I was reading in the book of Judges today and I came across an interesting passage. For a brief summary, there was a man called Abimelech who was one of the sons of a previous Judge named Gideon. Now Gideon had rescued the Israelites from the Midians, so Gideon and his family had received a place of honor in Israel. Abimelech had decided that he wanted all the power and honor, so he came to the city of Shechem and gave them an offer. If the men of Shechem helped Abimelech to kill his brothers, then Abimelech would rule over them instead of all his brothers. So the men of Shechem killed all the brothers, except for one that escaped. They then made Abimelech king over Israel. But the one brother that escaped pronounced a curse over Abimelech and the men of Shechem. Years later, they would see that curse come true.
Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, so that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.Judges 9:22-24 NASB1995
God sent an evil spirit that would enforce the curse that was placed on the men of Shechem and Abimelech. The curse that was placed on them was that those who had commited the terrible crime of murdering the seventy sons of Shechem would end up killing each other.
if then you have dealt in truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from Beth-millo, and consume Abimelech.” Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.Judges 9:19-21 NASB1995
Later in the story we see how this curse ended up being fulfilled with both the men of Shechem and Abimelech kill one another. But the reason I bring up this story is because it demonstrates the reality of God’s justice. When we walk in sin, we can find ourselves under a curse. Most people see curses as something a witchdoctor would put on someone, but actually the first curse in the Bible was done by God. After we had sinned in the Garden, the Lord put a curse on humanity. God uses curses to enforce His justice. But if we look into the Bible more, we can see that sometimes the curse doesn’t always go onto the person who commited the sin, but rather their children.
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,Deuteronomy 5:9 NASB1995
In the book of Deuteronomy, we can see that the Lord will actually bring down a curse on the children of those who serve other Gods. I bring this up because sometimes there can be things in our life that we go through that are actually from our bloodline. This is what is called generational curse. When the past sins of your ancestors causes you to suffer. We can see that in a Biblical way, when we look at the story of David.
Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah).2 Samuel 21:1-2 NASB1995
God was using the curse of the famine to get David’s attention to the injustice of Saul. Now all of Israel had made the covenant with the Gibeonites so therefore all of Israel was under the curse. David had to make atonement for the curse by hanging seven men of the descendants of Saul. It was only after this that God heeded the prayers for the famine to stop. There had to be atonement for the sin that was commited, and in the same way you might fall under the curse until there is atonement for your sin. But this is why Jesus came for us and died on a cross. He came to make atonement , just as those seven men made atonement for the sins of Israel.
Christ 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 ”—Galatians 3:13 NASB1995
Before Christ, we were under the curse from the Lord because of our disobedience to the Law. But because of what Jesus did on the cross, He atoned for the curse. Now we have to claim that in our lives. We have to take on the cross so that we can escape the curse in our lives. Sometimes that means we have to ask for forgiveness for the sins of our ancestors, because it isn’t our sin that is bringing the curse. This is how we break the curse in our life.