Monday, September 01, 2008

Turn and Live

September 1: Ezekiel 18-19

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
Ezekiel 18:19-20 & 30-32

Turn and Live

The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
Ezekiel 18:1

You have heard the phrase, "You are your father's child." How much of who we are and what we do is a result of our upbringing? How much do our parents' lives determine who we are today? That is really the point of the proverb in Ezekiel 18:1 often spoken by the Israelites. Yet, this proverb angered the Lord! Why?

Are we bound by our parents' actions? Is there no way we can break from their past, especially if they were on a rebellious and sinful course against the Lord?

Look at the answer from God.

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

You cannot use your ancestors as an excuse before God for not following Him; neither can you use your ancestors as a guarantee of your own salvation! Christianity is a personal, individual religion. Even though God chose the nation Israel to be His people, it did not guarantee each Israelite a place in Heaven. Even though you belong to a church that faithfully preaches the Word of God, that does not guarantee you a place in heaven.

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!

This is God's call to us in the 21st century just as much as it was God's call to the people of Judah in Ezekiel's day. Do you think God enjoys seeing the eternal death of the wicked?

For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.

There it is; God very clearly calls to the people of Judah as well as all people alive today, "Turn and live!"

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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