Sins and Sons
This week marked the beginning of the 6-part documentary on Kalief Browder on FX. Wrongfully arrested at 16, Kalief Browder spent three years at Rikers Island without a conviction and spent most of that time in solitary confinement. Though he was eventually released, he was unable to adjust to society after living through the beatings and mental abuse he endured and committed suicide at 22 years old in 2015.
If you are even the slightest bit familiar with his story, it incites the desire to riot, picket or boycott somebody that this child had to suffer like that because of a society filled with racial bias and a legal system designed to enhance that bias as opposed to actually rehabilitating any one caught in the system.
But it also called to mind the importance of understanding not just the flaws in the system but to also consider the system that God created for us to overcome man-made systems. God says in His Word that we can choose to be blessed or choose to be cursed; it’s all based on our actions. And when we choose the blessing, we can overcome the obstacles the world sets before us.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30: 19-20).
Kalief Browder was born into the system; his crack-addicted mother had to relinquish all rights to him upon his birth so he went to live with a foster family that already had his biological siblings. He was eventually adopted by the Browder family who provided him a home but was a family with their own demons to fight including marital issues and poverty. The family could not raise the $3000 bond that would have gotten Kalief out of prison.
Name changes and relocation cannot release us from the consequences of family sins.
“The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.” (Number 14:18).
Kalief was described as a nice, relatively happy kid who did not want to go down the same path as his biological parents. But a mistaken arrest led to his untimely death.
We have all encountered someone who seemed to overcome the odds but somehow tragedy befell them anyway. This is often the markings of a curse operating. Generational curses are real and not just a thing from the past. They impact the lives of people today.
“You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.” (Exodus 20:4-6).
I have encountered people who say they will just suffer the consequences of their choices. But many fail to realize the consequences can go on for generations. You may have your doubts about Jesus or faith in anything for that matter, but isn’t it worth it to explore this thing and seek the truth for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.?
Don’t seek religion, seek the truth and God will always answer when you ask for the truth. Too many young people are dying tragic, senseless deaths. Let’s all commit to seeking God’s truth and His grace so that our children can live blessed lives.
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