There is one major verse taken from the second commandment to try and prove generational curses.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 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, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Ex. 20:4-6 (see also Deut. 5:8-10)
Is there anything in the passage about a curse? Does it even mention the word ‘curse’? Many things are read into a text that are not there.
In other versions “visiting the iniquity of the fathers” means God promised punishment to “those who hate God.” However, God shows love to a thousands who keep his commandments.
There are two groups of people addressed:
- Them that love God
- Those who hate God
If a person loves God, he is free from punishment. God does not visit that person because of the iniquities of the father.
“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6-7)
If your father or grandfather or great grandfather was a drunkard and you decided to follow in their footsteps, you will suffer the consequences, not because of your father, grandfather or great grandfather and so on, but because you decided to follow in their footsteps by choice. Sin is not a substance that is transmitted from one person to the next. It is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Only the guilty are punished by God. If you decide not to follow their created habits and obey God instead, there is no condemnation held against you.
The root of this teaching (Generational curses) is because of another false teaching and that is the teaching of Original Sin as taught by Reformed theology, and NOT the Bible.
If one is teaching generational curses, he goes against the word of God. As God told the Israelites to STOP IT, why do people persist in teaching it?
The Jews had a proverb and God came against it. They believed that if the fathers ate sour grapes, the children’s teeth were set on edge. This means that if a father was guilty of sinning, it would be held against the children.
“What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel.” Ezek 18:2-3
That is the most powerful passage of God’s reaction to their proverb. How do we know it is against the false teaching of generational curses? Please read further down where it says,
“Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.” Ezek 18:19-20
This makes it clear that generational curses are not Biblical! God says not to blame your behavior on your dad or your granddaddy or great granddaddy and so on. Everyone is responsible for their own actions; they are not responsible for the sins of their forefathers.
In Deut. 24:16 we read,
“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”
And in 2 Chron. 25:4,
“But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law of the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.”
It is clear that God does not visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children. Remember, God visits the iniquity unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate him, not upon the innocent children who love God and keep his commandments, and Scripture testifies to this fact.
We know that God did not judge innocent children for the sin and unbelief of their fathers (Deut. 1:39). We also see where there were many wicked kings who had godly sons and God did not judge them, but instead blessed them. (2 Chron. 28-35). And all of Ezek. 18 declares that the godly are not condemned for the iniquity of their fathers. Each person is judged for his own sins.
If a person is in bondage to sin (sex, drugs, gambling, lying, drunkards, etc.), it is not because of the sins of their fathers. Sin is not a physical substance that is inbred in your flesh, rather, sinfulness is a result of living out aimless conduct received by tradition (or long practiced habit) from your fathers. (1 Pe. 1:18). There is a difference between influence and curse.
A sinful life is not fixed by breaking so-called curses; a person must repent of those sins. You can’t blame your daddy or mommy anymore. Nowhere did Jesus or any of the apostles teach that if you break the curses you will be free from sin. The Gospel isn’t to go around breaking curses in people who are supposed to be “Christians”. If a person is living in sin, he is not of God (1 John 3:8,10). The message is to FORSAKE your sins.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isa. 55:7