“As the sparrow for flitting about, as the swallow for flying, so a curse undeserved shall not come”, Proverbs 26:2. How simple and encouraging.

We have no instructions in the New Testament, either from the Lord or from the apostles, about relieving ourselves of curses. Nor do we have any special prayers or religious mantras to deal with such.

It is objectionable to suggest that God is to be appealed to by some set of words, proclaimed to be a recipe for success. I have heard a brother say: “Try this; this works”, and then proceed to suggest a string of words to be uttered as a prayer.

God hears us because of who we are, and our moral character, and not just by form of words. It was said even of Jesus, “and having been heard because of His piety”, Hebrews 5:7, or as the KJV well says, “in that He feared”.

Some will point to what is called the Lord’s Prayer, as a set of words to be used. It was a sample prayer for Jewish disciples, before His final rejection, crucifixion, ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Of course it was perfect in its place and time, but that is another subject in itself. (John 17 is more truly the Lord’s Prayer.)

There is no doubt about the evils of Freemasonry, along with its oaths that bind, and curses on those members who break their own rules. But this has nothing to do with the children of those whose forbears belonged to a Lodge. Of course a person converted and leaving it would tell the Lord (and others) that he repudiates that system of Freemasonry.

“Sins of the fathers”. Now let us look at this teaching.
Even in Old Testament times, Ezekiel 18 shows that individual responsibility is carefully declared by God. There was a saying in Israel before and during the time of the carrying away to Babylon - “The fathers eat sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge” – see Jeremiah 31:29-30 and Ezekiel 18:2. The people were excusing themselves from their own responsibilities and evil ways, claiming that the troubles that had come upon them were all due to their fathers. God refuted this with: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”, Ezekiel 18:4, &c. That chapter refers to the righteous government of God on earth at that time.

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin”, Deuteronomy 24:16. Again, it is God’s governmental dealings with individuals.

The teaching of the “sins of the fathers” is based on Exodus 20:5, “for I, Jehovah thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me …”. [Emphasis mine.] A true believer in Christ does not hate God. How simple.

Now let us illustrate the verse in Exodus 20:5. In Russia in 1917 the Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the overthrow of the government and the establishment of Communism. It was not until about 1992, in that fourth generation, that the Lord provided “an opened door” of free access to the Scriptures and the gospel for that Federation of states. It seems to me that God had said: “You want atheism, you will have it, and you will suffer the consequences”.
Everyone suffered the effects, including Christians. Not all were Communists, nor was everyone a member of that Party; nor were all atheists. And every person was still personally responsible to God for their reception or rejection of Christ.

For completeness, I should attempt to explain what “visit the iniquity” means. It means “place upon them the discipline that such iniquity incurs”. I enter into more detail in “The Sins of the Fathers” at . It can never mean that God is responsible for destining a person to sin like his father. It is blatant error to say that because a man is a thief, that God ensures that his children and grandchildren will be thieves. If they turn out that way it is because of learned behaviour.

This doctrine of the sins of the fathers swept the world some years ago. Anything that becomes popular quickly should be regarded with suspicion, because the truth of God always makes slow headway in a world where Satan is its prince.

In summary, if you are concerned about a curse - or anything else that burdens you – take the trouble to God in prayer; leave it with Him, and be restful. Consider thoughtfully the verses in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be careful about nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts by Christ Jesus.”

MM May 2011