Check out the second commandment:
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.” Exodus 20:4-6
One of the mistakes we make is thinking that the commandments are God saying, “You better do this or I’m going to mess you up.” God doesn’t impose his law, a reflection of his character, upon us. However, he reveals the intrinsic nature of his law – the benefits and the consequences.
So what are we to make of God saying, “I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.”? Why would a loving God place a father’s sins upon his children? If we see the law as imposed, this is neither fair or loving. If we understand the law as intrinsically expressing blessings and consequences then we see a different picture.
If we place idols at our center, if we try to find our love, worth, and purpose in a idol, our lives will ultimately be devastated. Not just our lives, the consequences will ripple through our family and even leave their mark on our children.
A while back I came back across this PSA video that illustrates what God is trying to free us from.