Have you ever wondered why some families seem to keep repeating the same cycle of sins and failure in life? It is like there is a generational curse on their family. You see the same habits, additions, and life-styles from the grandparents, children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Could it be because there is a generational curse placed on their family by the LORD?
(Over the years I have watched as scientific research has over and over again been validated by the Bible. The reason I say this is the Bible has been around longer than some of the scientific research we have today.)
The LORD spoke to Moses and gave a warning that many fail to believe to be true.
Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.”
Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Is God saying that the children and the grandchildren of the father would have to pay for the sins of their father? What does God mean by this? Especially since Deuteronomy 24:16 says “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin” and that “The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Ez 18:20).
We do know that “as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22). The same “all” that die in Adam and from the original sin nature that we have all inherited, the same “all” can “be made alive” by repentance and faith.
There are those who disregard the warnings given in the Bible as superstition and myth concerning the choice and actions of our life and the impact they have on future generations. We could say as the father goes, so goes the family. What God is saying is that if a father makes wrong personal choices his family will pay the consequences for generations to come. It is true that each will have to pay for their own sins, but the father could have prevented many of the sins that his children and grandchildren would fall into had he led his family in obedience to the Law of God. The effects of this fatherly mismanagement would be felt by multiple generations because what has been sown will be reaped because God cannot be mocked (Gal 6:7). God is not punishing the children for their father’s sins, but they are feeling the consequences and having to pay for them. That is what God means in Exodus 20 and 34. These verses deal with the descendants of those children who would follow their father’s example of disobedience but each one of us are ultimately responsible for our own sins and this is what Ezekiel 18 and Deuteronomy 24 is saying. The father’s disobedience to God’s commandments have a ripple effect that keep on going until some other father in his lineage breaks that cycle.
I do not want you to think of I am using science to prove the Bible, rather I am using the Bible to prove science. There is a study in genetics called "epigenetics" this is the study of potentially heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype — which in turn affects how cells read the genes. This term was coined by C.H. Waddington in 1942. Although, it was set in motion in by the LORD when He gave Moses the principle in Exodus 34:6-7.
Have you ever wondered why some patterns in your family history seem to be recurring in your own life? Strongholds such as anxiety, poverty, illnesses and addictions to name a few. The Bible refers to these as generational curses, which the church has long believed was purely spiritual. But according to new brain research, this biblical principle is far more scientific than we realize.
The concept of generational curses is presented in Exodus 20:5. In the King James Version it says that God will “visit” the sins of the fathers down to the third and fourth generation. The term “visit” makes more sense considering this new study which shows that generational curses can, indeed, be scientifically traced back from one generation to another.
Pioneering studies in epigenetics reveals that our life experiences and choices do change us, including our brains, down to the DNA level. And these changes can be passed onto our children and further down the hereditary line. Epigenetics gives insight to how our diets, work environment – even one time traumatic events – can change the genetic legacy we pass onto our children and grandchildren.
For nearly a century after the term “epigenetics” first surfaced, researchers, physicians, and others poked around in the dark crevices of the gene, trying to untangle the clues that suggested gene function could be altered by more than just changes in sequence. In recent years there has been several groundbreaking studies which have focused fresh attention on epigenetics. Interest has been enhanced as it has become clear that understanding epigenetics and epigenomics—the genome wide distribution of epigenetic changes—will be essential in work related to many other topics requiring a thorough understanding of all aspects of genetics, such as stem cells, cloning, aging, synthetic biology, species conservation and agriculture.
The word “epigenetic” literally means “in addition to changes in genetic sequence.” The term has evolved to include any process that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence and leads to modifications that can be transmitted to daughter cells (although experiments show that some epigenetic changes can be reversed).
One effect of such processes is imprinting. In genetics, imprinting describes the condition where one of the two alleles of a typical gene pair are silenced by an epigenetic process such as methylation or acetylation. This becomes a problem if the expressed allele is damaged or contains a variant that increases the organism’s vulnerability to microbes, toxic agents, or other harmful substances. Imprinting was first identified in 1910 in corn, and first confirmed in mammals in 1991.
Researchers have identified about 80 human genes that can be imprinted, although that number is subject to debate since the strength of the evidence varies.
