Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may Your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need. - Psalm 79:8
This verse has been in my journal, up on my white board, in my heart for the last 10 months.
Earlier this week my boss was talking about generational trauma. Someone experiences a trauma in their youth and does not know how/is unable to deal with it and lives showing symptoms of PTSD/anxiety/depression as a result. They grow up, have children, and their children are then experiencing the trauma of growing up with a parent struggling with mental health.
When the bible says "He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7), I don't believe it actually means God is actively punishing the children. I believe it is a warning that in the world He created sinful acts carry consequences that affect our children and our children's children. In asking God to not hold the sin of past generations against us, we are asking God to break that pattern and release the legacy of bondage that we have been born into. Because we are suffering the effects of that legacy, we beg for God's mercy to fall on us. Quickly. For we are desperate for the freedom only God can bring.