The following is a graphic tale illustrating how “the sins of the father” (Exodus 34:7) are passed down through the generations.
For this lesson, I’m going to use my own family history, as it is replete with examples of how the "sins of the father" are passed down through the generations. (And while some may feel that this article is too graphic, we must remember that deliberate sins of ANY kind will seriously jeopardize our relationship with YHWH – and even result in the loss of our salvation - Numbers 15:30, Romans 1:18-32, and Hebrews 6:4-8).
Hebrews 10:26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies. (CJB)
Truths such as these are necessary to remind us that YHWH considered “sin” to be heinous enough to warrant the killing an innocent animal whose blood was used to atone for our sins! He considered SIN so grave and urgent that He gave His one and only Son to shed his own divine blood on our behalf….)
So, in my lesson today, I will use the examples of two of my four “lost” (unsaved) half-brothers. I've tried to reach all of them over the years, to no avail. To this day, none of them have any clue as to how "lost" they are and, sadly, they’ve made it VERY clear that they don't wish to be "found".
The thing is, it’s not totally their fault; it’s a direct result of the "sins of the father" – the parents; the family of unbelievers into which they were born – with each generation becoming more “lost” and vile than the previous one.
Please pay special attention to the progression I’m trying to illustrate with the following real-life examples….
I’LL BEGIN THIS STORY WITH MY FIRST “AWAKENING” to this “sins of the father” dilemma that seems to have plagued my family for many generations. It happened when I was just 12 years old, when “Grandpa” - my abusive adoptive father’s 72-year-old father - came to live with us temporarily. Up until then, I figured “Daddy” (an American soldier who I first met at age 9 when he and my mother jerked me out of my happy foster home in Germany to live with them) was the only child molester in the world … because, back in my day, nobody ever talked about those things.
(By the way, my mother never knew about the sexual abuse because I was too terrified of her reaction, as she and I had no rapport, whatsoever. The only reason I was living with her now was because she had to take me back from my foster parents of 9 years, in order to leave Germany legally with her new, American soldier husband, who was – unbeknownst to her - a raving pedophile. A confused and godless woman who was forced to hide her Jewish heritage in post-War Germany (and forced into prostitution by her own, alcoholic mother!) she was a lost soul – always searching for, but never finding something to fill that little hole in her soul that only ADONAI can fill. She was married a total of 8 times, and died of colon cancer, alone and bitter at age 45 - leaving in her wake, five emotionally-scarred children, myself included…)
Please remember what I have related about my mother and adoptive father because, in the history of my immediate family, those two kicked off the series of events that absolutely ruined the lives of two of my younger brothers! (It almost ruined mine, as well, but thankfully, I heeded YHWH’s call.)
BACK TO THE STORY: Grandpa’s arrival introduced me to the idea that Daddy’s sick desires for little girls seemed to have been inherited – because ol’ “Grandpa” didn’t hesitate to approach me at the first available opportunity.
The only difference between the old man and my adoptive father was that I knew I didn’t have to obey or please Grandpa in any way, because the roof over my head and the food in my mouth didn’t depend on him. And so, I didn’t hesitate to make it perfectly clear that his inappropriate touches were NOT welcome!
As time went on, I also saw that pedophile “gene” (for lack of a better term) exhibiting itself in “Daddy’s” natural son, my younger half-brother, whom I’ll call Terry. The difference between father and son, however, was that Terry eventually became a bisexual pedophile. NOT just your ordinary “garden variety” pedophile, but a BISEXUAL pedophile….
Can you already begin see the progression caused by the “sins of the father?”
Read on; I’m just getting started.
I knew Terry had some weird issues during childhood because, on one hand, he was Mother’s favorite – and she never once bothered to hide that fact; while on the other hand, his father seemed to resent and even outright HATE him. While “Daddy” was sexually abusing me (and “grooming” me for his sick purposes), he was downright evil to Terry, constantly berating him and letting him how stupid he was and how he would never amount to anything. That poor kid couldn’t do ANYTHING right in “Daddy’s” eyes! I can’t tell you how many times he was thumped in the forehead for not “holding his fork right” at the supper table….
But I didn’t discover just how disturbed Terry really was until decades later, after many years of separation. I nearly fell off my chair when he nonchalantly related that he was a bisexual who liked having sex with children - and that he had “always been into having sex with whomever, wherever and whenever.”
