ESV - 7 Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.
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Yes, we are all guilty, and yet we can be forgiven by God. But that forgiveness was not achieved without a price. As indicated in the verse being asked about, God has never cleared the guilty (that is, done away with the penalty for their wrongdoing) solely on the basis of His decree. There was a prescribed penalty that had to be paid That was why Jesus had to be incarnated as both true God and true man, live the sinless life that no human could, and then die to satisfy God's justice on behalf of all humanity for its sin, so that those who placed their faith in that atoning death could have eternal life in God's presence. Also, even though God grants forgiveness in Christ for repented sin, there may still be temporal consequences of that sin that have to be experienced by the person who committed the sin. And those consequences may not just immediately affect the transgressor, but also have effects on subsequent generations. For example, in 2 Samuel 12, David repented of his sin in committing adultery with Bathsheba and in ordering the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite, and Nathan the prophet (who had confronted David about his sin) told David that God had forgiven him. However, despite this repentance and forgiveness, David was still punished (as Nathan had told him that he would be) by the death of the child that resulted from David's adultery, and by the later rebellion of David's son Absalom, who -- as Nathan (speaking on God's behalf) had also said would happen -- openly slept with his father's concubines as part of his uprising against David (2 Samuel 16:20-22).
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