How can a man curse someone and that curse last for thousand years? Genesis 9:25,26. Now Canaanites are suffering from that curse, and in other Bible verses we find that God avenges only up to the forth-generation.
The curse you refer to is the one in which Noah cursed his son, Canaan. Here’s this whole story:
Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.” (Genesis 9:20-27)(NASB)
A curse can last so much because God watches over the righteous people, but also over the unjust ones. A righteous man was Abraham and God promised him once, as it is written here:
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)(NASB)
See, the same man was a blessing to many, but also a reason for curse for others, who have cursed him. He who brought the curse and blessing over people was God and this depends on how they would behave with Abraham.
As for the vengeance of God until the fourth generation, it refers to a specific commandment of the Decalogue, which says:
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)(NASB)
I am amazed of how great the goodness of God is in comparison with the punishment. Lovingkindness is to thousand generations, and the sentence up to the fourth generation.
And even if it is a curse over the descendants of Canaan (and they are very many and many peoples) because of their father, however, the Bible says:
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God isnow declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead … ” (Acts 17:30-31)(NASB)
Canaanites are included in this promise of God, too:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)(NASB)
See? It is written “WHOEVER.” So, Canaanites, too .. All! All who believe in Jesus will not perish but have eternal life and be saved. May God help all people of all nations to believe in Jesus Christ to have forgiveness of sins, freedom from any kind of curse and inherit the gift of eternal life.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru