Part Two of Forgiving Through the Generations: How to Break the Chains of the Past
In part one, I identified many of the generational sins of my extended family that have afflicted us throughout numerous decades. Generational sins are weaknesses or tendencies that are handed down to us through the generations from our parents or family members. These sins can involve behavioral patterns and ways of thinking that keep us trapped in the past.
There are many different kinds of generational sins. Once a sin pattern begins in a family, it can continue and multiply among the family members. It can last for many generations and can become a stronghold and a stumbling block for the whole family. I have included examples of generational sin that are recorded in the Old Testament from the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Esau, Rebekah and King David. The results of their sins affected generations of their descendants and their families.
Abraham’s family is a prime example of generational sin repeating itself from one generation to another. On two different occasions Abraham lied about his relationship with his wife Sarah. He claimed that she was his sister because he was afraid of being murdered. The lying spirit in Abraham’s family continued on in Genesis 26 when Isaac told the men of Gerar that his wife, Rebekah, was his sister. He was afraid that they would kill him and take her. Both father and son lied about their wives because of their own sins of fear and doubt.
In Genesis 27 Jacob deceived Isaac and stole his birthright and blessing. It was important for Isaac to give the first-born family blessing to Esau, the one whom God had chosen. Rebekah heard Isaac say that he was going to give Esau the first-born blessing so she schemed to get the blessing for Jacob. She arranged with Jacob to deceive Isaac when he brought him a meat dish so that Esau would not get the blessing. The sins of lying and the deception of his mother and brother were excruciatingly painful to Esau who lived the rest of his life without the blessing of the first born which was rightfully his.
King David committed generational sins, which resulted in death. He lusted after the wife of one of his soldiers, Bathsheba. He arranged to sleep with her and she became pregnant. After finding out about her pregnancy, he sent her husband Uriah into a fierce battle and had him assigned to the place where the enemy’s skilled soldiers fought. Uriah, who was a Hittite and Bathsheba’s husband, died in the battle. “But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.” 2 Samuel 11:27b (AMP)
The Lord sent Nathan to tell King David that he would be punished for the murder of Uriah. 2 Samuel 12:13 says, David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has allowed your sin to pass [without further punishment]; you shall not die.” (AMP)
The Lord let David live but 2 Samuel 12:14 says, “ Nevertheless, because by this deed you have given [a great] opportunity to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme [Him], the son that is born to you shall certainly die.” (AMP) King David who was called ”a man after God’s heart” lied, lusted and committed adultery. Then he manipulated battle positions to have Uriah killed in a fierce battle. His punishment was the death of his son.
We do not have to surrender to the binding power of our sins or the sins of the generations. God made provision for our release from our sins many years ago when His son, Jesus, died for our sins on the cross. When we appropriate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins for ourselves and confess our sins, we have taken the first step to break the binding power of generational sin. Psalm 79:8-9 says, “O do not remember against us the sins and guilt of our forefathers. Let Your compassion and mercy come quickly to meet us, For we have been brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; Rescue us, forgive us our sins for Your name’s sake.” (AMP) Part three of this article is Destroying Bitter-Root Judgments to Break The Chains of the Past. It concerns forgiving two of the most important people in your life: your mother and father. By identifying any judgments that you have against them and confessing and repenting of those judgments you can break the binding power of the past over you.