The Sins of the Father…

If there is any verse/passage/concept that men hope is not true, it is this one:

“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:5

We do not want to believe that somehow the consequences of our sins fall to our kids, grandkids, etc.  We know that we are sinners and we bear the weight of our decisions.  We don’t really like the idea of having to bear the burden for our own stupidity, but the idea that someone else, much less our kids, would have to bear the burden is too much.

However, we may not want it to be true, but isn’t it obvious that it is?  Don’t we see it?  The decisions that we make and the consequences get passed down from generation to generation.  Sons say they won’t be like their dad, but they are.  They (we) become what they (we) saw.

Reading through my passage for my Bible in a year plan today, I read the story of Isaac and Rebekah.  Isaac is going through the land of King Abimilek.  He tells the king that his wife is actually his sister.  This is the same lie that his dad, Abraham, told two different kings at two different times.  What a coincidence, a son repeats the exact same sin that his father did.

Thankfully I don’t have any sons (true) so this doesn’t apply to me (not true).  I never see my sins repeated in my daughters (not true).  I’ve never once seen traits of cynicism (not true) or bursts of anger (you get the point).  In fact, it is burned into my memory the time my 8 year old daughter screamed at the car in front of us, “Hey! Move! The light is not getting any greener!”

Our children are and will become what they see, but before we allow that to only discourage us, let’s look at the next verse in Exodus 20:

“But showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:6

It works both ways, so while you should feel challenged, you should be encouraged as well.  Be encouraged to be better, to pursue God more and to show your kids how to be a man (woman) and follower of God.

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