Are there sins from the past for which amends must be made today? That’s a question that comes to my mind as I read 2 Samuel 21:1-6. Actually, the question more accurately posed is, “Are there sins committed in the past by someone else with whom I am associated, for which I must make amends?” Put another way, “are there things that aren’t my fault, that could be my responsibility?” It seems, at least in this case, the answer is “yes”!
You see, about 400 years prior to David, Joshua made a covenant with a group of people known as the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). That covenant included a kind of quid pro quo; if the Gibeonites would allow the Israelites to confiscate their land, then their lives would be spared. There is no other record of this event, but in 2 Samuel 21:1-6 it appears that Saul violated that agreement, slaying the Gibeonites. When David discovers by divine revelation that the current famine is the result of Saul’s sin, he agrees to make amends by allowing the Gibeonites to execute seven men from Saul’s household, and the famine comes to an end.
Can you think of other examples from the Bible where God holds future generations accountable for past sins? Is there ever a time where something that is not my fault could be my responsibility? What do you think?