Category Archives: generational sin

Creation, the Firstborn and the Passover

Creation, the Firstborn and the Passover

Is the Passover not like a revisit by God to the earliest days of Creation? The sin of the first born is again being judged. The assault of the first born, Cain/Egypt, against the second born, Abel/Israel, is being called to account. But in Egypt on this fateful night the roles are reversed. The dead bodies of Israelite’ babies awash in the Nile[1] gives evidence.[2] The lashes from the taskmaster’s whips give evidence. The pervasive idolatry gives evidence. The verdict can no longer be withheld, the Egyptians are being called to account. It is the first born of Egypt who will perish this night.

The blood of a sheep will mark for exemption from judgment the firstborn of the keepers of the sheep. The red blood, like Abel’s, cries out for recognition—a stop sign. How symbolic that God choose a sheep’s blood for identification. Abel, too, was a keeper of sheep. It was his blood shed by Cain that cried out to the Lord. So, the blood of a lamb cried out to the Lord on behalf of the firstborn of the Israelites. The Israelite firstborn did not bear the guilt of the firstborn of Egypt. The blood would reveal this distinction.

The first born of Egypt, like Cain, used its collective will to sin—to be idolators of false gods, to give agreement to the ungodly treatment of the Israelites. Many principles of God’s Torah, His Law, were being violated by the Egyptian tyranny. God would soon spell this out in detail at Mt Sinai. Sin was no longer “crouching at the door” as with Cain. The will, the choice, had long been made by the Egyptians to sin against Israel.

For at least 80 years, since the time of Moses’ birth, the Egyptians had been grievously persecuting the children of Israel. How many other unrecorded atrocities occurred before and after that period of infanticide?

God’s timing is perfect, even if not given man to fully understand or accurately project. God was not indifferent to the plight of the Israelites during all those years of bondage. His testimony was in the land of ungodliness through His servant, Joseph. It was not until a Pharaoh came who knew not Joseph[3]that the trouble began.

Perhaps these were years when the Israelites had opportunity to give testimony of the God they knew and served to the Egyptian idol worshippers. Perhaps they squandered their calling and opportunity on self. Perhaps even Joseph did not recognize their opportunity, but was limited by the edited promises of God to the fathers.[4] Perhaps the Israelites were so isolated in Goshen[5] they did not perceive the sinful, idolatrous condition of the nation about them. Had Joseph forgotten the entire vision laid out by God to Abraham that his descendants were to be a blessing to the nations?[6] It seems the time was squandered between Jacob’s death, Joseph’s death and the coming of the Pharaoh who knew not Joseph. The promise from God to Abraham was not self fulfilling, it required the corporate action of the leaders and the growing populous of Israel.[7]

The implication to me then, in observing Passover and Unleavened Bread, will be where I place the emphasis in observing each. The feast begins with Passover and ends eight days later at the conclusion of Unleavened Bread. There are really two different “Feasts,” each with a different dialogue.
Passover is a one night event, the observing of a clear dividing line, a demarcation between death and life. It epitomized the difference between the protection offered by a fading mark of blood and the futility of the Egyptian raising in his defense, a protesting sinful hand .
The Israelite firstborn was not without sin, not without culpability, no, he was exempt from judgment because of the promises of God to his forefathers.[8] The lamb’s blood shielded him from death that his feet might be put back on the path of Promise. The consequence of past failures were placed in abeyance because of God’s provision, God’s outstretched hand. This event provides an opportunity for a new beginning. The bonds of slavery are removed. A window of opportunity is opened and must be quickly seized. However, repentance for personal and corporate failings cannot be overlooked.

The night following Passover the Feast of Unleavened Bread is celebrated. This is a seven day event. The emphasis is the absence of all leaven, all sin. It symbolizes the embarking upon the journey of a leavenless, sinless life, ending by faith in the further celebration of a grace-filled successful conclusion. The success of the journey embodies the additional directive to be a blessing to the nations. A daily “offering” is made, a time for Holy Spirit revealing of leaven.

After so many years of observing these feasts I am less inclined to embrace the traditions of the observance and more inclined to let it be a time to draw closer to God that He might draw close to me. I feel it does help my celebration to understand the dynamic of that first event. This is not so much to replicate the event, but to make personal application today from an intimate, spiritual insight into the joys and tragedies of my spiritual forefathers – celebrating the joy and repent and seek forgiveness for the failings..

Endnotes
1 Ex 1:22
2 Is the United States not entering into a like dark period with the increasing legalization of
abortion, even up to birth? Are babies not now being “thrown into the Nile?”
3 Ex 1:8
4 Ex 1:23 …Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land….
5 Ex 47:6
6 Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 18:18…since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Genesis 22:18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
7 For a more comprehensive development of this theme see http://
missionpossiblepeople.com/blog/ Another Perspective on Observing Passover
8 Ex 12:43 et seq

Yom Kippur–Day Ten–The Day

Yom Kippur Day Ten—The Day

It’s here, tenth of Tishri, tenth Day of Awe—Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.

If you’ve followed my last two posts you are aware I am covering a commandment from the Ten Commandments each day from the Feast of Trumpets on 1 Tishri through 10 Tishri.

These ten days are called the Days of Awe, possibly because of the awesome experience the Lord intends Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to be for those who celebrate it.

