Generational Sin – Break the Cycle
Generational sin – most families have some. I know mine does. It’s not something I admit proudly, but honestly. We smile at old photos of generations gone by when it was fashionable to get family photos taken at Olan Mills or Sears. Now and days, we take pictures ourselves or have a good friend take them with their expensive camera. We have ditched the old familiar blue backdrop for picturesque skies and lake views. Times sure have changed.
When we look at old photos of generations gone by, are there people in those photos who lived similar lives? Did they do the same things – live the same ways? Were they broken in the same manner? Did they struggle with the same addictions or personality traits?
When we read the Bible, we read the story of a family line who struggled with the same sin – lying, generation after generation.
Today, I want to look specifically at the family tree of Abraham.
- Abraham (Abram)
- Jacob’s sons
What is it about this family tree that sticks out as being a generational sin? Lying.
Let’s start with Abram.
Genesis 12:10-13, “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. (How sweet of him to say) When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Did you see the lie Abram wanted Sarai to tell? My footnote says, “Abram’s attempt to secure is own safety matches Sarai’s attempt to overcome her barrenness.”
Next up Isaac
Genesis 26:1, “Now there was a famine in the land =- besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time – and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.”
Verse 7-9, “When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah because she is beautiful.”
Same lie, different location.
Jacob, you’re up
Genesis 27:19, “Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
27:20, “Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied.
27:24, “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,” he replied.
Jacob tells multiple lies. Let’s not forget his mother, Rebekah, who hatched the scheme to help her son deceive his father, her husband. She wanted Jacob to have the blessing over her other son, Esau. It looks like she had a favorite son.
Lastly, Jacob’s sons.
Genesis 37:31, “Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. They took the ornate robe back to their father (Jacob) and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
Multiple people lied and hurt Jacob terribly. Some would say, “What goes around, comes around.”
Fear, greed, and jealousy led to what we see as a generational sin – lying.
Isn’t that true today? People lie so quickly today to get what they want. For some folks, it’s easier than telling the truth. In the end, a lie is a lie, plain and simple.
But as I read the above stories, moving through generation to generation, I see the pain each has experienced as a result of lying.
What do you recognize?
You may recognize generational sin in your family tree. I know I sure do when I look at mine. It may not be lying. For some, it may be abandonment, abuse, sexual sin, anger, jealousy, greed, or something else.
Can I encourage you today? We can stop the generational sin. We can break the cycle. We can stop the destructive pattern.
But it has to start with us. We cannot change what happened back then, but we can do something about the future. We can choose to do things differently. We can set a new starting point and raise a new generation.
How do I know? Because I chose to break the cycle in my family. I decided to stop it in my generation and not pass it onto my child.
Just because it was done in your family or done by someone you love dearly, doesn’t mean you are supposed to continue the cycle. Unhealthy is unhealthy, and wrong is wrong. Choose to make it right today – choose to break the cycle for yourself and future generations.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”