No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
Written by: Chris Moss
Thank God for Jesus! If Jesus had not paid the price for the penalty of my parents’ sin, I would not be allowed to be among you. Or write this devotion for you to read. Nor would any of my descendants be among yours, for another nine generations—long after my death. Why? Because I am an illegitimate child.
I like to say my parents met at church and had a five-year courtship. The part I like to leave out is that they were already married to other spouses, and each already had three kids. They were wearing fig leaves while they served in their church and no one noticed. The five-year mark is important because that’s when my twin sister and I were conceived. Make no mistake, the arrival of me and my sister yanked those fig leaves off, leaving them naked and ashamed.
Abortion was not an option for my mom, so she divorced, moved to a neighboring town and got a new job. She was excommunicated from the church she loved and served. She gave birth to me and my sister—alone.
My father suffered no consequences. His family remained intact. He was forgiven and continued in his church, his home, and his marriage.
But as time went on, my father’s hurt and shame led to hang-ups and habits that he could not control. He revolved in and out of our lives, leaving damage in his wake for his entire family. I have witnessed four generations struggle with the same hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
As a person who could have been aborted by a mom in a later generation, I understand the argument for choice from the core of my being. Illegitimate children are born into:
- A heavier cloud of shame and insecurity than legitimates
- The sin of their parents—even if they don’t know their origin
- A higher potential for dysfunction in their families
- Often poverty, neglect, and shame
All of us function under the law of Deuteronomy until we meet Jesus. Even if you aren’t born illegitimate, you suffer from sin—the sins you commit, as well as the sin committed against you.
But Jesus redeems it all.
In the King James Version of Romans 5:20-22, it says “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
My parents’ sin abounded—but God’s grace was bigger! My sin abounded too, but God’s grace was even bigger! Your sin abounds, but God’s grace is even bigger. The bigger the sin, the bigger the grace.
Psalm 17:17 says, “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Our job—one I take very seriously because of my family history—is to live a life that delights Him right back. Living a life that delights God gives all of us the chance to break bad family cycles and transform the trajectory of those 10 generations in the passage from Deuteronomy.
Thought of the day: Let’s use the grace and rescue that Jesus gives so generously to delight the Lord!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have sinned. I have been sinned against. But where there is a lot of sin, there is even more grace. No matter what I’ve done, or what’s been done to me, You, God, delight in me. Show me how to live a life that delights You right back! Help me find a place to serve You and may future generations become a blessing to You. In the name of Jesus and for His glory, Amen.