To the third and fourth generation

I was thinking about this the other day.

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Numbers 14:17 And now, therefore, let the power of the Lord be great in the way that you promised when you spoke, saying, 18 “The Lord is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children to the third and the fourth generation.” 19 Forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have pardoned this people, from Egypt even until now.’

If you count a generation as “40 years” which the Bible is fond of as a period of the Israelites you could say that we’re moving into the second generation since the boomers. The 40 years is the period that it took for the generation that was lifted up out of Egypt to die because they did not believe that God would lead them into the promised land victorious. I suppose most of the current millenial generation that are now in their 20s and 30s are children of the boomers.

Given the destruction racked upon the millenials by divorce, fatherlessness, and single parenthood I wouldn’t be surprised to see a much more rapid decline.

You could also say that the white population is about 1 generation behind the black population in terms of out of wedlock birth rates. Asian is a bit less than white while hispanics are in between. The out of wedlock birth rates for all populations has already exceeded 50% by 2013 or so, so there is a steep increase from the end of this chart.

To me it’s interesting to think that the Lord’s punishment upon generations for sin is in reality just the consequences of their own actions. The consequences of actions drive them deeper into poverty and sin, and it feels like an inescapable loop.

This also means that the US will slide over the next 3rd and 4th generations into deeper moral decay much as the trends show. Whether this is accompanied by sociological and economic upheaval I don’t know. However, I wouldn’t be surprised given the increase in rioting and police state.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[b] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

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6 Responses to To the third and fourth generation

  1. donalgraeme says:

    To me it’s interesting to think that the Lord’s punishment upon generations for sin is in reality just the consequences of their own actions.

    This was one of the major revelations for me when I renewed my faith in the last few years. The Lord’s punishment isn’t some cruel act of harm inflicted by God. Rather, the Lord simply lifts His protection, and lets us feel the full effects of our own sinful actions. Acts like the Flood or Sodom and Gomorrah are the exception.

  2. Pingback: To the third and fourth generation |

  3. hearthie says:

    Yeah, the road gets rocky from here…

    I know a family or two that has struggled with generational “curses” – which are more or less the same thing. Consequences of sin that repeat, generation after generation.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    Choice to deviate from the “Path” your instincts set you on. And then Choice to unwind the collection of responses you make that bring you to making the set of negative choices readily.

    There’s a reason we are to “pursue Godliness”. That’s part & parcel of the pursuit. And why the modern Church so desperately need God back as the focus.

  5. CHero says:

    Jeez Louise, in the 70s. 😦

  6. I think that a bit better than consider generation 40 years would be just considering the span of influence of ancestors – third and fourth generation is basically = influenced by bad example/teaching/etc of (great)grandparents

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