Tag Archives: generational sin

2 Kings 10:25-14:10

27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. (2 Kings 10:27-29, NIV, emphasis added)

In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. (2 Kings 12:1-3, NIV, emphasis added)

In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son. (2 Kings 13:1-3, NIV, emphasis added)

When someone new steps up to lead, I think there’s a hope that things would change for the better. A new politician, a new boss … even as a kid, I remember thinking, “When I’m a grown-up, I’m not going to do (that)!”

The reading today reminds me of a pendulum swaying side to side–a move towards improvement, a move towards decline. One way an effort to clear out the bad, another way a means to usher it in. I notice, though, even in the better times, sin lingers waiting in the wings.

Lord, where are the places in my life that I’ve left a door open to let sin gain a foothold? When I’m following after you, show me any places I’ve neglected to take seriously that offend you. Help me to turn from it all. I don’t want my life or example to be marked like Jeroboam’s. Thank you for this caution.

Courtney (66books)

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2 Kings 3; 2 Thessalonians 3; Daniel 7; Psalm 114-115

My mom wanted a do-over. She put her hope in a next life–she wanted to believe in reincarnation. If she had known Jesus, she would have been given new life, a new heart–she could have known freedom. My dad lived eighty years, and when he died, his wake made clear what he truly valued. When I read the verses in 2 Kings 3, some details almost get lost in all the words, but I slow here:

Ahab’s son Joram began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not to the same extent as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up. Nevertheless, he continued in the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed and led the people of Israel to commit. (2 Kings 3:1-3, NLT)

When I stood at the open grave the day my dad was buried, I was acutely aware of my new rank in a lineage, that space we all find ourselves when an older generation passes away and we rise to their spot. I think long on the influence I have on a next generation and what I leave behind. Lord, only you can break chains of generational sin. You are the way, the truth, and the life.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, NLT, emphasis added, and the Greek for believers is noted from every brother)

When I first started goal setting, I had a friend in another state that was as driven and motivated as I was, and we encouraged one another. Sometimes, the mentors and models I needed weren’t local or available (or even people that I personally knew). When I read these words in 2 Thessalonians from Paul, you know you ought to imitate us, I know God’s Word will guide and instruct me, whether or not I have a mentor or model nearby.

11 All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!
    He is your helper and your shield.

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.
    He will bless the people of Israel
    and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
    both great and lowly.

14 May the Lord richly bless
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens belong to the Lord,
    but he has given the earth to all humanity.
17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,
    for they have gone into the silence of the grave.
18 But we can praise the Lord
    both now and forever!

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 115:11-18, NLT)

Dear Lord, the older I get, your grace towards me grows more and more precious. The years humble and soften me. Time shows me what really matters. Your Word does too.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
    for your unfailing love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1, NLT)

Courtney (66book365)

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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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