There are families who struggle with liquor. One can look at their family tree and see alcoholic grandfathers, aunts, uncles and siblings. It appears the “alcohol gene” runs rampant in their DNA. One concern in our nation is generational welfare. Not all, but some who receive government assistance are lacking in character and industry. Sadly, they mooch off the government, and then they teach their children to follow in their footsteps. Similarly, there are many who suffer from materialistic idolatry. They have pursued and enjoyed a lush lifestyle, and their children are taught to pursue wealth and its benefits above all else. Different families struggle with different sins, but all families struggle with some sin.
I am not sure what particular sin besets your family. I am not sure how you have been harmed. I am not sure how you are harming your current family and future descendents. However, I believe I have uncovered the multi-generational sin of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These patriarchs and their wives were pathological liars.
Abraham and Sarah were deceitful in the manner in which they lied to both Pharaoh and Abimelech. Many years later, Isaac and Rebekah followed in Abraham and Sarah’s footsteps; they too lied to Abimelech. The later, towards the end of their days, Isaac and Rebekah are still found to be deceptive and dishonest. Behind closed doors, and behind his wife’s back, Isaac sought to sin against God by bestowing his blessing upon Esau instead of Jacob. Rebekah followed in like manner; she had the same character flaw as her prophet, priest, pastor, king and husband. When she learned of Isaac’s plan to elevate Esau, she played the role of the unfaithful spouse and engaged in a surreptitious plot to see Jacob blessed. One might acknowledge the righteousness of Rebekah’s mission; she desired to see the proper son blessed. However, her method of accomplishing this mission was satanic. She was following the protocol of the “Father of Lies.” Should it be surprising then when one finds Jacob following in the footsteps of his grandparents and parents? Before his aging father, he lied. With sinful brazenness he lied with his hands, smell, clothes, food and voice. It bothered him not that he honored not his father with the truth. Later, one sees that Jacob has changed his location, but not his character. While in exile in Syria, Jacob is still a man of deceptive plots and schemes; he is underhanded and sly in seeking wealth.
Scripture says, “God cannot be mocked.” It also says, “Whatever a man sows, that shall he reap.” Therefore, it should come as no surprise to see Jacob as the victim of liars. At his own wedding, Laban does not keep the terms of his contract with Jacob. Laban is deceptive in holding back Rachel and sending Leah into the bridal chamber. Leah is equally deceptive, for she knows of Jacob’s seven-year love affair for Rachel. But that night, she intentionally dishonored her sister, her new husband, and her God. Later, we see that Rachel is not the exception. When leaving her father’s house, she stole her father’s idols and lied to her husband. Her act of deception almost resulted in death. Then later, at the end of Jacob’s life, his own children proved to be charlatans of the worst sort. After selling Joseph into slavery, they concocted a joint-lie in reporting the death of Joseph to their father. Most of his retirement years were spent in grief, all due to the sinful cover-up of his own sons.
Friends, let us realize the chaos caused by lying. Ultimately, it was Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden that led to all the chaos experienced in the world today. This first lie resulted in the patriarchal madness presented above. Abraham and Isaac ruined their testimony before Pharaoh and Abimelech. Abraham and Isaac harmed their relationship with their spouses by encouraging them to lie. Isaac and Rebekah surely suffered severe marital disharmony following the blessing incident. Additionally, they had to be heartbroken over their fractured family. Jacob’s last memory before leaving home was lying to his father. Jacob and Leah endured a most dissatisfying marriage founded upon a lie. Later, Jacob’s heart was crushed when he was lied to and told of Joseph’s death. His own sons must have been sorely convicted every time they witnessed the depression of their father. Lying still kills relationships. Foolish business decisions have been forgiven, but liars, cheats and fraudulent individuals are shown the door and sometimes they find a jail cell too. Marriages, torn apart by adultery, can be salvaged as long as one confesses sin, repents, and begins living a life of transparency and integrity; but continued dishonesty is fatal. Dishonesty affects your relationship with God, family and neighbor. And quite often, dishonesty affects your children and grandchildren as well. Lying may pay short-term dividends; it may be profitable for the moment, but it will always come back to bite you in the end.
Let us realize that all sins are forgiven, except unrepentant lying. The Apostle John tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive. However, if we lie and speak not the truth regarding ourselves, no forgiveness is granted. God forgives the worst of sinners, but he forgives no one who continues lying. One must speak the truth to God regarding his sin. One must speak the truth to God regarding his lack of righteousness. Liars go to hell. Those who rightly confess their sin – even that of lying – find grace at the foot of the cross. Speaking truth is the first fruit of regeneration and the instrumental cause of justification.
Finally, let us strive to keep God’s commandments. Let us love our neighbors by speaking the truth and not bearing false witness. Let no corrupt communication proceed from our lips. Let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no.” Let us not be two-faced, but rather men and women of integrity. Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and life. Let us walk in his steps and be truthful before our watching world. People will notice a difference. Our marriages will be improved. Our children and grandchildren will rise and call us blessed. God will be glorified.