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Ezekiel 18 (ESV)

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die…

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.



The people of Judah believed that they were punished because of the sins committed by their ancestors rather than their own sins, which led to an irresponsible fatalism in their society. This may be due to their misunderstanding of the teaching of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:5). Ezekiel taught them that the destruction of Jerusalem was indeed related to the spiritual corruption of previous generations, but the people misunderstood the laws of the Old Testament. They were punished by God because of the repeated sins by several generations and also by themselves. Although we are often implicated in the consequences of crimes because of the sins of the people around us, God will not punish us for the sins of others, and we cannot use their sins to justify our sins. Everyone is responsible to God for his actions, and God will judge everyone separately. In addition, some people of Judah used God’s blessing as an excuse for their disobedience. They believe that because they have a righteous ancestor, they can survive. But God told them that this is impossible. They are the evil offspring of the righteous ancestors, so they must perish. Therefore, “the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (v.20)



Come to God humbly, confess to God the sins you haven’t confessed or dared to confess, and ask for God’s forgiveness; count God’s blessings, reflect how you have progressed under God’s guidance, and ask God to make you have more righteous deeds that are commensurate with your faith, so that you will receive greater rewards when you meet the Lord in the future.



Make Me Holy –