The issue of ancestral misfortune is one of the most mishandled, both in ancient times and present day. As the ancient fathers accepted it to be, so the modern day believers in God accept it. They believed that the punishment or weaknesses of their forefathers will linger till many generations, and thus were in expectation of the particular punishment. Very interestingly the current day people of God believe the same.
For example, “If our forefathers were alcoholics then we are no different”, “It is generational”, we often say, “We are just having our share of the family cake”. Yes these things do happen. I have met people who have problems with marriage because all their forefathers had such problems. And others with barrenness issues, and thus struggle before giving birth to at most one. Some others I have encountered die at around age forty because of diabetes. All these are generational and thus do we believe that it is a form a chastisement upon the family that we cannot be left out.
We do believe that as far as you carry the family blood you are tied to all blessings and shortcoming of the family. And sure it does happen the way we see it. Truly our beliefs become our strongholds. What we believe and trust becomes the very ruler for our souls by the influence of powers which work either righteously or evilly.
What do I mean? If our ancestors establish that before any woman in the family gives birth she must miscarry, we too grow to believe it because many have become testimonies of that. The power that works evil takes the beliefs of our ancestors and engrafts the same misfortune in our souls, for which we possess not an excuse than to trust in the same too.
But what of Numbers 14:18 “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
Yes. It is very true that the Lord will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children. God will surely do this if the children follow the footsteps of the fathers. But if the children follow not the deeds of their fathers then God will be unrighteous to punish the children for the misdeeds of their fathers. It’s imperative to know that supernatural judgements do not descend on the innocent.
In Numbers chapter 14, the people rejected God and for that matter God rejected them. Thus He makes it clear that He will be unrelenting to chastise the children if they follow their fathers. God warned them through the law not to ever turn unto other gods but they did
See one of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:4-5 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me…”
It is so clear the warning of God that if we turn away from Him He will punish us and our children if they do same. Not punishing innocent children because of their guilty fathers. This case has been really mishandled throughout ancient times until now, “As far as our fathers have been punished or gone through this misfortune, we too must suffer the same burden; after all we are one blood.” But not so! This ideology is wrong and we do suffer the consequences because of our lack of knowledge.
God, at one point was provoked because of how the people mishandled this issue and consequentially suffer foolishly, after which they blame Him (God). Hear what God says “What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.” (Ezek. 18:2-3)
According to God through the prophet Ezekiel, the fathers will bear their burdens and the children will bear theirs. None shall suffer for anyone’s misdeed or misfortune or weakness. Ancestral misfortune therefore is not an inheritance for anyone. You inherit them because of lack of knowledge.
Lack of knowledge, says the Holy Book, the people of God perish. How? The force which works evilly will delude you into accepting that which pertains not unto you, and gradually destroy you with it consequences. Knowledge therefore will give you the power to resist the enemy for him to flee. Without knowledge of the fact that you are not to share in this ancestral nonsense, you shall surely be overcome by it.
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By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach
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