Third and Fourth Generation, Bah
9Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, (graven images) nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
10And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
One could also look at Exodus 20:5,6 and Exodus 34:6,7 and Numbers 14:18.
Now let us visit the ladies' fellowship luncheon at Glory Charismatic Tabernacle and tune in on a conversation:
"I tell you Gladys, we've just got to pray for Marj. Her emotional state of late has been really sad. Morose. Prone to unexpected bouts of crying. Critical. Down on her kids for their lack of church enthusiasm. I think she needs deliverance. She told me once that her grandparents were big on the occult...you know, horoscopes, tea leaves, Ouija Boards. Might she have a generational curse? You remember that teaching on the "the iniquity of the fathers"..."
This kind of warped understanding is in many full Gospel communities. People are looking behind bushes for demons, studying old Grandad for his shortcomings, memorizing formulaic prayers and mantras to release the curse.
Consider how the scripture in bold print above could be taken out of context to manufacture an industry of deliverance, false fears and unscriptural hopes.
The hope, my friends, is in "repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). Such repentance is a matter of INDIVIDUAL responsibility coupled with the convicting, softening, preparing influence of the Holy Spirit. The hope is also in simply praying for one another that we might be healed.
Read from Ezekiel 18:
14Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
15That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,
16Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,
17That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.
18As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.
19Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
20The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
(See the earlier post entitled "Manasseh, Bad Apple")