Summary: Is there a such thing as generational curses? Are sins visited to the 3rd and 4th generation or longer? A message on the superior power of grace.
The Door Your Grandpa Opened
Ex 34:6 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;
Ex 34:7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave [the guilty] unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."
Pr 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
This morning we are starting a series on doors and I thought we would start this series by talking about a door your Great Grandpa opened.
I will explain our scripture texts in a moment, but I want to tell you in the beginning this message is going to end up in a good place. So hang in there with me.
I want to begin by noting that a door is something that takes us from one atmosphere to another. For example a hallway to a bedroom. Very different atmospheres. A garage into a house, a living room into a bathroom. Doors change the circumstances of our lives.
Here is a very important point that I want to make early and often in this message:
What you open the door to affects everyone in the house.
When we open the door to someone or something, it is not always readily apparent the full extent of what we have allowed into our homes/life, and how it will not only affect the door opener, but everyone connected with them.
A quick and easy example to illustrate this is if we open the door on a cold winter day, it will usher in cold air that everyone inside might feel. If a dad looks at pornography, he may be opening his home to things he never realized would come in the door with his activity.
Our fist text in Exodus is what God said to Moses when he hid him in the cleft of the rock and allowed him to see His hinder parts.
Often times we get wrapped up in a personal visitation of God, which is what happened in the text. But the real value of what happened to Moses is not what He saw and felt, but the theological truth that was hidden to him, but clear to us:
You cannot have a visitation of God, apart from being hidden in the rock which is Christ.
Secondly, is what God plainly told him during that visitation.
God forgives sins, but He also punishes sins to the third and fourth generations.
Yesterday I received a message from a friend in NY. He received great benefit from the Lord through our preaching in NY, and has on ocassion written to ask for counsel and advice. In his message yesterday he wanted to know if this punishment of sin for generations could also come through the mother. I am not sure why he asked it, but I suspect someone is very concerned about the way a mother, or grandmother, or great-grand mother lived. I do know that they have a son who has a serious case of autism and in the back of my mind I wondered if they are trying to find out the reason their son has this disorder.
Our text in Proverbs says in the way that certain birds flit about, and change homes often, they don’t alight or rest in one place, teaches us the lesson that we don’t have to worry about a curse resting and remaining on us. But it adds this one unuttered exception, the curse, "causeless," shall not come. What if there was a cause?
I wrote him back, and said I wasn’t 100% sure of my answer, but that my understaning of the bible indicates to me, that it only refers to men. In scripture, particularly the OT, man is the head, the responsible party. Then I shared something else with him, that I will also share with you in a little bit.
First I want to talk about what God said he would do. He would visit the sins of the fathers on the third and fourth generation.
Let me show you just two examples from scripture:
2Ki 5:27 "Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence a leper [as white] as snow.
Explain story, Gehazi opened a door that brought leprosy throughout all his generations.
Our next illustration comes from the life of David. Tell the background to the text:
2Sa 12:7 Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ’It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.