7). God tells Moses His punishment for sin can be so powerful that it drives down to four generations after the sin was committed. This is power.
This dichotomy between God’s love and His punishment reminds me of a poem I studied in college, “Tiger, Tiger” by William Blake. The poet asks the fear-inducing tiger, “Did he who made the lamb, make thee?” How is that possible? Could a power who can create something as gentle as a lamb also make something as ferocious as a tiger? The last sentence in Exodus answers the question: God, who can abundantly reward, will also severely punish.
The God who lovingly created the Garden of Eden was the same God who sent rain for forty days and forty nights to destroy most of that creation.
Today, Black History Month focuses our lens on the plight of African Americans; and when I look around, I just want to moan, “My people, my people.” We are suffering in just about every segment of society: education, employment, you name it! Why are we having such a hard time? Do we suffer from a generational curse? Can the curse be broken?
The Curse Can Be Broken.
We are living in a fallen creation. The impact on mankind—black, white, red, or yellow—is widespread. Until His kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven, we will never eradicate the symptoms of a fallen creation. But we do not have to despair. There is a way to rise above it all. There is a way to live in a fallen space without being utterly destroyed by it.
Jesus’ arrival ushered in a new era when the lives of those who are poor in spirit can be enriched. We can walk in our destiny and dance in our victory because Jesus announced boldly in Luke 4:18, “. . .he [God] has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. . .”
God has made provisions so that we can access the keys to our own liberation. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John1:9 KJV). But there are some steps we must follow:
Steps to Break Generational Curses.
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