Why Me, Lord?…Are Sons Punished for Sins of Fathers?
In Exodus 20:5, we read: “You shall not bow down to idols or worship them: for I the Lord God am a jealous God, punishing the children for sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations who love Me and keep my commandments.”
Wow! What a difficult commandment to fully understand. But We must not take one verse out of context and base our understanding of God’s love for mankind. God deals with each individual and his/her circumstances and that individual is responsible for the way he or she responds. Remember during Jesus’ ministry some thought since Abraham was their forefather, they were entitled to salvation, Not so; each individual is responsible for his or her own sins and can’t get to heaven through inheritance of Christian parents or grand parents.
So what does this scripture really mean? This is my understanding: God does not punish children of parents and grandparents just because they are the offspring of evil forefathers, but children born into such homes and reared by evil parents or grandparents are more likely to develop the same lifestyle. However, there are exceptions, some children of parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, become so disgusted with their parents, they choose never to become victims of drugs or alcohol.
I am not sure what all is involved in the latter part of the verse about those who keep God’s commands being loved to a thousand generations, but we serve a loving heavenly Father, who does all things well and rewards those who love and serve Him.
Heavenly Father, If someone reads this who feels trapped in a relationship or lifestyle, that is not God’s will for her life, I pray in Jesus’ loving Name that He will give her wisdom and courage to make whatever changes are necessary for her to live an abundant life. Amen.