A curse is “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something”. God does not “curse” people; but the scriptures show how the consequences (cursings) of disobedience are contrasted with the blessings (favor) of obedience to God's laws.

          When Adam and Eve disobeyed, they passed the hereditary “curse” of sin and death to all succeeding generations. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12; see also Psalms 51:5).

          Some individuals directly experience the consequences of their own disobedience. For example, King David was punished directly for his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12) and Moses was punished for smiting the rock (Numbers 20). Most others indirectly experience the consequences of disobedience. Some sins that parents commit (drunkenness, incarceration, gambling or lying for example) can impact a family indirectly for generations.

          In Deuteronomy 5:9, Exodus 20:5 and 34:6-7, God detailed blessings or cursings that could be anticipated to the third and fourth generations. “Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse—the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God… and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 11).  When the “Fathers of Israel” failed in obedience and faith to their covenant with God, their children felt the consequences of disobedience. (See Numbers 14:18).

          In Leviticus 26:39-42- they were told that ”… if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers …

[then when their … hearts are humbled] … I will remember my covenant … and I will remember the land.”  In Deuteronomy 24:16 God promised that "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin." In Jeremiah 31: 29 & 30 and Ezekiel 18:20, a day is promised when (in Christ's kingdom), "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."

          The promises were fulfilled by Christ's sacrifice of death on the cross (Galatians 3), when he released all mankind from their inherited sin. “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous”.  (Romans 5:18-19)

          At the age of accountability we are each answerable to God, and each generation has the potential to break free from the cycle of sin.  God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (I Timothy 2). “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; for those whom the Lord loves he disciplines… for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:5-7) We know that “… God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

          Finally, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me [us] free from the law of sin and death”  (Romans 8:1).