If that wasn’t surprising enough, he also dropped the bombshell that I – his “perfect big sister” (said sarcastically) – had NOT been the only victim of a pedophile in our family, because our mother had used him (Terry) for sex whenever she was in between boyfriends and/or husbands!
Terry emitted a raucous laugh when he saw the horrified look on my face; but assured me very matter-of-factly, that he hadn’t minded it all, because “Mother taught him a lot about sex.”
In other words, he truly couldn’t see anything wrong with that scenario! (And by the way, during this particular conversation, Terry propositioned me! “After all,” he insisted with a chuckle, “incest is best; it’s all relative.”
Anyway, remembering the endless abuse we had both endured at the hands of Terry’s mentally deranged and violent father, I discovered that my former sweet and shy little half-brother (now well over six feet tall) was a completely broken person who didn’t realize that, due to the abnormal, twisted lifestyles of our parents, he had become confused about his own sexuality!
From the casual way he was relating his experiences, he had clearly convinced himself that he “liked” having sex with our mother; and openly admitted that, as a young boy, desperate for his abusive father’s love, he had entertained sexual fantasies about him, because he didn’t know what else he could possibly do to please the man….
In other words, Terry didn’t know he was a completely BROKEN vessel, thanks to the “sins of BOTH his parents.” He still doesn’t – and, unfortunately, he cannot be persuaded otherwise. Believe me, I’ve tried. He’s convinced he’s a “loser” – he’s told me that several times – and he has certainly done everything in his power over the course of his life to live up to that low standard….
Terry’s whole life reflects self-imposed failure – and I say “self-imposed” because YHWH has given ALL of us the opportunity and ability to recognize the need for a CHANGE in our life. Terry (who’s now in his mid-sixties and completely disfigured from the horrible disease called Scleroderma), has CHOSEN to remain in that “rut” his parents built for him … a rut that he carefully tended and maintained over the years.
Growing up, he never knew what a “normal” and loving relationship was! That was because our mother was forever getting married and divorced. We were like gypsies, moving constantly. (I attended 14 different schools before I graduated from high school.) She could never find that elusive happiness she was seeking – and even when she had a “decent man” in her life, she inevitably found a reason to dump him.
You see, she “craved” unhappiness – because that’s what she was used to! She HAD to be unhappy to FEEL “happy”. “Unhappy” was her norm. (I know that feeling because, until YHWH came into my life, I always did the same thing! Without realizing why, I always figured out ways to remain unhappy.)
So, it’s no wonder that Terry ended up going from one relationship to the next, in between his four or five marriages. In keeping with his “sex with whomever and whenever” lifestyle, he once got a 14-year-old girl pregnant when he was 29; and in the meantime, he had two daughters by two different women (neither of whom he helped raise).
One of his daughters is now serving time in prison for selling drugs…..
I lost all contact with Terry a couple decades ago, because – according to him – I “changed too much after becoming a Spirit-filled Believer” and, consequently, we no longer had anything “to talk about” and he wasn’t interested in my “holier-than-thou attitude,” as he put it - adding very dramatically that I needed to “come down off the cross, because somebody might need the wood.”
DO YOU SEE HOW TERRY CONTINUED IN HIS PARENTS’ FOOTSTEPS? He is exactly what his parents caused him to be! They dug that “rut” for him, and he remained in it – because he never realized he had been emotionally scarred. Subconsciously, he had to STAY in that rut, because it was “home”; it was “who he was,” and anything else would have “felt foreign.”
One of the saddest parts about Terry’s story is that he literally passed on his sick behaviors to our baby brother. Read on…
In order to explain the last couple of sentences, I will have to back up to my childhood again - to when I was 16 (and Terry was 11), when my mother (married to her fourth husband by then) gave birth to a little boy I’ll call “Tommy”.
Unfortunately, because I ran away from home and ultimately enlisted and made the US Army my career in order to “get away from it all” - poor little Tommy ended up being raised mainly by our alcoholic, mostly absentee mother … and by Terry … who, after I ran away from home, ended up becoming my mother’s main housekeeper and babysitter (and also her substitute sex partner).
(I have often regretted that I didn’t get to help raise Tommy, but I’m not sure my presence would have made much difference because my mother was an overpowering entity, and I was a “broken vessel” myself back then, just trying to survive on the mentoring I had received in high school from some great teachers. But, alas, by age 16, I was in a “fight or flight” situation to preserve my own sanity, because I felt my only other option was suicide….)
