We’re Doomed!


When Breakaway started up at my church, Burke Community Church, this fall, I immediately, like a good disciple, enrolled in the Beth Moore study. The other studies sounded familiar or I had never heard of the author. It seemed like a natural choice. Funny, the delightful Holy Spirit sometimes leans against my spirit, pushing me in a different direction. The hard part is, he doesn’t usually say why. Fortunately for me, this time I was obedient.

Just in time, I switched into the marriage study, Enhancing Your Marriage, by Judy Rossi. How often do you have the study’s author for a teacher?

To be honest, right now I feel like I’m drowning in marriage advice. I really wanted to focus on something else for a while. So I have really enjoyed the first four chapters of the book as they seem to deal with personal, interior issues. I guess the premise is that I have to be personally right with God before I can begin to focus on any relationship besides mine to Him.

A question came up last week as we were reading in Deuteronomy. Do you have a problem with this verse?

“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 generations of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Deuteronomy 5:9-10

This is one of those verses that send people running, screaming, “How can a loving God allow future generations to suffer for their parents’ sins? That’s not FAIR!”

After a lengthy discussion in class, I continued to ponder this verse. Yes, God is sovereign and can do whatever He wants, but that simplistic explanation doesn’t work for me. God has allowed us to know Him through Jesus Christ and His word and everything He does is consistent with His character. So, how can a God who IS love, punish innocent generations?

Consider:

Amanda had been shooting heroine for three years. After an untimely one night stand, she stood in the stall at Wal-greens and a little pink stick told her future. Pregnant. Forty weeks later, her daughter was born addicted to heroine before she ever had the chance to say no.

The consequences of Amanda’s sin were instantly translated into her daughter’s life. Amanda was destroyed every time she looked at her little girl. But that agony thrust her into an all out effort to get clean. She would offer Julie the best future possible.

Amanda began to speak about drug addiction in public schools and other forums. Every time she held Julie she was reminded of her sin and recommitted to abstinence and reaching out to others in desperate situations.

God allows the consequences of sin to tarry for three and four generations because people are hard headed and slow learners. He allows the consequences to linger so that future generations will not repeat the sins of their fathers. And remember, He said, “to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Him.”

BUT GOD…

And hear the goodness of your Father’s heart: “showing steadfast love to THOUSANDS of those who love me and keep my commandments.” God’s love endures infinitely beyond the curse of sin. It is absolutely in keeping with God’s character to work for us to keep us from sin and to offer us an undying, incorruptible love. (Jer. 31:3)

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