I have seen many intelligent and hardworking people suffering without knowing why. Let us look at one of the hidden reasons.
Exodus 20:4-6 says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven 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: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them for 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; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
This was repeated in Deuteronomy 5:8-10
The Danger of Idol Worship and Other Ancestral Sins (Generational Curses)
A huge cause of stagnation that we must deal with in Africa is GENERATIONAL CURSES arising from the ancestral sin of IDOL WORSHIP and other ancestral sins.
Exodus 34:6-7, “6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
Exodus 20:3-5 “3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for 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;” The sin of idol worship triggers generational curses.
Look at Daniel 9:5-6, 11, it says, “5We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:  Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land….  Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.”
Generational curses originate from the sin of idol worship as well as other ancestral sins. The bible seems to make an exemption for the sin of murder which then attracted capital punishment. For this sin, every man was to bear his or her punishment alone. 2Chronicles 25:1-4; “Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.  Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.  But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.”
He was quoting from Deuteronomy 24:16. “16The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” So, one must understand the context before interpreting Deuteronomy 24:16. These scriptures are not contrary to 20:5; Exodus 34:7. The context here is different. Exodus 20:5 makes it clear that the subject matter here is IDOL WORSHIP. The sin of idol worship attracts generational curses.
Generation = gene – ration. Gene-ology is the study of ancestry. The ration of genes you inherited. You have a quota of the genes of your ancestors. You inherited some things from them. You also inherited a ration of problems. You have a quarter of the genes of your grandfather. You are a partaker of their sins because you were in their loins when these sins were committed – Hebrews 7: 9-10.
We inherit genes, characteristics, looks, behaviour. We inherit (properties) assets. We inherit liabilities. We inherit blessings. We inherit curses. It is common knowledge that certain things run in families! There is a common expression: “like father like son.” There is nothing wrong in inheriting something good from our parents, but it is terrible to inherit the weaknesses of our fathers. Behavior patterns are passed from one generation to the next. Evidence shows that astounding numbers of people with negative behavior patterns produce children with the same negative behavior patterns.
Sickness and genetic diseases can be inherited. A classic example is the case of Gehazi. 2Kings 5:27 “The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed forever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.”
Our ancestors worshipped idols. They covenanted us to forces of darkness. They practiced wickedness. They killed, committed immorality and enslaved others. They practiced segregation, etc.
2Chronicles 29:6-9, “6For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.  Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.”
Look at the consequences:
 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.  For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.”
Here we see the consequence of turning away from the Lord: trouble, astonishment, hissing, violent death and captivity of children.
In Deuteronomy 28:15-68, there are 112 curses pronounced by God ranging from sickness to poverty and captivity. They are as a result of turning away from the true God.
Examples are: enslavement, going to prison, deprivation, backwardness, educational limitation, poverty – failure to rise, being in debt, inability to get married, marital instability, divorce, barrenness, Compulsive stealing (kleptomania), Immorality, Drug addiction – alcohol, tobacco, hard drugs, Anger, Sexual abuse, Physical and verbal abuse, etc.:
Others are particular sicknesses, for example, Diabetes, hypertension, Cancer, Allergies, Ulcers, etc. Premature death, violent death.
Sin should never be taken for granted. Every sin does not just affect the individual; it has national and generational consequences. What your ancestors did can affect you adversely if not addressed. Don’t create problems for your offsprings through reckless behaviour.
To be continued…
Bishop Dr. Charles Olowojoba is the General Overseer of Dayspring Bible Church Worldwide with HQ in Abuja, Nigeria & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int’l. Website: www.dayspringcmi.org e-mail: email@example.com Help line: 08035150515