MOVING A FEW YEARS AHEAD WITH THE STORY, Tommy was 9 years old when our mother died, and he was forced to live with his natural father (who was actually a GOOD guy whom our mother had, unfortunately, vilified). Naturally, the child hated his father, and he literally spent all his time rebelling and making himself unlovable. (You see, “unhappiness” was Tommy’s norm, too. He learned that in spades during his early childhood.)
In short, Tommy turned into a hateful, spiteful, uncontrollable teenager who adopted unhealthy habits, such as engaging in witchcraft and “magic spells” as a way to “feel in control” of something in his life.
Like Terry, he never “made anything out of himself” either – he never had a real career or any ambition. He simply started roaming freely around the country, sponging off people. (He called me a couple times over the years, asking for financial help, because everything he did, fell through.) At one point, he joined the Army, and quickly deserted and disappeared for a whole year, after discovering he would be required to follow some rules….
Needless to say, he received a Dishonorable Discharge (which not only resulted in some prison time, but is was also pretty much a death knell for any future career plans), and so he spent most of his life doing odd jobs and simply “living with women” who were gullible enough to fall for his drop-dead gorgeous good looks … until they figured he out that he was a total deadbeat, and tossed him out on his ear.
Last year I reached out to Tommy (now in his mid-fifties), because he admitted on his Facebook page that he was living in his car, after yet another woman threw him out of her life. (Of course, according to him, none of these breakups were ever his fault…)
Unbeknownst to Tommy, he was exhibiting the same, exact habits as our mother and her “favorite son” Terry (who by the way, had even adopted a smidgeon of her German accent as a child, which he has kept it to this day – even though he was raised in the US).
Anyway, as always, my advice to Tommy, along with all attempts to help him come out of that lifelong rut he had continued to bury himself in, were met with an almost violent hostility that ultimately ended with me completely blocking him out of my life when (I guess, in hopes of hurting me) he publicly began berating and saying excruciatingly disparaging things about YHWH. (Many people, including ALL my half-brothers, HATE Believers!)
Like his half-brother Terry, Tommy has never exhibited ANY interest in turning his life around by simply accepting YHWH/Yeshua/Torah and repenting. He has always stayed in his rut because he is COMFORTABLE there! He doesn’t KNOW any different and therefore, he cannot bring himself to try “taking a different fork in the road!” He’s determined to take that same “road” over and over again, completely oblivious to the fact he’s like someone wearing the same old dirty clothes, and fooling himself into thinking his clothes are clean, because he regularly turns them inside-out and back again….
As a matter of fact, Tommy’s Facebook wall today shows that he is progressively and steadily heading “downhill” into the proverbial pits of Hell, as he proudly considers himself to be (among other things) a witch, a Satanist and a “pirate” – while also being a follower of several mythical gods.
NOW WATCH WHAT ELSE HAPPENED because of Tommy’s refusal to try to break that horrible cycle his parents and older brother caused him to be stuck in:
Tommy has never been married but, like Terry, he also has a couple of out-of-wedlock children he didn’t personally raise - a daughter (who, by some miracle, seems to be doing fairly well, and – a 31-year-old son who is – like his father, Tommy – serving prison time.
His son – a self-proclaimed "Neo-Nazi" and "White Supremacist" - received a many-years-long prison sentence in 2016 for “drug possession and distribution, first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault resulting in serious bodily injury, resisting arrest, and first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle….”
SO, DO YOU SEE HOW “sins of the father” (and mother) ARE passed down through the generations? Scripture tells us this could and would happen:
Exodus 34:5 Adonai descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of Adonai. 6 Adonai passed before him and proclaimed: “YUD-HEH-VAV-HEH!!! Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai] is God, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; 7 showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations.” (CJB)
THE GOOD NEWS IS, THIS CYCLE OF CURSES CAN BE BROKEN! It can be broken by the simple act of turning to YHWH for forgiveness, repenting and living a holy, set apart Torah life:
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked person abandon his way and the evil person his thoughts; let him return to Adonai, and he will have mercy on him; let him return to our God, for he will freely forgive. (CJB)
It’s not easy, and nothing can or will change “overnight”. Change takes time. Getting to know YHWH takes time. It’s an ongoing process….
The Torah (first five Books of the Bible) outlines exactly WHO God is, and what He expects of His people, and amply outlines, in excruciating detail, HOW to live a truly holy life – one that will give you inner peace and help you to recognize the beauty of TRUE happiness, stability and all-around shalom!
You CAN do it, IF you will learn to recognize that you may be in a “rut”….