The tenth commandment says “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” My first question was, “Why is this the tenth and final commandment?” You might say, why not? One had to be last why not this one? That was probably my answer before I started this study. I’ll explain:

Covet, to me, is a wizened word by itself. It just looks small and crunched up. It might even be deeply wrinkled and toothless. It surely has no vitality. Covet in the Hebrew is חמד (chamad) which translates, in addition to covet, to various shades of desire up to idolatry. I was going to do a word search of other occurrences of covet, but Ahab and Jezebel popped into my mind.

The whole sordid mess of these two is told in 1Kings 21. It’s got it all, practically the whole Ten Commandments in one story. And it starts with Ahab coveting the vineyard of his neighbor, Naboth. Ahab was even willing to pay for it. We have false witness, murder, parent-child considerations, stealing, idolatry and I bet Ahab didn’t keep Sabbath! It all started with Ahab just wanting a veggie garden.

The tenth commandment involves neighbor, as does Ahab’s story. I’ve previously covered the inclusiveness of this word in my ninth commandment review. I found it even includes my opponent. The final operative word of the “no covet” commandment, as I see it, is “anything.” This turns out to be the Hebrew word כל (kol). Translated an amazing 4000 plus times as “all.” Need I say more?

There are at least two morals to the story: First, what can start out as a seemingly reasonable want can rise to coveting when I let my mind and emotions out from under Spirit control. That wizened word can grow exponentially into full blown sin. Secondly, and maybe even more sobering on this day of confession, repentance and forgiveness is the generational consequence of sin. Read Ahab’s story to the end. As I repent I must take into account what I may have sown into the generational line and enlarge my repentance as required.

My premise is that the “no covet” commandment is totally appropriate for number ten. As the Ahab story points out, letting covet get out of hand can release a whole bevy of commandment consequence. The commandment gives you some examples where coveting is going to temp you, but winds up saying, כל—ALL coveting violates the commandment.

Wish I could leave you on a more positive note. But really, to think of the provision the Lord has made for our wholeness and the wholeness of our generational line is praiseworthy positive.

Yom tov.

Sins of the Fathers

Sins of the Fathers

In the Torah portion Chukat (Num 19:1-22:1) we find the Israelites for the second time approaching the river Jordan and entry into the promised land. But again as over 40 years ago they cry out, “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”(Nu 21:3-5) How many times has Moses heard this grumbling lament from God’s chosen?

The first time is recorded as being sometime in the second month after their miraculous deliverance from Egypt; after the manna starts falling and quail has been provided. They’re thirsty and cry out, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Ex 16:2)

You might ask, “How could this new generation have possibly forgotten all the lessons learned for disobedience, rebellion, idol worship and lack of faith that has been experienced these past forty years?” The answer would seem to me to be one of sowing and reaping. It was Yahweh’s judgment in Numbers 14:29 that: “The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.” Couple this with Yahweh’s pronouncement in Exodus 34:7 after the golden calf incident: , “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (italics added) –the sins of the fathers would come home to roost—there would be a reaping.

At the time of this last iteration of water lack complaint, the entire assembly which had engaged in the pilgrimage of faithless wanderings was gone. Every one who had been twenty years of age or older was gone. Only Caleb and Joshua remained. Even Miriam and Aaron were gone. Moses’ denial of entry into the promised land was sealed. As an aside I questioned how Eleazar was still on the scene (Nu 26:1). Was he not clothed in priestly tunic along with his father, Aaron, and his brothers Nedab and Abihu? (Ex 29:9) Yes, he was, but he must have been less than 20 at the time of the Sinai census.

Back to my theme. We can so easily see the failings of the fathers from the perspective of Moses’ recording of the historical events which occurred as many as 3500 years ago. We can take admonition as to the need to avoid idol worship, disbelief and rebellion, but there is one other truth we must also come away with: the urgency as fathers and mothers to warn, admonish, cajole, entreat, implore, oh, yes, and pray for our children that they not walk in our sin—in the sins of their fathers.

In Yahweh’s pronouncement in Exodus 34:7, the operative word is visiting. This changes the charge from sin being a certainty to one that says our children and our children’s children will be visited. They will be tempted to sin as we have sinned—including their generational history of sin..

I submit that one of two things happened in the forty years of desert wanderings by the Israelites. Either the fathers were so self-absorbed and fatalistically oriented that they did not practice the instruction of the Shema and teach their children. Or, the children did not heed the teaching and admonition and failed as the opportunity (temptation) to repeat the sins of their parents were presented to them (visited upon them). The Shema is the ancient prayer/command from Deuteronomy 6:6-9 prayed today in Judaism and by Messianic believers alike. It says we are to teach our children.

An additional observation can also be made of the responsibility of our teen agers. Eleazar, the High Priest, at the time of the crossing over of the Jordan, was by then a man at least in his 50’s. He, along with all his contemporaries who were in their teens at Sinai and who also observed the response to the spies’ report, could have been a powerful influence on this second and third generation preparing to enter the promised land. They were now the leaders. Their voices should have forcefully warned the community of the danger of challenging Yahweh and Moses’ leadership. The record seems silent—the visiting was again successful. Today’s teens must not be oblivious to what is happening outside their world. They must observe and prepare for that day when their voice should be sounded to avoid the mistakes of our spiritual history—our sin.

Yahweh has made every provision for us to take heed and take a positive action. Has not the blood of Yeshua given us a perfect shield against the forces of the visit? Yes, but as with every generation, the human spirit must be alert and active, the will exercised to withstand successfully the attack of the visit—the sins of the fathers. The blood of Yeshua will stop the “visitors” from becoming “residents.”