Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t do anything right and maybe you were cursed? Maybe it feels like you always burn the toast, back your car into the mailbox, or close documents on your computer without saving them. Sure, anybody can occasionally have a day like that, but for you it feels like this is your constant cycle of reality. It seems like the bad luck never lets up and you begin to wonder if you are cursed. Then some famous Bible teacher comes along to share scriptures about generational curses and you have your explanation. You really are cursed and its all the fault of the family you were born into. If you can just break the curses placed on you by the sins of your ancestors, you will be free. At least that’s how generational curse teaching goes…but is that really the truth?
For those reading this article who aren’t familiar with generational curse teaching, it became very popular in the body of Christ in the 1980’s and 90’s and still persists today. It is based on a verse out of Exodus 34:7 that says God “punishes the children and their children’s children for the sins of the fathers to third and fourth generation.” Many Bible teachers took this verse and used it to explain why some patterns of sin (drug abuse, pornography, violence, etc.) occur in certain families. They would then say that if you are having persistent challenges in your finances, sickness in your body, or any other negative consequence, it was due to the generational curse on your family because of your father or grandfather’s sin.
Based on this teaching, the ways to get free involved repenting of all your sin, and your family’s sin, rebuking the demonic spirits assigned to your family, and may also involve fasting, going to people and asking forgiveness, or some other religious ritual. In some cases, people were even told to search out their family’s lineage and find out about the sins of their ancestors so they could repent for them and break the curse that was on their life. For those who believe in generational curse theology, it can be a very exhausting process to get free. From my own personal observation, I have never seen a person actually set free because there is always one more sin to repent for or demon to rebuke.
I have good news though, it’s all a hoax. If you are a Christian, you are not cursed! Someone will say, “but Pastor Brian, generational curses are in the Bible. You just quoted the verse from Exodus 34:7 that says they exist. Are you trying to do away with Exodus 34:7?”
I’m definitely not trying get rid of Exodus 34:7, I just want to share the rest of story. Prior to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the nation of Israel was under the law of Moses. Under the law, when a person sinned and didn’t repent, they were cursed. Under the law, if a person did bad, they got bad and if they did good, they got good. When God sent Jesus however, Jesus became cursed in our place. Look at these verses from Galatians 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”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
When Jesus went to the cross, he not only was a sacrifice for sins, he was literally cursed for our sake. He became a curse so we could be blessed! He paid for all of our sins, past present, and future and he also paid for the curse attached to those sins. We are now supposed to live life the way Jesus did. This begs the question, “why does it still feel like we are cursed?”
A great example that illustrates the answer to that question is the Emancipation Proclamation. When President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 it declared that all slaves in the United or Confederate States were free. Unfortunately, many African Americans remained slaves long after the war was over because they never heard the good news! Their owners weren’t going to tell them they were free, the same way our former owner, Satan, isn’t going to tell us.
What is even more heart breaking is there were some who heard the good news, but chose to remain slaves because they were more accustomed to a life of bondage than a life of freedom. It was almost like they didn’t believe the good news! This still happens to Christians today. They choose not to believe the simplicity of the gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3). They continue to try to earn freedom by focusing on what was given as a free gift which keeps them in bondage! Because they believe a lie, they empower the liar!
When Jesus hung on the cross, he emancipated us from the curse! Make sure to spend time in God’s word so you can renew your mind to your freedom! As Jesus said:
Whom the son sets free is free indeed!