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Re: Family Curses

Recently we have been reminded in a national/global way of the fleeting
nature of life. "For what is your life? For it is a vapor, which
appears for a little time, and then disappears." (Jas4:14) I'm sure we
all collectively had tears well up in our eyes as we watched the many
replays of 'John-John' saluting his fallen father's casket 36 years
ago.  Young adults, in the prime of life, with so much -ahead- of them;
suddenly gone. But such is the result of -sin-. Humanity has been beset
by "death" ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God some 6000 years ago.
We are beings of "mortality". (1Cor15) And, except for Believers in
Jesus Christ who expect to participate in the Rapture if they are alive
when He appears, death passes to "all" men (Rom5:12) because "all have
sinned". (Rom3:23) "And as it is appointed to men once to die, but
after this the judgment.."(Heb9:27)

As the rescue/recovery searches began, and the media was busy filling
air time as they provided "live" coverage, they spoke much of the
Kennedy family. A term kept coming up, "the Kennedy Curse". Many
Kennedy men have died in plane crashes. Others have been assassinated.
Still others have had various "accidents". The Kennedys are such
"wonderful" people, how can all these terrible things keep happening to
such "innocent" people like this?

As a 'family' are the Kennedys "innocent"? The one who was president 
was known to have been a philanderer, even having Marilyn Monroe in his 
harem.  In fact, he likely could have given the current administration
a "run for his money" in that department! There is Ted Kennedy and
"Chappaquiddick." The media was speaking of his "accident." If you look
up the matter in Encyclopedia Britannica, you will read that he was
charged -guilty- of "leaving the scene" of an accident. But for you
younger readers who weren't around 'back then' (Ayeee! makes me sound
"old" or something!), the truth of the matter is that he was on trial
for "murder", having been partying and driving -drunk-. And the Kennedy
-money- did for him what O.J.Simpson's did for him.  In more recent
years there are the periodic incidents with others involving drugs or
rape; the Kennedy men (generically) do not respect women!  While the
media was painting an idyllic picture for us of the wonderful "love"
relationship between the Kennedys and their community, it has also been
known that years ago the Kennedys would get in their cars after church,
terrorizing the community, chasing each other around on the streets
like hooligans, as though the streets were a race track.  Living life
"on the edge" is how the media put it, and that these wonderful people 
"don't deserve" all these tragedies.  The Bible calls their -lifestyle- 

Climbing Mt Everest, jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle, driving 
a race car is "living on the edge" (although, some of it, maybe a bit 
"crazy").  Raping women, drunken orgies, murders, immorality is NOT 
"living on the edge"!! It is "sin"!

Scriptures paint two pictures for us regarding God's dealings with sin.
Regarding idolatry God promises, "..visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that
hate me." (Ex20:5) We find this "generational curse" found also in
Num14:18, Deu5:9, etc.

Indeed, when Israel was crucifying Jesus, they shouted to Pilate, "Let
His blood be on us AND ON OUR CHILDREN." (Mt27:25) And as Jesus
promised, "All these things shall come on this generation" (Mt23:36) we
see their 'wish' fulfilled, as some 30 years later, Israel was overrun 
and dispersed into the world. They have been a "proverb and a byword 
among all nations." (2Chr7:20) The "wandering Jew". Scape goats when 
world situations went bad, as though it was -their- "fault".  Along
with Christians, an object of persecution during the Inquisitions and
Crusades. The Holocaust, etc.

And yet, on the other hand, we see that God judges people 
-individually-. "The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, 
neither shall the sons be put to death for the fathers. Every man shall 
be put to death for his own sin." (Deu24:16)

Did John Jr. die because of the "Kennedy Curse"? Or, simply, because it 
was God's determined time for -him- to die?  I'm glad I don't have to
answer that question. God knows.

But there is an interesting observation. In several O.T. passages 
mention is made somewhat -crudely- of obliterating all the "males" of a 
family or regime. (1Sa25:22, 1Kg14:10,16:11,etc.) Something the media 
has now been talking about and asking the question, "Who will take up
the Kennedy 'banner' and carry the torch?" Since most of the viable
'men' have now died, they are looking to the Kennedy 'women'. Is this
'why' God allowed John Jr. to die? To proceed along in stripping the
family of its 'male leadership'?

But that doesn't seem "fair"! John Jr., from all accounts, seemed to be
cut from a different cloth than the rest of the family. Where the rest 
were "scoundrels", he seemed to be an actually "good" person, in
non-Christian worldly terms in many people's eyes.

To gain a little understanding let's look at the concept of "family"
just a bit.  Let's look at a worst case scenario.  A "mob" family. The
father is also the "boss".  Raises his sons to participate in the
'family business'. Racketeering, drugs, money laundering, prostitution,
etc. If a son decides he wants to "change careers", he is always in
fear for his life. Some sons 'enjoy' the business. Grand children
continue the tradition. Along the way, some children decide that the
family "business" is "wrong". As they grow up, they decide they don't
want to participate. They want to make their own life -- morally and
righteously. But they are still 'related' by blood.

There is interaction, communication and the obligatory "family
gatherings." On one of these occasions, the "righteous" son is in the
wrong place at the wrong time, and stops a bullet and dies. He,
himself, is "righteous" (from the family's corruption), but suffers a
consequence of the "family curse". The family engages in evil, and the
curse that comes to them as a result of that evil, spills over onto
him. He did nothing wrong, but suffers because he is related.

To be sure, as John Jr. has now faced his Maker, he has answered for 
his -own- life. Not that of his 'family'. But does God's purpose also 
see to the family's "curse" by this death? We have seen how this death 
has affected many people. Again, God knows.

However, that aside, there is something we might learn of a related
nature. What about a person who comes from a -strong- "family"? You
know; the kind where there is a strong patriarch or matriarch figure.
They dispense 'downward' to the family. We are not talking about family
"love" here. We are talking about the "power" of these heads.

When a powerful parent is corrupt, how does a child extricate 
him/herself from such a "curse"? One comment made during all the John 
Jr. coverage was that children, often, don't come to themselves, fully, 
until the parents are dead. We are not talking "self-esteem" here, but

After the Israel kingdom was split, Abijam came to rule over Judah and
did evil. (1Kg15:3) Then his son, Asa, ruled and it says, "And Asa did
what was right in the eyes of Jehovah.." (vs11) He removed the
sodomites, idols and even deposed his grandmother-queen who was into 
idolatry. How did he do this, after his father's legacy?

The Lord sent a message to him via Azariah, "Jehovah is with you while 
you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if 
you forsake Him, He will forsake you." (2Chr15:2)

You see, this is it. How fully is a person willing to forsake all to 
follow the Lord? When Jesus spoke of the "sword" He came to bring, He 
was talking about "family". (Mt10:34-37) I know from personal 
experience what it is like to marry -into- one of these kinds of 
families. "Family" is -everything- to them; even if everybody doesn't 
-really- get along all that well, the -family- "concept" must be 
maintained at all costs.  If they do not follow the Lord, but you seek 
to, they do not understand. They become offended.  They attempt to 
exert their family -power- over you with "guilt-trips", etc. If a
person does not take a stand to follow the Lord, in order to "appease"
the family and not appear "unloving", they remain in that ungodly
system. As a result, whatever "curse" comes to the ungodly will also
extend to those who remain under that 'umbrella'.

How did Asa extricate himself out from under his father's "family 
curse"? He followed Azariah's advice and was "with" the Lord, and 
"sought" after the Lord.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own 
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct 
your paths." (Pr3:5-6)

"Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let 
the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and 
let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our 
God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Is55:6-7)