Tag Archives: generational sin

2 Kings 22-23; Psalm 73; 2 Corinthians 5

A friend from high school shared a photo with me of the two of us at her seventeenth birthday party. We were so young. We looked so happy. I have zero memory of the occasion. Nothing was familiar. Not even the shirt on my back.

“I wonder what those seventeen-year-olds would think of us now!” she mused. But I was less concerned with how that version of me would view my life today, as I was at (desperately) wishing I could have somehow prepared that young heart for what was ahead. Queue the song, Dear Younger Me.

Josiah was eight when he became king, and every time I read “He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. (2 Kings 22:2, NLT),” I smile.

He tore down and burned all the shrines, temples and buildings that stood for wickedness. The Bible reads, “25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since. (2 Kings 23:25, NLT)” After Josiah dies, his sons rise up.

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done. 2 Kings 23:31-32, NLT

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah. 37 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestors had done. 2 Kings 23:36-37, NLT

I looked at that face of a younger self and grieved for her. For the generational sin around her. At the sin-laden legacy offered by example. I want to tell her, “Help is on the way.” Thank you, God, for your work in my life.

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:14-17, NLT)

Thank you, God, for new life. Thank you, God, that I can know you and live for you. Thank you for reaching into strongholds and generations to rescue and resurrect.

17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
    and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
    and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
    completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord,
    you will laugh at their silly ideas
    as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,
    for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. Psalm 73:17-28, NLT

Courtney (66books365)

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Nehemiah 9-11; Acts 4:1-22

I’ve been thinking of my mom lately. She’s been dead half my life, and I barely knew her outside of her being a mother. I couldn’t tell you what her favorite ice cream was, her favorite book, or what the perfect day would be for her. I didn’t know what things she struggled with, what were her hopes or fears. Half a life later, I have moved on, becoming a wife and mother myself. I don’t even remember the sound of her voice. She is a mystery and a stranger aside from childhood memories.

The book had been on my shelf at least half a year. I’d had lots of intentions to read it, and recently my schedule opened up to a now-or-never opportunity. It changed everything. It happened in chapter two: daring to confess. Because of a few well-worded questions, I began to see a remarkable parallel between my mother and me. I began to see so many components of sin and wounding passed down through generations. I had inherited more than her hearty laugh.

In Nehemiah 9, the subhead reads: the people confess their sins. In their praise and worship of God, they go back through the generations and account for sins and God’s merciful response to them as a people.

16 “But our ancestors were proud and stubborn, and they paid no attention to your commands. 17 They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles you had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt! But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them …” Nehemiah 9:16-17, NLT.

This reminder seemed so timely, and full of hope. How much closer I become to the Lord when I lay it all before him, ugly and honest. He already knows anyway.

No matter how long I’ve carried it, nothing is impossible for God.

For everyone was praising God 22 for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years. Acts 4:21b-22, NLT.

Father God, I’m thankful for your gentle revealing of the hidden places of my heart. Thank you for bringing to light issues and attitudes I wasn’t aware I kept alive. Thank you that you are gracious and merciful, slow to become angry and rich in unfailing love. You won’t abandon me either. You continue your work in me, to fashion me into the image of your son. For me to accomplish this on my own? Likely impossible. But nothing is impossible for you.

Courtney (66books365)

(I purchased Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard. This blurb acts to satisfy some FTC rules about book reviews/mentions. I wasn’t compensated to read or recommend this book. The link provided is not an affiliate link and I will not receive credit of any sort through it.)

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2 Kings 19; Hebrews 1; Hosea 12; Psalms 135-136

Thanksgiving month. Lots of people are practicing 30 days of thanks. I’m one of them.

I’ve given thanks for an extra hour in the day on Sunday; a handed-down kitchen table crowded with friends; a rainy day and a warm fleece blanket; the woods.

Today I woke a little stumped. A first-grade family interview project on a holiday horizon, and an elder’s “no” typed quietly across a page that screamed much more.

As Hezekiah spread a message before the Lord, I kneel before my God and do the same–Bend down, O Lord, and listen.

Lord, this is what I’ve got. Look. This is what’s going on.

The books each have a word for me, and my greedy hands grasp them for comfort when my ears need to hear love from a Father.

2 Kings 19: things happening today were planned long ago. God knows.

Hebrews 1: God named Jesus his son. And because of God’s great love for the world, Jesus died on my behalf, so that I could be reconciled to a Father and called his daughter–a co-inheritor with Christ.

Hosea 12: the boasting of chasing, cheating, lying, violence, pride. But God tells, “I am the Lord your God.”

And Psalms, closing:

Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord!
    Praise him, you who serve the Lord, Psalm 135:1 NLT

Psalm 136:1–

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

(And it was already italicized for me. Like it was saying, don’t miss this.)

2 Kings 19, I read of crops and feeding and I sit here meditating on generational sin.

This year you will eat only what grows up by itself,
    and next year you will eat what springs up from that.
But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them;
    you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. 2 Kings 19:29b NLT

And I think on life, when we do it ourselves. And what springs up from that in a next generation–without intention and cultivation–or God. But the third year, you will plant the crops and harvest them; you will tend the vineyards and eat their fruit.

Lord, it stops here. Help me to plant a crop for your harvest, one that bears fruit for your kingdom, and even for my family to enjoy. God, I know family means a lot to you–you adopted us as sons and daughters. I know the utter hopelessness of love withheld in a broken world. And I am thankful your love endures forever.

Courtney (66books365)

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Lev. 7; Ps. 7,8; Prov. 22; 1 Thess.1

Example. Leadership. Imitation.

Point your kids in the right direction, and when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG

The map I was handed was passed down from generations. It was a dead end. And not just an end that didn’t lead anywhere, it led to death. I didn’t really know it at the time. (Thank you, God, for speaking into my life.) I feel really protective over my kids–I want to spare them of that legacy. So I study the Word. And I study people. I study them for how they live and how they love and how they give. I look at them to learn how they handle conflict and forgiveness, how they press on in trial. I watch how they serve, and who they serve. I take in as much as I can, and I sift through it. I try to imitate the good in them.

I know I don’t have it all together. But I know who does–the one who came to save me from certain death.

2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. 1Thessalonians 1:2-10 MSG. Emphasis mine.

Lord, thank you for rescuing me from certain doom. Steel me up with your Spirit. I pray that my life honors you, and that my children will know you and seek you all the days of their lives.

Courtney (66books365)

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