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Sin is the most devastating thing that happened to humankind and the earth. In our natural state we are born as God’s enemies. Each and every one of us, from the moment we are conceived, we are naturally endowed to oppose God and that is why we need to be born again.
When we sin, a lot goes into play. First, we know from Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. But do we know how our sins affect other people? Our individual sins have individual consequences but it just doesn’t end there. Our individual sins also affect our children, our communities and the earth itself and in the following paragraphs I’m going to share how.
1.Our individual sins affect subsequent generations.
Deuteronomy 5:9-10 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; 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, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
God’s original plan was to bless people in their generations which He still does. The twelve tribes of Israel display a particular model of generational blessings for example the Levites were to be generational priests and the rest of the eleven tribes each had a generational blessing passed on from the tribal head. Kingship too was a generational blessing, it was passed on from father to son. God’s intention was and is that the obedience of one person will be enjoyed by their subsequent bloodline generations as well as other generations to come.
God is so serious about our obedience because someone’s life, in fact many peoples lives depend on it. There are blessings that I enjoy today that I didn’t have to work for. As Christians, there are blessings we enjoy today because of the patriarchs of our faith. Hebrews 11:39 talks about the patriarchs of the faith who are yet to receive their reward and will only receive it at the end of time together with everybody else. When we die and go to heaven, we do not receive our reward immediately because ours is not a marathon but a relay race where the first person will win when the last person wins.
Good works are eternal. One day, Abraham will receive a reward because of me. One day, I shall receive a reward for every good work I did on this earth but it shall not be limited to my lifetime on earth. Our lives are linked to one another. The best inheritance we can give to our children and other generations to come is to live a just and a righteous life.
Unfortunately, the reverse also applies. God wants to preserve generations, the Devil wants to destroy them. The only way the Devil can destroy a whole generation is if he gets authority from the head. God wants to visit His goodness upon our children and their children even up to our one thousandth generation, the enemy wants to destroy our generations. Because of Adam’s rebellion, humankind is born with inherent sin. One man, Adam, is the reason the earth is in the state it is today. And because of one man, Jesus Christ salvation has come to the world.
Individual sin is just not individual sin. The demons we refuse to deal with shall be inherited by our children. When Korah, Dathan and Abiram led a rebellion against Moses, they died together with their wives and their children. But if we choose to live righteously and justly, then He will visit His goodness upon our children.
2. Our individual sins pollute the earth.
Numbers 35:33 You are not to pollute the land in which you are. Blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for land polluted by bloodshed except by the blood of the one who sheds it.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it didn’t just affect them but the earth as well. God told Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you.” Prior to the fall, there had not been any bloodshed. Even the animals that are carnivorous now, were all herbivorous. How do we know this? At the end of time God will create a new earth where He will bring back order so that even the infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest .
The Bible says we fight not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. How did they get there? First, when Adam sinned, the enemy had every legal authority to occupy these realms talked about in Ephesians 6:12. Second, is that perpetual sin ensures that these evil forces maintain a foothold. We see these very principalities fighting angel Gabriel as He journeyed to deliver God’s answer to Daniel.
Here’s the good part, individual righteousness affects the earth because the kingdom of God is established. We are here today because God found Noah to be a righteous person. God told Abraham that if He found just ten righteous people, He would preserve Sodom and Gomorrah. When Daniel repented on behalf of the whole Israelite community God heard him and began to restore them from captivity.
3. Our individual sins affects the community around us.
Joshua 7:1 But the Israelites did not obey the Lord. There was a man from the tribe of Judah named Achan. (He was the son of Carmi and grandson of Zabdi, who was the son of Zerah.) Because Achan kept some of the things that were to be given to the Lord, the Lord became very angry at the Israelites.
Joshua 7 details how the sin of just one man Achan, affected the whole community of Israel. In fact, the first line of the verse quoted above, it says that, “But the Israelites” and not the Israelite. God did not regard the sin of Achan as just an individual sin but as the whole community’s including their leader Joshua. The community had to distance itself from Achan’s sin by dealing with it. In another instance in Genesis 20, God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and warned him, that if he did not return Sarah to Abraham, he would die together with everything belonging to him.
The Bible says that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves and to further regard others as above ourselves. Sin does the complete opposite. Sin is choosing myself and regarding myself as more important.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
In essence, there is nothing like individual sin. What do you want your children to inherit from you? How do you want to affect the earth and surrounding community? Only God can change our inherently selfish hearts. The only way we will regard sin in the right way is if and when our hearts are filled with the fear of God.
Writer l Singer l Lawyer l Entrepreneur
This is so good! May the Lord help us that on account of how well we live our lives that our community, family and even generations after us, will be blessed. I pray that I will live a life that pleases the Lord, just like Enoch and Jesus did… Thank you for this write up Wangeci. Bless you
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