I frequently receive questions about generational curses: the idea that certain sins, afflictions, or just general bad stuff follow family bloodlines over many generations. Some seers can actually detect these kinds of curses at work in people’s lives. Let’s examine this idea, and then apply a couple of filters to interpret what is going on.
Some families seem cursed with certain kinds of sins or afflictions over the generations. Some actual examples:
A certain man rants and rages against his family, striking his wife regularly. Later he repents and promises to change. He’s a Christian and seeks counseling, but nothing really changes. He remembers his father was the same way, and also his grandfather. Therapists sometimes call this learned behavior and generational abuse. Others wonder if a generational curse is at work.
A certain woman commits adultery time and again, seemingly unable to stop. Even after become a Christian, it seems the sin of adultery rules over her. She learns that her father, and grand father also committed adultery. Is this a sign of a generational curse?
An alcoholic is seemingly set free from alcohol, only to fall back under this bondage again. He knows his father and his father’s mother were also. Is a generational curse at work?
A family’s finances are routinely devastated. No amount of financial discipline seems to help. Right when they get on track financially, disasters strike: they lose their jobs or unexpected health costs strike, driving them to bankruptcy and destitution. The husband grew up in perpetual poverty, as did the grandfather, but the great grandfather had been wealthy. Some call it bad luck. Others wonder if this is the sign of a generational curse.
Popular Christian theology teaches that when someone is in Christ, all generational curses that may have been in effect previously no longer hold sway… Therefore habitual sin or devastation on a family must be brought on by their own rebelliousness or God’s mysterious will.
But something else might be going on. Sometimes simply professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not enough to break habitual sin or routine devastation. My experience and research has taught me that sometimes a generational curse may be operating and this must be broken to set a person or family free.
Seers and Generational Curses
It’s not just my experience. Eyewitness testimony indicates that becoming a Christian may not be enough to set someone free from some curses operating over a family.
I’ve interviewed many spiritually sensitive people, and some have reported seeing various signs of this, from certain kinds of spirits following a family around to just noting a certain taint over a person’s “aura”, and the taint appears in the children’s auras as well.
Over time, these seers have detected when the certain kind of spirit is linked to a generational assignment. Similarly, some seers can discern that the taint in the person’s aura is a kind of generational issue operating and influencing that person.
The Bible and Generational Curses
Some Christians incorrectly apply certain passages in the Bible that refer to generational curses.
The second commandment says:
You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations of those hating me, and showing loyal love to thousands of generations of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments. Ex 20:4-6 Lexham English Bible (LEB), Emphasis added.
God later reiterated the concept.
And Yahweh passed over before him, and he proclaimed, Yahweh, Yahweh, God, who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding with loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love to the thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and he does not leave utterly unpunished, punishing the guilt of fathers on sons and on sons of sons on third and fourth generations. Ex 34:6 LEB
This idea is repeated again in Numbers 14 and Deuteronomy 5 (another record of the Second Commandment).
So doesn’t this indicate that God will release generational curses?
Not at all.
We have to remember to whom each of those passages was written and why. Here’s a hint: they weren’t written to you or anyone else in our time.
They were written to the ancient Hebrews as part of the sacred agreement they made to be Yahweh’s people. If they followed the agreement, Yahweh would release blessings. If they violated the agreement, Yahweh would release curses, some of them generational.
As we’ll see, it’s not at all clear that God was being literal in these passages, or simply trying to emphasize the seriousness of entering into a covenent of works with him. But at any rate, these passages do not apply to you or anyone else.
Why? Because this old Covenant, also known as the Mosaic Covenant it no longer applies. It has passed away and God actually destroyed it, replacing it with a far better covenant. The book of Hebrews explains this in detail.
Basically, the Hebrews so radically violated the Covenant so many times, and God was forced to follow the destructive portions of the Covenant so many times, God decided to do away with it and grant a New Covenant, which would never be undone or replaced. See this post for details about the New Covenant.
After granting the New Covenant, God utterly destroyed the Old Covenant in fire and wrath. Those Old Covenant curses (or blessings) no longer apply to anyone today. They were fulfilled by Jesus and then done away with.
God Does Not Hold Descendants Punishable for the Sins of Ancestors
Even in the Old Testament, the idea of generational curses is cast into serious doubt.
The prophet Ezekiel explains that God actually does not release generational curses for sins, although God’s people really wanted God to do just that! While God’s people wanted judgement, God wants to release mercy.
Yet you say, Why does the son not bear the guilt of the father?
And since the son does justice and righteousness and he keeps all of my statutes and does them, he shall surely live! The person, the one sinning, will die.
A son shall not bear the guilt of the father, and a father shall not bear the guilt of the son.
The righteousness of the righteous shall be on him; the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him. But if the wicked returns from all of his sins that he has done and he keeps all of my statutes and he does justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die! All of his transgressions that he committed will not be remembered against him. Eze 18:19 LEB
In Ezekiel, God explains that if you sin and then repent, God won’t remember your sins. God’s grace is an Old Testament idea!
God is a God of mercy, not judgement.
Basically, generational curses have nothing to do with the Old Covenant or any other covenant in scripture.
But they seem to be real.
If they don’t come from God, where do they come from? Are they biological?
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