Generational Curses

Many Christians assume that asking forgiveness and coming into Christ to receive Salvation will automatically remove all curses which are upon them. But they are wrong! There are two things usually Christians mixed up. They are the generational curses and salvation. Generational curses, just like inheritance from forefathers, have nothing to do with Salvation. It is very different and most Christian mix up generational curses from salvation.

Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

Christ came to end the curse of the law, not the curses which were upon gentile Christians who were never under the law. Also, Generational curses precedes the law, as we inherit the curses from Adam which is not of the law.

Inheriting Curses & Blessings

2Kgs 5:27 “Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.

The descendants or the generations of Gehazi did not do any sin to receive this leprosy.

2Kgs 10:30 And the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”

The LORD said to Jehu that He will make his sons shall sit on the throne of Israel till the fourth generation because of what Jehu did. However, Jehoahaz (son) 2Kgs 13:2, Joash (grandson) 2Kgs 13:11, Jeroboam (great-grandson) 2Kgs 14:24 and finally Zechariah 2Kgs 15:9 – all did evil in the sight of the LORD.

2Kgs 15:12 This was the word of the LORD which He spoke to Jehu, saying, “Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” And so it was.

God also fulfilled His promise of blessing to Jehu because he did what was right in the sight of the Lord irrespective of whether his descendants who received it was worthy of receiving it.

Sins Forgiven, Curses Remain

Curse is not sin but a result of sin. Our sins forgiven does not automatically remove our curses.

2Sam 12:11-13 Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give [them] to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. ‘For you did [it] secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’. So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 

2Sam 16:22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 

If God had put away the sin of David, then why is the curse executed by God later in chapter 16?

People often mix-up curses and blessings with salvation of God.

  • You can be cursed with sickness and poverty by the sins of your forefathers and yet you can be saved in Christ.
  • You can be blessed with health and riches of this world through the blessings of your forefathers and yet you may not be saved.

Every sin or good work produces curses and blessings for himself and his generation. When God forgives our sins, the curse because of that sin remains. Some curses are not the curses in Bible but put by men for the injustice done unto them and God executes them exactly how the victim cursed it. If we know that we did such an injustice, until we settle them, the curse will remain on us. We see this in Prov 26:2.

Prov 26:2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.

The curses in Gen 3:19 (becoming dust) and Gen 3:16 (pregnancy pain), which are the results of the sin of Adam and Eve is still going throughout generations inspite of us believing in Christ and becoming a born again Christian. Did God removed the curse of pain during pregnancy when we believed in Christ? No!

Curses comes in various forms

Sickness, hunger (Exod 23:25), miscarriage, barrenness (Exod 23:26), history of violence in family (2Sam 12:10), short life, constantly facing violence (Prov 3:2) etc.
If these can be broken by coming into Christ, then why do many Christians still suffer? Coming back to the original question, yes, they will have the generational curse whatever they inherited from birth until they believed in Christ, but their generation will not because, the person believed in Christ and God will show mercy to his/her generation. Just to add, this does not mean Christians will not inherit any generational curses. It simply means, we will have God’s mercy on our to overcome any curse.

Curses are from God and His Word will not return to Him void (Isa 55:11). He can through His mercy, delay the curse just like what God did to Hezekiah (2Chr 32:26) and Solomon (1Kgs 11:12).

If a Christian did some evil and asks forgiveness, then God will forgive his sins but the curse of that evil he did will be upon his head and his generation. Curses don’t vanish away but if we are with Christ, God will give us the strength to face it and overcome it (or) even gives us a blessing that nullifies that curse. Daniel didn’t do any sin to be in Babylon. Although he suffered as an alien for the sins of his forefathers, he was raised next to king by God and he lacked nothing.

Changing Curses to Blessings

Levites were cursed to be without any inheritance with his brothers.

Gen 49:5-7 “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.

Jacob before he died, prophesied what shall befall to his children in the last days. To Simeon and Levi, it’s real bad news.

  • Let not my soul enter their council
  • Let not my honor be united to their assembly
  • I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.

Levi and Simeon were cursed even before Jacob’s descendants were even born and inherited the land. It is such a tragedy. How can someone with such a curse ever inherit the promised land?

Deut 18:1-2 “The priests, the Levites–all the tribe of Levi–shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and His portion. Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the LORD is their inheritance, as He said to them. 

Num 35:2 “Command the children of Israel that they give the Levites cities to dwell in from the inheritance of their possession, and you shall also give the Levites common-land around the cities.   

Levi’s choice of standing with the Lord and not worshiping the idols with their brothers changed their curse into a great blessing far beyond his brothers could ever imagine. This blessing did not nullify or change the curse that was spoken but the curse itself became a blessing.

Josh 19:9 The inheritance of the children of Simeon was included in the share of the children of Judah, for the share of the children of Judah was too much for them. Therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of that people.

While Levite’s curse became a great blessing, Simon’s curse did not for he did not stood with the Lord.

God of Recompense

It is important to understand that ‘visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children’ is never referred in scriptures as a curse. ‘Generational Curse’ is a term that we use because the generation had to answer for the iniquity of their forefathers.

While iniquity is synonymous to sin, is a bit different and used differently in the Bible. Iniquity is injustice which mainly deals with others. However, sin has a broader meaning which also includes iniquity and sins that aren’t iniquity. e.g, lustful thoughts are not iniquity but rape, murder, cheating which deals with others is iniquity. God questions the generation (the so called generational curse) only for iniquity not sins.

Jer 31:29-30 “In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. 

Ezek 18:17-18 Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes– He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live! As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

The above verses say that the son shall not die for the iniquity of his father – which is exactly what God said to David ‘you shall not die’ in 2Sam 12:13 but still killed the child and God executed his judgement as He told David. 

Deut 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin 

Deut 5:9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me

It is our God in the same book of Deuteronomy who said everyone shall be put to death for his own sins also said that He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations.

Jer 32:18 ‘You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them–the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

We also see Jeremiah saying the same. God will not put to death the children for father’s sins does not nullify the fact that He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of those who hate Him.

(Jer 51:56) … For the LORD is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.

Beware! Never think in your heart that you can do iniquity that affects others, then escape by asking forgiveness. The God of recompense never changed for He never changes yesterday, today or tomorrow and He will surely repay you and your descendants. Therefore, repent and do what is right in the sight of the Lord and He is merciful and compassionate to change your curses which are upon your head and upon your children into blessings far beyond what you can ever imagine.