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Generational Repentance, 4/20/16

Repentance moves the heart of God towards either an individual of a group, whether it be a church, a family, a business, or even an entire nation.  The key to repentance is an honest admission of our sin:

1 John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So we see that forgiveness and cleansing can only come when our sins are confessed to God.

Many understand that we need to repent for current sins but many do not understand that we need to repent for the sins of past generations as well in order to break curses that come from the sins of our forefathers.

The scripture makes it clear that sins and curses come down through the generations:

Exodus 20:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Exodus 34:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Numbers 14:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’

Isaiah 14:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 Prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers,

Curses come from sin and disobedience:

Deuteronomy 28:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
Curses on Disobedience
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

Verses 16-68 of Deut. 28 list the curses that can come from sin and disobedience.

But godly repentance for the sins of past and present generations breaks the curses and brings freedom. This is why the Lord, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, said:

Jeremiah 14:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.

This is also why God raised up Daniel to repent for the sins of past and present generations of the people of Israel so that they could be set free from captivity in Babylon:

Daniel 9:3-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6 Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

So we see from verses 6, 8 and 16 that Daniel was confessing the sins not only of his current generation but also those of past generations.  That is how the curse of slavery was broken off of the Israelite people and they were allowed to return to Israel. We also see this principle and practice upheld in other parts of scripture:

Nehemiah 1:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Nehemiah 9:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
“But they and our fathers acted proudly,
Hardened their necks,
And did not heed Your commandments.

Nehemiah 9:34 New King James Version (NKJV)
Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,
With which You testified against them.

Nehemiah 13:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

Ezra 9:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.

Psalm 106:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly.
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;
They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies,
But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.

Jeremiah 3:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
We lie down in our shame,
And our reproach covers us.
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
We and our fathers,
From our youth even to this day,
And have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

So we have a clear biblical pattern of how to move the heart of God to set a person or a people free by the confession and repentance for personal and generational sins.  Once we confess the sins then we can ask for forgiveness and ask for the blood of Jesus to wash it way and cleanse us so that we can be free. Then the anointing can break the yoke:

Isaiah 10:27 NKJV
It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

So getting the yokes broken requires confession of sin.  But some might ask how we can know all the sins of our forefathers to confess them?  We can confess the things we know and ask the Holy Spirit to show us what else needs to be confessed.  God knows what these things are can tell them to us because he knows all the secrets:

Colossians 2:2-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and[a] of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

So if freedom is what you want, and I hope it is, then join with the Holy Spirit in his desire to help you confess and repent for generational and present sins, either for a person or for a group, and watch God go to work to bring the freedom that only He can bring.  The goods news is that with adequate confession and repentance and righteous living there is the promise of restoration unto double portion that God always wants to bring to us if we will repent:

Isaiah 61:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Good News of Salvation
61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

Now THAT is worth repenting for!! Hallelujah!!

Steve Pursell, 4/20/16