The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Ezekiel 18 is a fantastic chapter. It is clear and offers hope. The proverb in verse 2 that will no longer be quoted is about the judgment of sin that is passed on to the next generation. A man eats sour grapes and his children’s teeth are set on edge. There may be consequences for the next generation because of this generation’s sin, but there will not be judgment. God says that the individual soul who sins is the one who will die.
Children are not responsible for their parents and parents are not responsible for their adult children. Each person stands (or falls) before God. What’s hopeful is that the one who has been sinning can turn away from that sin and live! Those who have been righteous need to continue to live righteously. People cannot rest on past goodness – there must be an enduring… a continuation in living according to God’s Word. “If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die.” (Ezekiel 18:26)
So God makes clear that He will judge each person individually according to their ways. “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.” (vs. 30-31)
Holy God – Your ways are just and Your Word is true! Thank You for the gift of repentance. You allow sinful people like me to turn to You, give up our sin and be healed by Your grace. In You there is life! I live for You this day.