Derailing the generational cycle

Micah 4, 2 Kings 14

I’m sure at one point growing up you’ve heard the phrase, “You’re just like your father/mother!” It could have been an aunt or uncle, an old family friend, or even your parent comparing you to their spouse.

And then, if you’ve had kids, you’ve certainly noticed how they’ve modeled the way they say and do things after you. You wonder why they’re so defiant or they make faces at you when you tell them “no,” but it hits you — that’s exactly what you’re like.

Watching king after king continue a destructive pattern of behavior in the reading makes it clear how we have an impact on our future generations. We think we can do “what we want,” yet we forget that others might be watching us, and, while it’s possible we might admonish our children not to follow our example, they’re inevitably going to imitate us.

Likewise, we find ourselves doing exactly the same thing, behaving the same way our fathers did, picking up the good habits alongside the bad.

We can get stuck in a generational rut and continue the cycle.

Or we can break it.


Micah 4 ascribes to a mountain that “shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.” This mountain is Jesus Christ, who has made Himself known to the whole world and positioned Himself above all else.

What I find fascinating about this verse, however, follows just afterward: “and peoples shall flow to it.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but, at least on this planet, nothing flows toward a mountain; everything usually flows away from it.

Indeed, all things flow from Christ, but the nations are drawn to Him.  They must be near Him, to drink the water, to enjoy His majesty and presence.

But this requires a bit of a climb.

I’m not saying that Jesus is inaccessible, but we assume that it’s this easy thing to “surrender” to Christ and see a transformation in our lives, when it’s really not automatic at all.

If you expect to see a difference in your life, despite what your environment or past says, you must take a few essential steps:


First of all, you have to recognize your depraved state. No one wants to do this, naturally; we would rather believe we’re good people and we’ll eventually turn it all around. But your track record still shows that you’re stumbling around, making the same mistakes the previous generation did.  Once you realize you’re not “good”, it becomes obvious that only Christ is the only real, true, good thing in your life.

Then you must acknowledge your need for the Lord. This is precisely what the kings we read about refused to do — they depended on the traditions of the nation rather than the sustenance of the Lord. Just like ourselves, they avoided confronting their past, or their fathers’ past, and carried on as if they can handle themselves.

Finally, you must let Him actually do the work. Would you hire a contractor and insist you do all of the building yourself? It sounds absurd, but we do this, and we kind of get in the way. Let Jesus make the transition in your life. Let the One who made the heavens and the earth, who dwells in your heart (He DOES dwell in your heart, right?), make the decisions and renovations.

He promised the outcast, the destitute, and the lonely that He would restore them to favor. If you’re haunted by your past and the patterns of your environment, know that the Lord is able to make the necessary changes within you. But you must be willing to take the step toward Him, to drop your pride and allow that change to occur. You won’t regret it if you do.

“In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever. (Micah 4:6-7)

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