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The Sins of The Fathers

by Nellie Shani  
10/15/2011 / Christian Apologetics

There is an old adage that says, "Like father, like son." It can be quite amusing to see a two year old wearing his father''s oversized shoes and trying to walk in them. The smile is quickly wiped off our faces, when we see a young man who has become an alcoholic just like his father! A fact we cannot deny is that there are many character traits both good and bad, that can often be traced from great grandfather, to grandfather, to father, and finally to son or daughter. If it were within our power, we would make sure that only good traits are passed down to our children. Unfortunately, as streams and rivers flow downstream over rocks and stones, so bad character traits are also passed down from generation to generation.

A story that has always intrigued me is the one told of Abram, when he lied that his wife Sarai was his sister. There was a famine in the land and we are told that Abram went down to Egypt with his wife. Because Sarai was a very beautiful woman (At the age of sixty!) he told her to say that she was his sister, because he feared that the Egyptians would kill him and take her away (Genesis 12:10-13).

Almost eighty- five years later, there was another famine in the land and we see Isaac acting, "Like father like son!" Isaac took his family down to Gerar among the Philistines, to escape the famine. "When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, 'She is my sister,' because he was afraid to say 'She is my wife.' He thought, 'The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful' " (Genesis 26:7). This was way after his father Abraham had died, yet the "lying spirit" was still "alive and kicking" in the family. It is interesting to note that in this case, even a way of thinking was passed down from father to son "They will kill me on account of my beautiful wife, so this is how I will solve this problem."

Not satisfied with settling on Isaac, the lying spirit manifested in an even stronger way in Jacob, Isaac's son. Jacob deceived his father by pretending to be Esau, and stole the blessings that Isaac thought he was speaking over his older and favorite son, Esau. The curse of lying seemed to have been scattered and dispersed in Terah's family. He was the father of Abraham and Nahor.

Abraham's brother Nahor also had a lying spirit operating in his household. We see it in his son Laban. He was a deceptive man who tricked his son-in-law Jacob into marrying his older daughter Leah, instead of Rachel whom he really loved. Jacob ended up working for his father-in-law for fourteen years for his two daughters, instead of just seven years for one daughter, as earlier agreed upon. Between Jacob and his father-in-law Laban, there seemed to be a war of who would be a greater trickster than the other!

Is there a 'curse' that has been passed down in our family line? We can deal with it by putting it on the cross of Jesus. Galatians 3:13 says, that Christ became a curse for us when He hang on the tree. Moses had no where to put his curse but you and I can put it on Jesus Christ!

Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.

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