Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
“It’s not fair! It's not my fault!” How easy to catch ourselves either thinking or saying something along these lines.
In chapter 18, Ezekiel is speaking for the Lord & clarifying the thinking of the people of Judah. They believed that they were punished for the sins of their fathers & if their fathers were righteous, they would receive God’s blessing & would live giving the, permission to live as they pleased.
In reading this, my first thought was “who would think like this?” I mean, yes, we sometimes have to suffer the effects of the sin of people around us, but not that we are punished for them. And who would believe they could get away with anything because of someone else's righteousness?
The basic issue here though is that no one wanted to take responsibility for their own actions. So easy it is to blame the next person for our troubles & mistakes. “If he hadn't done this, I would have done that,” “He was bugging me,” “They are doing that so why couldn't I”
Quite simply, we are responsible for the things we do & will be accountable for each one. It doesn't matter if someone provoked us or if everyone around us is doing it too. We need to know what is acceptable to God & live accordingly.
“Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!