When I became terribly sick with what one neurologist said was multiple sclerosis, I had many questions as to why. Several possible reasons flooded my mind. One was a doctrine I had been taught in church concerning “generational curses.” I was upset about this and wondered how to break such a curse. I prayed with tears in my eyes and asked the Lord for mercy, but my sickness only continued to worsen.
I became relentlessly tormented with muscle spasms and slurring of speech. One morning, as I went to get out of bed, my legs buckled under me. The pain and suffering were almost unbearable. I again began to wonder what curse had been brought upon me. As I continued to decline, I cried out for days, finally asking, “Adonai, am I going to die?” I will never forget crying and the fear I felt. I opened my Bible that day after asking the Father if my time was up. The first scripture my eyes landed on said, “This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God” (John 11:4, KJV). As I write these words, I know that if it were not for this sickness, I would have never had the ability to study His Word so intently. We must remember that all things work together for good. Joseph’s betrayal, rejection, pit and prison time equipped and humbled him, preparing him for second in command of all Egypt.
Suffering is the key that unlocks humility and the anointing. Suffering is not an attack from Satan. Not even in the Book of Job.
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one on earth like him, a man who is blameless and upright, who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8, BSB).
Permission is given by Adonai for the “adversary” to allow suffering as long as he spares Job’s life. “Very well,” said the LORD to Satan. “Everything he has is in your hands, but you must not lay a hand on the man himself” (Job 1:12, BSB). Over and over again, we are told that suffering brings maturity. Yeshua suffered: “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, ESV). Suffering is a sign that we are His children: “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives” (Hebrews 12:6, BSB). Once we give our life to Yeshua, we are crucified with Him. We are a new creation and heirs:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
–Romans 8:15-17, ESV
Many denominations today pray for generational curses to be broken off individuals. Some believe that these curses can cause numerous afflictions of sickness and disease. They claim generational curses cause poverty, mental and emotional breakdowns, miscarriages, and the list continues. This doctrine originates from a couple of scriptures found in the Older Testament (Tanakh) concerning idolatry.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
–Deuteronomy 5:8-10, ESV
There is another passage quite like this one found in Exodus.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
–Exodus 20:4-6, ESV
The curse concerned those who hate Adonai. The curse was placed by the Holy One. Many in leadership pray and renounce said curses over individuals, but if the Holy One placed them, and He said He would put them on the third and fourth generation, how can they be broken? Allow me to share a hypothetical story.
A person had a great, great grandfather who was a Freemason. Said person learns his grandfather was into sorcery. However, said person was utterly oblivious to any of this. The said person became born anew and recently baptized. Weeks later, the person in this newfound faith in Yeshua begins to grow tired, and their eyesight becomes blurry. They visit an ophthalmologist, and he tells them that they have a rare eye disease and soon will become completely blind. The person goes to the deliverance minister or pastor, who starts questioning them about their family history. The person then inquires, asking their parents if there was any sorcery in the family. They respond by explaining that Grandpa Carter dabbled in the occult. The person goes back to the minister, who then has them renounce Satan and a long list of generational curses. The minister has them repeat repetitious prayers. The new believer suddenly feels horrible that the Lord has placed a curse of blindness due to their ancestor’s sins. They feel spiritually lost and sick inside. The person was so joyous just weeks before, but now they are completely floored. Sadly, soon they will be completely blind and believe it is due to all their ancestor’s sins. The above story is a hypothetical one, but it is becoming more realistic in some assemblies today. What did our Master Yeshua say when He was tested in regard to generational curses?
And Jesus passed by and saw a man which was blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
–John 9:1-3, KJV
The disciples had been indoctrinated with Hellenism. Greek thought affected the first-century world of Yeshua and his disciples. Hellenistic ideas were part of the culture and had been creeping in for some time. In Greek thought, an innocent child could not be born blind without sin from the parents.
Moses brought before Adonai his inability to speak well? Adonai said: “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Father?” (Exodus 4:11, KJV). In John 9, the Lord used blindness to showcase His power and glory. The Lord blinded Paul for three days on the road to Damascus before setting him apart for service.
In a vision he (Paul) has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name. But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.
If a person becomes blind or sick with a disease, the Bible is noticeably clear on what to do.
Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
–James 5:14-15, KJV
James 5 says, “If he committed sins,” not if he or his father or his grandfather. No instructions to break generational curses. I am not entirely against generational traits, personalities, hereditary diseases or even spiritual issues, but many things affect each individual situation.
Eli, the high priest, was righteous, but his sons were bent on evil. They were not wicked because of a generational curse, but scriptures suggest that Eli did not discipline them: “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord” (I Samuel 2:12, TLV). The Lord spoke to Eli concerning his honor towards his sons over Adonai: “Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest of every offering of Israel My people?” (I Samuel 2:29, TLV). Eli taught Samuel the prophet from a tender age. Samuel became a prophet and judge over Israel walking in all the ways of the Lord but Samuels sons were not righteous. His sons were similar to Eli’s, the man who raised him up in Adonai’s house.
When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.
–I Samuel 8:1-3, ESV
One doctrine prevalent in the more charismatic churches proclaims that generational curses cause poverty, bondage, and sickness. The curse listed in Deuteronomy and Exodus was brought upon the people who hated the Lord and did not keep His commandments. The false doctrine of generational curses makes the blood of Yeshua weak, stifling people and also placing blame on a curse instead of correction, keeping the commandments and natural remedies and instructions for a blessed life listed in the Torah. Paul explains that he no longer lives.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
–Galatians 2:20, ESV
Disobedience causes multiple issues. Why would a loving Father who sent His Son impart suffering to a believer over the generations that hated Him? Why would God send His Son to die for us, but with stipulations that it does not cover Grandpa Carter’s sins of sorcery? Are we to pay for our ancestors’ wickedness? The Lord answers the question by responding to Ezekiel.
“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
–Ezekiel 18:18-20, ESV
Sickness and disease have become more and more prevalent as the world continues to become overpopulated. Man has not kept the instructions placed in the Torah for a healthy, vital life. Childhood diseases, like measles or Whooping cough, need a sizeable population to emerge and be transmitted. The Covid virus works the same. Droplets spread and many times to righteous people who are by no means under a curse. Many of the modern diseases we suffer from stem from poor sanitation in crowded cities, fast food, and obesity. A person may develop diabetes, become diagnosed with cancer or heart disease, but that is not because they are under a curse. It may be because said person does not eat right or take care of their body, or it may be hereditary.
Most people need counseling and love, not fear that they are under a generational curse that needs to be broken. The Father sent His Word to heal us, and if we get enough of His Word in us, we will not want to sin against Him.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Ruth. If any book could throw the generational curse theory out of the water, it would be this book. Ruth was a Moabitess. The Moabites descended from a son born of Lot, conceived through drunkenness with his daughters (incest). The Moabite people worshiped mainly the god “Chemosh,” to whom they sacrificed their children. Dr. Judd H. Burton, historian, and anthropologist describes the origin of this worship.
Chemosh was the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant “destroyer,” “subduer,” or “fish god.” While he is most readily associated with the Moabites, according to Judges 11:24 he seems to have been the national deity of the Ammonites as well. His presence in the Old Testament world was well known, as his cult was imported to Jerusalem by King Solomon (1 Kings 11:7). The Hebrew scorn for his worship was evident in a curse from the scriptures: “the abomination of Moab.” King Josiah destroyed the Israelite branch of the cult (2 Kings 23). 
Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, lost her husband and then her two sons. Naomi was left heartbroken and grief-stricken. She only had her two daughters-in-law, Ruth, and Orpah. Naomi was making her way from Moab back to her homeland, Bethlehem. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her and declared that the God of Naomi, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be her God. Ruth is in the genealogy of the Messiah. Not only is Ruth in His genealogy, but four women are mentioned; Rahab, Bathsheba, who committed adultery with King David, and Tamar, who dressed up as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law Judah. There were no curses here.
Those in deliverance often try to blame every sin and problem of the flesh on a curse passed down. But this is just not biblical. If a person goes out and gets drunk and has a wreck, killing someone, the person reaps the consequences. If a person commits fornication or adultery and contracts an STD, isn’t that a result of the seeds they planted? Miriam gossiped and was removed from the camp. After seven days, she was brought back into the community. This is a loving Father who is merciful and just and offers forgiveness. The Lord judges each of us according to our ways:
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.d Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.
–Ezekiel 18:30-32, ESV
I am thankful for His Word and how it has ministered to me over the years. I pray this helps many unlearn some of the lies and words that hurt and harm sheep, and especially babies.