Sins of the father

That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

Judges 6:25-26

Notice what the Lord asks of Gideon before He sends Gideon on his mission to fight the Midianites. Earlier, Gideon had encountered the presence of the Lord and first offered Him a personal offering. This offering functioned as a burnt offering as it was totally consumed when the “fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread” (Judges 6:21). Burnt offerings were about atonement and consecration of the person offering it.

If personal cleansing and atonement were enough, this first offering would have been sufficient. But the also Lord asks Gideon to address the sin in his family line. He was commanded to do a three-fold action to address the generational sin in his family.

First, he was to tear down the altars to the false gods. Then, he was to build a proper altar to the Lord. Finally, he was to offer a burnt offering for the generational sin of his family line.

We can’t miss this truth. I have seen this reality over and over in the people to whom I minister. We must first seek forgiveness for our own sin. That is essential. But too much of evangelical and progressive Christianity stops there. We have little understanding of how generational sin effects our lives.

In the spirit realm, everything operates by authority. Parents have authority over their children and function as a kind of umbrella of protection over them. When parents and grandparents sin and never get forgiveness and freedom from that sin, there is created a hole in the umbrella. The enemy can gain access to the family line through this open door.

God is a God of the generations, not just the individual person. We Americans struggle with this concept because of our hyper-individualism. The bible tells us that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The generations are intentionally connected (that’s why you see those long genealogies in scripture listing the ancestors) as a means to pass blessing. The whole point of connecting the generations was so that blessing could flow from one generation to the next and increase with each generation. Satan finds ways to hijack the family line so that he can pass down cursing and sin instead of blessing and favor.

If we find patterns of sin cycling in our families down through the generations, we need to address it. We need to apply the blood of Jesus to that cycle and that sin so that we and our children can experience freedom from it. Like the doorposts on the first night of Passover in Egypt, it’s not enough just to have the blood of the lamb, we must apply the blood of the lamb. We must renounce the generational sin, break the generational curse that sin has created, and cancel any assignment of the enemy against us.

We must do what the Lord commanded Gideon to do. We must tear down the false gods, worship the true God–Jesus Christ–and submit that part of our life to Him as a living sacrifice. Because sin of the 4th generation back can still affect us, it’s helpful to start back at the 4th generation and work your way forward to the 3rd generation, your grandparents and your parents. Below is a prayer adapted from a minister named Rodney Hogue that you can pray to help with this.

BREAKING GENERATIONAL CURSES

In the name of Jesus, I declare the blood of Jesus to stand between me and the 4th generation, the 3rd generation, my grandparents, and my parents generation as a wall of separation. I cancel every assignment of darkness and remove every right of the demonic to afflict me because of the sins of those generations. I call to me my righteous inheritance and the blessings of those generations. Amen!

Rodney Hogue, Empowered Workbook

Generational Faith

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

2 Timothy 1:5

Timothy’s faith was something that came to him through his mother and grandmother. God always intended faith to be generational. Over and over in the Old and New Testaments, God reminds us that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6, 15; Matthew 22:32; Acts 3:13). He is the God who passes blessing from one generation to the next. He is the God who remembers the promises He made to the last generation in order to fulfill them in the present generation.

Yet, the enemy tries to exploit this generational truth. If an ancestor of ours sins and that sin goes unaccounted for by the blood of Jesus, the enemy uses that as a legal precedent to invade the family line and pass down generational curses. This is one reason why we see common patters of sin passed down in families from one generation to the next (alcoholism, sexual sin, abuse, anger, poverty, curses from Freemasonry and other cults and false religions, etc).

The good news of the gospel is that we now have the authority, in Christ, to apply the blood of Jesus to any sin of our ancestor and see it canceled in Jesus’ name! That is our new inheritance in Christ. But we must be intentional about it.

The Lord warned the Hebrew people about the cost of disobedience in the family line:

The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”

Exodus 34:5-7

God’s character is described clearly here. He is compassionate and gracious. He is slow to anger and abounding in unconditional love. He is loyal and loves to pass blessing down from one generation to the next. He loves to forgive and show grace.

Yet, God is also perfectly just. It is impossible for Him to be unjust. Sin must be accounted for. That is why He sent His own Son to die for us. So that when we apply the blood of Jesus to the doorframe of our lives, the enemy will have no access. But if we are unaware that the enemy will sometimes try to use the sin of our parents, grandparents and ancestors against us, we don’t know to apply the blood of Jesus to it.

Below is a simple prayer you can pray to separate you from the sin of each preceding generation in your family line. Do this back to the 4th generation as a biblical precedent.

“In the name of Jesus, I declare the blood of Jesus to stand between me and (my parents, my grandparents, the 3rd, the 4th) generation as a wall of separation. I cancel every assignment of darkness. I remove every right of the demonic to afflict me because of the sin of that generation. And I call to me my righteous inheritance and blessings of that generation.”

(Rodney Hogue, Empowered)