Is it Possible to Break Generational Curses?

Is it possible to break generational curses? Does a child have to fall into the same patterns as his parents and the generations that came before them? These are great questions and we are glad you asked. let’s see what the Bible has to say about this complicated issue. God is telling us there’s no such thing as a generational curse. He will hold each generation and each individual responsible for their own disobedience. Read on for a deeper understanding.

“The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

Ezekiel 18:2

God’s Promised Discipline

God brought His people, Israel, out of their captivity in Egypt. But He made a covenant with them before leading them from their captivity in Egypt to their own land in Canaan (the Promised Land). If they obeyed His covenant and statutes, He would bless them. But, when they disobeyed, He promised to discipline (curse) them: 

“The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation with a fierce countenance (Deuteronomy 28:49-50).”

How to Break Generational Curses in the Bible

But God is patient and doesn’t always judge evil when it happens. He gives His people the opportunity to repent and change their ways. If they do, He withholds His judgment on that generation. When they don’t change, their sins will become full. A holy God will judge evil, especially among His people. 

God’s Patience

Even though God is patient, He will bring discipline to a future generation when sins mount up, but only if that generation remains disobedient. If they repent, He withholds His chastisement and applies it to the next rebellious generation.

During Ezekiel’s time, the time described in chapter 18, the Babylonian army had Jerusalem surrounded. But God had saved His people from attacking troops before. So, the people still hoped God would deliver them. A few decades earlier, the Assyrians had surrounded Jerusalem, and the city was on the verge of destruction until God miraculously saved them:

“Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When others woke up early in the morning, these were all dead bodies (Isaiah 37:36).”

The Egyptian army was advancing, and the Babylonians left off attacking Jerusalem to meet them. Hope rose in Jerusalem that God had again relented and saved the city from destruction. But God warned them that this reprieve was only temporary. Egypt would lose the battle, and the Babylonians will again be at Jerusalem’s gates. 

The Jews’ Proverb

The Jews of Ezekiel’s generation, who lived approximately 600BC, devised the sour grapes proverb quoted above. They accused God, saying that He was unfair. That He was disciplining them because past generations were disobedient. But God was having none of that:

“As I live, says the Lord God, you shall not have occasion anymore to use this proverb in Israel (Ezekiel 18:3).”

Yes, the nation’s sins had piled up, and many of those cumulative sins were from previous generations. Part of the reason God chastised them at this time was that they were following in their forefather’s footsteps. God answered their complaint, saying,

“But if a man is righteous and does that which is lawful and right…

he is righteous and shall surely live, says the Lord God (Ezekiel 18:5-9).”

Who Lives and Who Dies?

So, the generational curse doesn’t apply whenever the living generation is obedient. God clarified: He judges every man and every age for their actions.

“Now if he begets a son who sees all his father’s sins which he has done, and considering does not do likewise…(but) has executed My judgments, and has walked in My statutes. He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; he shall surely live. As for his father…he shall die for his iniquity (Ezekiel 18:14,17-18).”

God’s telling us there’s no such thing as a generational curse.

He will hold each generation and each individual responsible for their own disobedience.

We invite you to find God’s mercy and salvation. Please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU VIDEO on this page.


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If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

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