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Sins of Their Fathers

27 February 2010 2,577 Comments

“For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me…” ~ Deuteronomy 5:9

Does God punish children for the sins for their fathers?

Does this Deuteronomy passage speak only to the Israelites of the Old Testament?  Or is there some string of truth for the world today?

While we were going evangelizing a few days ago, a 10-year-old girl named Flo approached me.  She asked me to pray for her baby brother.  Thinking she simply wanted me to pray blessings over him, I easily agreed.  However, I was not prepared for what I experienced next.  Flo brought me to her one-year-old brother who was completely covered in open soars.  Our translator said that the child was afflicted by an advanced case of AIDS.  With tears filling my eyes, I laid hands on this precious life and prayed my hardest for an instant healing for the boy.  I knew he did not have long to live.  After praying, Flo asked me to go pray for her house.

When we arrived at the hut, Flo’s mother was sitting under a rundown hut, smoking a pipe and cutting vegetables.  When I saw her it was like I ran into a brick wall.  I knew instantly that the spirit of witchcraft had a huge hold over this household.  I began speaking to Flo’s mother with my normal evangelism opening. “Hi, we are from the States, we believe in Jesus and that is why we are hear.”  She instantly interrupted me and said she did not want to hear anything about Jesus, but we could pray for her kinds, that was all.  Ignoring that remark, I told the woman that we would pray in the name of Jesus for healing and explained that He is the only true power on Heaven and Earth.  I told her that Jesus loved her so much and wanted to set her free.  She quickly responded that she was demon possessed and that she worshiped demons.  She said she did not want to be free and she certainly didn’t want Jesus.  Then she told us again to pray for her kids.

I watched as hopeful little Flo placed her hands on her baby brother and joined us for praying for his healing.  I could feel the desperation in the girl.  She was desperate for an act of God.  Even though we were filled with faith, the Lord chose not to heal instantly in that moment.  I prayed for Flo and told her that she was completely loved by God.  I encouraged her to keep faith in Jesus, despite having two parents who worshipped demons.  I left the house wondering if I could have done more to encourage Flo and heal the little boy.

As I prayed I felt the Lord reveal to me that this poor child’s affliction was directly related to his mother’s practices in witchcraft.  I don’t know if she placed a curse on him, or if it was simply tied in the spiritual, but I did feel like the boy would only be healed once his mother had left her demonization practices.  This caused great distress in my mind.  Could a little baby boy really be punished for the sins of his parents?  Isn’t God merciful?  Doesn’t God want all of his children to be free?

Later that night, we showed the Jesus Film in the middle of the town.  As I sat down to pray, a small girl came up to me and asked if I would teach her songs about the love of Jesus.  Even though it was dark, I was able to recognize Flo’s hopeful eyes.  I sat and sang with her for hours as I encouraged and prayed for this powerful Christian warrior.  Even though I did not see her whole family set free, I know that Flo is going to be a powerful witness to her parents.  I am standing on faith that her little brother will be healed, and both of her parents will be set free.  I believe God is in the business of freeing people, and it is his desire to have all people come to him.

Even though I don’t have a theology worked out for a demon-possessed mother, and a baby boy dying of AIDS – I do know that God is good, he is just and he is loving – and it is in that truth that I put my trust.


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