The Lord addresses idolatry, rebellion, and iniquity when dealing with Saul’s sin in the Old Testament. Through the prophet Samuel, God judged Saul’s kingdom and His descendants. Saul wanted people to look on him. He was filled with pride and, you could say, filled with himself. There is only one who is worthy to be “looked upon,” that is the God of all. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12a NKJV).
Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.
1 Samuel 15:22–23 NASB
The Lord told Moses to warn the people of Israel about the seriousness of sin which can affect generational lines for three or four generations. Even to the tenth generation in the case of idolatry and adultery.
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 20:5–6 NASB
These are eternal truths and principles that have not changed since the Lord gave them to Moses. What did change is that the Eternal God made it possible for this curse to be broken. First, in our own lives through repentance and faith toward God by receiving God’s own sacrifice of love in Christ made for us. Second, we can be cut free from the sins of the fathers that are generational in nature. What Christ did in the work of the cross is a legal work. He became our advocate and the substitute for our crimes against the Eternal God, the Judge of all creation. No longer can the devil hold our sins or the sins of our fathers against us. The blood of Christ speaks louder than the blood of our ancestors.