I had a new thought recently as I was praying for my family. Lots of people like to say that you may be cursed for the sins of your fathers all the way to the third and fourth generation.
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:5-7, NIV)
Now, I don’t know about the curses thing. I think we’re guilty of seeing what we want (to have something new and cool to preach?) But, why do we focus on the negative?
I’d say that this verse promises that the moment I put my faith in Christ, an atom bomb of blessings explodes in my life and all the curses are blown away. Look what He says, “…showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
When I give my life to Christ, the devil’s curse is broken and Christ promises a thousand years of blessing in my family.
Now, I know that sociologically, families pass on traits—good and bad. And we still must deal with this heritage in our life. But, in Christ, we’re no longer a prisoner! We can grow into something better.
Blessings — for Your Great, Great, Great, etc Grandkids
So, I was praying the other morning and I felt the Lord inspired me to pray, “God, I want you to bless my family for a thousand generations! My kids, my grandkids, their kids, on and on into the future. Make our family a blessing. If the world is still standing a thousand years from now let my family be blessed and blessing others in Jesus’ name.
My grandmother Deloney told me that her grandfather, Solomon Moses Honnell, was a believer in the Lord Jesus. He was born around 1840. I don’t know if the believing line started with him, though I suspect with a name like Solomon Moses, his parents might have also been believers.
You can’t exactly pass down faith from father to son. Each individual has to decide for or against Jesus himself. But, God’s promise is powerful and I think that believing parents have a powerful influence for the Gospel—with the child and before the throne of God in prayer.
Those of you with little ones still at home can proclaim God’s blessings over them. “Lord, you said a thousand generation of blessings. I ask for a thousand generations of blessings in Jesus.”
Standing In the Gap
Others have grown children. Sometimes it looks like they are making choices that pull them away from God’s blessings. Can’t we stand between them and the destruction that the devil wants for them?
The prophet Ezekiel talks about a time when God’s people ran after sin instead of God. God didn’t want to punish them but, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30)
I think parents have a special place in the spiritual history of their kids and grandkids. Are you standing against the enemy in prayer and faith? Are you grabbing hold of God’s promise of blessing for them?
Your Finest Hour?
Is your example making them hungry for God or just for things and glory? Are you trying to drown them in religion or are you giving them an example of God’s love by loving them the way God loves them? You can make a difference.
At the beginning of English participation in World War II Winston Churchill warned his countrymen that huge sacrifices would be necessary to protect their country from the invader from across the channel. “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”
They haven’t made it a thousand years yet, but that was still one of Britain’s finest hours.
Are you ready to stand up for a thousand-generation blessing on your family? You might even include others outside your family in these prayers of faith.
This might be one of your finest hours.