Among all the epigenetics research conducted so far, the most extensively studied disease is cancer, and the evidence linking epigenetic processes with cancer is becoming “extremely compelling,” says Peter Jones, director of the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Halfway around the world, Toshikazu Ushijima is of the same mind. The chief of the Carcinogenesis Division of Japan’s National Cancer Center Research Institute says epigenetic mechanisms are one of the five most important considerations in the cancer field, and they account for one-third to one-half of known genetic alterations.
Most epigenetic modification, by whatever mechanism, is believed to be erased with each new generation, during gameto-genesis and after fertilization. However, one of the more startling reports published in 2005 challenges this belief and suggests that epigenetic changes may endure in at least four subsequent generations of organisms.
Along with behavior, mental health may be affected by epigenetic changes, says Arturas Petronis, head of the Krembil Family Epigenetics Laboratory at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. His lab is among the first in the world, and still one of only a few, to study links between epigenetics and psychiatry. He and his colleagues are conducting large-scale studies investigating links between schizophrenia and aberrant methylation, and he says understanding epigenetic mechanisms is one of the highest priorities in human disease biology research. “We really need some radical revision of key principles of the traditional genetic research program,” he says. “Epigenetics brings a new perspective on the old problem and new analytical tools that will help to test the epigenetic theory.” He suggests that more emphasis is needed on studying non-Mendelian processes in diseases such as schizophrenia, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
This quiet scientific revolution could be a paradigm shift for evolutionary biology, as it pretty much refutes Darwin’s central premise. Neuropsychologist, Dr. Tim Jennings said, “Which is more scientifically accurate – the Bible or Charles Darwin? Well guess what? It’s the Bible. Darwin hypothesized that it was mutation over millions of years that caused finches to have different beaks. Science has actually now proved, it’s epigenetic modification.
Epigenetics reveals that not only do we pass along the DNA sequence to our children, but we also pass along the epigenetic instructions to them. In other words, information can be inherited and transmitted through generations. In an experiment on ‘transgenerational epigenetic inheritance’, researchers at Emory University, trained mice to fear a fruity odor by pairing it with a mild electric shock to the foot. Ten days later, the mice could mate. Incredibly, their pups feared the odor even without having encountered the smell before. But even more fascinating is that the offspring of those pups – the grandchildren – were born with the same specific memory. We see the mice study apply to humans. One example were the attacks of 9/11. Among the thousands of people directly exposed to the attack were 1,700 pregnant women. Some of these women developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Their children reacted with high levels of fear and stress around loud noises, unfamiliar people, or new foods. It seems the infants inherited the nightmare that their mothers experienced on that day.
It’s liberating when you can literally put the concept of generational curses under the microscope. Suddenly your habits and experiences have far greater social implications, because you no longer live life just for yourself but for your descendants too. As Jennings points out, “The choices we make – the foods that we eat, the things that we watch – can affect how the DNA is expressed. When we have kids, we pass on the sequence to them. So, if we become addicted to stuff, we can pass along to our children gene instructions that make them more vulnerable to addictions.”
The good news is that even if epigenetic modifications are passed onto your offspring, they are reversible. In other words, it is possible to break the curse. You can go either way. we can pass along both positive things in our life and or negative, depending on the choices we make in life.
In another experiment with mice, the notion of breaking generational curses is clearly demonstrated. Scientists bred mice to have a memory impairment. In short, they were bred to be stupid. Then they took the mice and for two weeks, during their adolescence, the mice were placed in an enriched environment with lots of toys. Not surprisingly, the mice developed better memory despite their bad genes. The enriched environment caused an epigenetic modification, switching off the bad gene. But here’s where it gets interesting: the pups of the mice from the enriched environment were also born with the gene defect but had the epigenetic modification such that the bad gene was shut off. Instead, they were born with good memory despite their bad genes.
But here’s the question: If a Christian is set free from his past after being born-again, why are there so many “Christians” who still see the effects of generational curses in their lives? Could it be because so many have not truly been born again? Salvation is by grace and once we are gripped by grace, we can truly have the mind of Christ which transforms our behavior. Suddenly, we are empowered to break the curses, knowing that the blood of Christ covers us. This transformation is physically revealed in the genetic changes in our bodies, but also on the legacy we will be leaving behind. Paul in writing to the church at Corinth says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) This is not just a spiritual battle you are fighting it is also a physical battle.
You are fighting the very lineage of your family. If you wish to break the "sin that so easily besets" then you must surrender you life to Jesus Christ and become the new creation that He will make in transforming your life. This is the only hope for your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.