Sins Of The Fathers

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Sins Of The Fathers Effect Their Descendants
(May 13, 2001)

by Teresa Seputis

In my personal devotions right now, I am in Genesis. I just read chapters 15 to 21 ... and the Lord opened my eyes to something I'd never seen before. It has to do with the "sins" of the Fathers effecting their descendants. Let me share it with you.

In Genesis 15, God appears to Abraham and tells him that

Gen 15
13Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

Then jump down to Chapter 16... verses 1 and 2

Gen 16
1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

Isn't it intersting... in Chatper 15 God shares how Abaraham's decendents will serve the Egpytians for 400 years... and immediately afterwards, we see that Abraham had an Egyptian servant (Hagar) who was mistreated by Sarah and Abraham. First she is forced to have sex with her master and bare him a child. Then in 16:5-6 we see Sarah becoming abusive to Hagar to the point where she runs away. God sent an angel to speak to Hagar and to send her back to Abraham and Sarah. And she had the child, Ishmael, when Abraham was 86. 13 years later, God appeas to Abraham and makes a covenent with him, telling him that Sarah is going to give him a son, and that son (not Ishmael) will be his descendent who will receive God's promises. (Gen 17:15 to 21). We know from Chapter 16 that there was a long running tension between Sarah and Hagar. We saw how Abraham had given Sarah permission to be harsh to her, and there is no reason to assume this changed over the next 13 years. These 13 years must have been a very oppresive time for this Egyptian servant. Is it surprising that the Egyptians later have "permission" to oppress the Israelites for 400 years?

About a year later, Sarah bares a son for Abraham, Issac. (Gen 21:5). We see yet another tension between Sarah and Hagar over their sons..

Gen 21:
9And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. 10Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac." 11And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.

So Abraham sent Hagar away into the wilderness.

Gen 21
14So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

Hagar and her son almost died in the wilderness, in fact they would have died after the water ran out if it were not for angelic intervension. (Gen 21:15-21).

Do you see the pattern here... In chapter 15, God prophesies to Abraham how his discendents would be slaves and in bondage and oppression for 400 years. Immedately aftewards, Abraham permits his Egyptian slave to be oppressed and mistreated. Near the end of the period the Egyptians try to kill baby Israelite boys just as Hagar's son was almost killed. Finally Abraham's descendants leave Egypt and wander in the wilderness for a long time, just as Hagar is sent out to the wilderness. It is as if the Children of Israel (Abraham's descendants) have to live out for generations the abuses that Hagar (the Egyptian slave) suffered at Abraham and Sarah's hand.

I believe that this is a case where the "sins of the fathers" gave Satan a legal right to torment the descendants in a similar manner for 400 years (or 10 generations). If God allowed this spiritual principle to operate in His chosen people, He will probably allow it to oprate in our lives as well. The God news is that God mobalized Himself mighty on their behalf to deliver them from the oppression caused by the sins of their fathers. Likewise God will moblaize Himself mightily in our own families. So if any of our families seem to be under undue oppression, we might want to look back and see if there are some sins of the Fathers somewhere over the last 10 generations that could be giving the enemy a legal right to oppress our families.

The Lord just showed me this principle today during my devotions, so I may learn more later on. But I wanted to share with you what He showed me...

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-- Do not republish without written permission from <> --

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