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what does this scripture mean?

'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth [generations].'
Num 14:18


Asked by sandraberke at 10:08 AM on Feb. 5, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (29)
  • the sins of our parents will be passed on down to the next generation, their kids and their kids kids'.

    This is why we must pray and intercede for our kids, that the Lord be merciful enough to break the chains off of our children that WE and our parents and grandparents have passed down to them.

    you've heard of the saying "you're just like your mother/father"? that's why. for example, my sister is sooo much like my mom, she made the same mistakes my mom did/does. they thought i'd be like my mom. however, i think my dad prayed for me more, because they thought it would be ME like her, not my sister (she wasn't the type, she seemed more like my dad when we were little. my parents are divorced, btw, my dad in chuch, my mother not)

    Answer by armywife43 at 10:19 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • No! the victims are not in guilt mode. This isn't what it's saying. The remainants of those forgiven sins are not the childrens' faults not guilt or blood guilt, it's the blood that's passed down that is also automatically saved by the BLOOD of JESUS, he is the actual forgiveness line of action. We just say that we believe he died for our sins and pass that awareness of and the invitation to pass down saving grace to our children. We are saved by grace not by works lest any man should boast.

    Answer by coffeeyum at 10:45 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Dont blame the sins of the father unto his son.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:20 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • i must add, even when the parents ask for forgiveness from that sin, it will still be passed on. sin always has a consequence. he may have forgiven you of the deed, but it doesn't mean you are clear of the consequence.

    if your child does something wrong, you forgive them, but you still discipline for their actions right? sin is the same, only sometimes the consequences aren't right away, they're later down the road, and depending on the sin, the consequence will be seen in the next generation. not fair the kids i know, but that's how it works. kind of like the government lol

    Answer by armywife43 at 10:25 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Yes I agree with the it is teaching you to use discipline and follow the teachings of the Lord and teach the next generations to do the same otherwise it will continue on. Admit guilt and sin and then ask for God forgiveness. Turn to him and you will be given loving kindness and forgiveness..otherwise the consequence is that your children and children's children's children will also pay the consequences. That is how I see it. I am probably pulling to many other verses into that one.

    Answer by Momforhealth at 10:39 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • some will say that Jesus died on the cross so his grace now abounds and this doesn't "count", as it is in the OT. BUT, you must remember that the LAW changed, not God. God does NOT change. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever

    Answer by armywife43 at 11:08 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • JuJu, you're right. He is. because He doesn't change. just like He's always been merciful, and He still is.

    Answer by armywife43 at 11:15 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • The contradiction is blatant--except to christians. There is first the CLAIM that god is loving and forgiving and then there is the opposite where he punishes not only the errant parents but the children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren, all who are innocent of the crime. Which is neither loving NOR forgiving. But which is right in demented character for the O.T. god who burns cities to ash and orders the ripping up of pregnant women (since their unborn children are judged to be as guilty as the parents, right??)

    Answer by witchqueen at 11:18 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • OP- blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin. but what i think you're asking is which ones will affect your children. an example could be fornication. if you sleep with men, even if you ask for forgiveness, the same spirit will come onto your children. If your [in general] mother was the type to sleep around, then you would probly see this in yourself as well. now, it does not mean that you will do it. you can battle with it, pray about it, ask God to break the chains. and you may only sleep with one man, your husband. you may have slipped up and made the mistake and asked for forgiveness. you may break the chain off of YOU through prayer. but this doesn't mean it's off of your children, like the verse says, it's up to the 4th generation. this is why we need to pray and intercede for our children. if a parent can pray and break the chain off their children before it's too late, then it's broken off the next gen

    Answer by armywife43 at 11:31 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • it's more that just a quick prayer as well. you need to keep praying for them, even throughout their life, even if it means falling on your face before God, breaking down, crying and interceding for them. (when you find the time to set aside. a quick prayer every now and then is ok, if you are busy and are in the car, you can pray for them. but you also need to find time to set aside for God and pray. this when you can intercede. there are also times God calls us, sometimes even in the middle of the night, to pray and intercede for someone)

    Answer by armywife43 at 11:36 AM on Feb. 5, 2011