The Problem of Evil Inheritance And How To Overcome It

Inheritance may be whatever has been passed down by ancestors to future

generations or descendants. It may be both physical, namely property or riches, Lev.

20:22-24, Lk 15:11-13. It may very well be physical and spiritual, the kind of

inheritance which may be the lot of even children of God. This kind of heritage is for

the present and the future, Matt. 19:29. It could be a common heritage, as in the case

of the descendants of Adam, for whom the fall for Satan’s trickery was an albatross. It

was only through Christ, by the everlasting forbearance and mercy of the Father, that

humans escaped from collective damnation, Rom. 3:23-25

But there are individuals who attract divine curses to themselves and the impact

remains on some family members for generations. Gehazi, Elisha’s Assistant, had the

privilege of working with a man of God. When Naaman, the Syrian General, was

healed by his principal, the man’s antecedents and display of wealth, 2Kings 5:5,

never attracted Elisha’s attention as he must have known that the power to heal

belongs to God, and he was not expected to profit by it, a fact Jesus later told his

disciples, Matt. 10:8. Elisha rejected Naaman’s thank-you gift; 2Kings 5:15&16.

But Gehazi’s eyes roved round the gifts and he later asked Naaman for a portion, a

fact which Elisha knew by the Spirit. Gehazi denied but Elisha, who knew the truth,

placed a generational curse on him which took immediate and devastating effect,

2Kings 5:27. In which case it was not only he but, at least some of his children, that

would inherit Naaman’s leprosy.

Eli was God’s chosen priest in Israel but he had no effective control over his children.

They were “…worthless men; they know not the Lord” 1Sam. 2:12. They made “fat

with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel…” 1Sam. 2:29. They even had affairs with

some of the female congregants, 1Sam. 2:22

God was justifiably angry. He who “maketh poor and maketh rich; he bringeth low

and lifteth up” 1Sam. 7, brought down Eli from his exalted position of priest to a level

of someone who would see an enemy in the house of God rather than an angel or

God Himself. The curse was so profound that it affected his descendants, 1Sam. 2:31.

Indeed not only did God sack him physically and spiritually, 1Sam. 28:6, he actually

destroyed him and his children, 1Sam. 31:1-6

But there are people whose inheritance was noble, even godly. David was one such

person/king. As a youth, he stood up against Goliath who in his view, sought to “defy

the armies of the living God” 1Sam. 17:26. He confronted and defeated him even

though he had no previous military training, experience or weapons.

He it was who wrote concerning God “…Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets

no harm”, Ps. 105:14 & 15 and he obeyed. Twice he had his enemy, King Saul, at his

mercy, while Saul was pursuing him but He never attacked him, 1Sam. 24:6; 1Sam.

26:9-11. David’s loyalty to God was beyond dispute. He eliminated the young man

who confessed that it was He that actually killed Saul, 2Sam. 1:9-16.

But it must have grieved God deeply when someone so loyal, so committed to Him

was involved in adultery and murder 2Sam. 11:2-17 that He rained curses on him.

Nevertheless He spared his life, 2Sam. 12:2-13. All the same David spent the rest of

his life in misery. Not only did his own son sexually assaulted his daughter, another

son turned David into a refugee from his palace.

But David repented from the heart. Reading Psalm 51 suggests that he was not just on

his knees asking for forgiveness, he was rolling on the floor in tears.

God forgave him no doubt and his descendants were beneficiaries of divine

compassion on someone who but for his “fall”, genuinely loved God, 1Kings 11:31-39,

2Kings 20:5&6. Indeed God allowed the Holy Scriptures to refer to Jesus as son of

David, Matt. 1:1 while Jesus Himself proudly says “…I am the root and offspring of

David…” Rev. 22:16

So those who are descendants of David have a worthy inheritance. For those whose

background is idolatory, as many Africans and Asians are, they stand condemned

under Mosaic Law, Ex 20:1-5. Yet when they genuinely accept Jesus Christ the Saviour

they live a new life of peace and joy, here on earth, while everlasting life awaits them

in heaven, John 3:16.

The background of the madman of Gadara is not known but when He met Christ a

new and happy life overtook him. He became an enthusiastic witness for Jesus and a

candidate for heaven, Mk 5:1-20.