The iniquity of the fathers

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gina B, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Numbers something: The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

    Deuteronomy 5:9 ...I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

    In the Holman version, Exodus 34:7 states it this way: maintaining faithful love to a thousand [generations], forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin. But He will not leave [the guilty] unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers' wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.


    Does anyone have insight on the exact meaning of "visiting the iniquities of the fathers on the children"?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I'm not insightful, but I do have an opinion. ;)

    In context, this is refering to "fathers" who choose to follow God or choose to follow false gods and the consequences thereof upon the children.

    But in general terms...

    God is not going to punish me for a sin that my mother or grandmother committed.

    However, I could possibly bear the consequences of a sin that my mother or grandmother committed. If my mother took drugs while she were pregnant (which she didn't), I could have been burdened with the consequence of a birth defect.

    If my father was addicted to gambling (which he is not), I could have been raised in poverty and despair.

    I take this to mean that consequences of your own personal sin can and sometimes will have effects upon your children and even your grandchildren.

    Also, a parent is responsible for any sin that is passed down from generation to generation.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    Gina this must be quick but I perfer this version of the verses you found. I believe but am not certain that this is the first occurance of this type of verse found in the scriptures. It is part of the ten commandments:

    Exodus 20:4-6

    YOu shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord you God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those ho hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    I broke the chain of sin when I decided to follow Jesus. My children will be blessed to a thousand generations so long as they also choose likewise. What was done to me in the past can no longer affect my children negatively because I chose to love the Lord and because I choose to do that which he commands.

    If I hadn't chosen wisely then my decision would affect my children in the opposite direction.

    Anyhow, just some thoughts...
     
  4. PastorMark

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    I wish I had more time to address this question, but the first issue concerns the difference between sin and iniquity. They are NOT the same. In short, sin is a transgression or violation against a Holy God. This could be doing something we shouldn't, or it could be not doing something we should. Pretty basic concept.

    However, iniquity is a RESULT of sin. This is manifested by a separation from God. This is why people can go to an altar and confess sin, but come away not feeling any closer to God. They confessed the sin, and God was faithful and just to forgive them their sin (notice He didn't forgive THE sin, He forgave THEM THEIR sin). Most of the time people don't deal with the iniquity because so few people understand that it is different from sin, so they don't seek God's closeness as they should. Some people go to an altar and confess the same sin over and over, but never deal with the problem of iniquity. This is what Psalm 32:5 is addressing:

    "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

    In order to deal with the iniquity we must recognize that our sin has caused a separation between us and God. Once recognized and forgiveness is requested for the transgression of iniquity, we can be forgiven "the iniquity of [our] sin."

    PastorMark.
     
  5. Johnv

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    Some folks still believe that the sins of the father fall upon the sons. That's scripturally incorrect. In fact, when Jesus heals the blind man, it was believed by some in the Jewish community that he was blind because his parents had sinned. Jesus disproves that notion by healing him. The parents confirm that by telling the crowd "he is of age; let him speak for himself".

    In short, no, the sins of the father do not befall the children.
     
  6. bapmom

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    It is true though that oftentimes the sins of the parents are magnified in the children. What the parent allows or accepts in moderation, the children most likely will embrace wholeheartedly, or accept in the extreme.

    Can be good or bad.....
     
  7. drfuss

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    Scarlett writes:
    "God is not going to punish me for a sin that my mother or grandmother committed.

    However, I could possibly bear the consequences of a sin that my mother or grandmother committed. If my mother took drugs while she were pregnant (which she didn't), I could have been burdened with the consequence of a birth defect.

    If my father was addicted to gambling (which he is not), I could have been raised in poverty and despair.

    I take this to mean that consequences of your own personal sin can and sometimes will have effects upon your children and even your grandchildren.

    Also, a parent is responsible for any sin that is passed down from generation to generation."

    The above is a very good post.

    I know of situations where a hot headed "christian" father raised his family in church, but his continual temper outbursts caused problems with the children. Some of the children rejected the gospel while the others had emotional problems later on.

    There are consequences.
     
  8. exscentric

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    You might want to add Ezek. 18.19ff to your study.
     
  9. Gwen

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    I think Scarlett explained it perfectly.

    [​IMG]
     

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