Sunday word BY PROSPER TINGINI
Blessings are consecrated favours from the Lord which come in various forms. Some blessings are bestowed on people as a reward for obedience to the Lord, or for good deeds. Others come by anointment or through prophecies declared and planned in advance by God for particular purposes. In life there are people of benevolent characters who live for others. They do good works for the benefit of others without asking for anything in return, either from the Lord or from the people. They might even die poor from the good will sacrifices they make and society may not even recognise them. While others may not notice, the Lord our God with always take note of all the selfless activities done in kindliness. Divine rewards will always come as blessings of all sorts, either directly to the doer of good and if not, rest assured that the blessings will be passed on to the direct descendants or their generations thereafter.
The biblical Abraham was a good man, sacrificing his own life for others and it pleased God. After his good deeds, the word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision (Genesis 15:1); “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” He was blessed directly by God through the birth of sons, Ishmael and Isaac, despite his advanced age. Not only did he get personal blessings but his everlasting generations of children were made the “chosen people” and a land of milk and honey, Canaan, was bestowed upon them. To this day Israel stands.
It is a common occurrence in society that within one clan of people particular families always outshine others in various ways, yet other families never rise up in their social standing, within the same clan. If the archives of the outstanding family’s blood line were to be perused, it would not be surprising that there would have been a person who had sacrificed his entire life for the good of others within that ancestry, hence bringing a blessing to his/her direct descendants. On the other hand if the “cursed” family’s history is dug up, someone within that particular family tree could have perpetrated some acts of sin or devillish deed bringing a misfortune to his/her descendants. In our African cultures, such a chain of bad omens within one particular bloodline is attributed to being a curse of some kind. In the Shona language such a generational curse is ngozi.
The scriptures carry numerous stories and cases of generational blessings or curses. In the second book of Moses, Exodus, chapter 21 carries the story of the “golden calf” and the consequences of it. While many people were slain for the bad deed, one particular house stood to gain. Upon his return from up the mountain, Moses and the Lord were angered and Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me”. And all the sons of the house of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.’” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. And Moses said, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, that he may bestow a blessing upon you this day.” Thus the house of Levi of all the 12 tribes of Israel was blessed by God ahead of all others. The Lord anointed the Levites to perform the priestly roles as a reward. They were excused from taking part in wars, from toiling and ploughing the land, on top of it the Levites priests were awarded right to most offerings consecrated to God, to possess or to eat as food. Obedience to the word of God was and is still the key to blessings, and such favours can cascade across generations.
Curses are the direct opposite of blessings. The first creations of mankind, Adam and Eve, were cursed for disobeying the Lord our God. After being tricked by the serpent into eating of the forbidden fruit, the Lord showed some kindness towards them by clothing them, but He also put in place the first curses upon his human creations. To the everlasting generations of Adam, men, He proclaimed; “Because you have disobeyed me and have eaten of the tree what I commanded you, ‘you shall not eat it’, cursed is the ground because of you; in toil and sweat you shall eat of it all the days of your life: thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, from out of which you were taken; you are dust and to dust you shall return”. To Eve He thus put an everlasting generational curse on woman; “I will greatly multiply your pain child bearing, in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you”. To all the generations of snakes (serpent) He cursed; “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals, upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all days of your life. I will put enmity between you and mankind’s offspring; he shall strike your head and you shall bite his heel”. Indeed these curses are upon us to this very day (Genesis 3).
Curses are brought about through various misdeeds of humanity, whether the disobedience of God’s voice or acts of evil. The Bible has numerous such cases brought about even by the hand of God. It is also assumed in cultural circles that the spirits of the dead can also bring forth curses that are carried through generations as a vengeful retribution towards the blood line of the perpetrator of a diabolic act against a deceased. Many such stories have been told and written about.
For those who have a doubt as to the origin and validity of generational curses, let’s visits the second commandment of the Lord our God. Exodus 20: 4-6 reads; “You shall not make for yourself a 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; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the sins of fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Yes, there exist some generational curses penetrating through family blood lines.
Let our works and conduct on this planet brings blessings to future generations of our offsprings. The rewards for our good deeds and our obedience to the Lord will be preserved and credited to our own children and the children of the children’s children.
Prosper Tingini is the president of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Registration in progress for those who wish to undertake Bible Studies or train as Ministers of Religion. Contact 0771 260 195 or email: email@example.com