Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20th

Today's reading from the One Year Bible Chronological Reading Plan is Ezekiel 17-19

So yesterday my best friend came over and wanted to share with me something that she had read in her Bible that day that had really impacted her and guess where it was? Ezekiel 18. Coincidence? I think not.

My friend's husband has made some very poor choices (putting it mildly) and she was very concerned about her son and what kind of chance he stood with such a poor example for his father, especially if there is no miraculous ending and they end up divorced as expected at this point.

Maybe you're in a similar situation. Or maybe you're young and worried the like-father-like-son saying will prove true for you. If that's the case, these words will be of great comfort to you, like they were to my friend.

Or maybe you've been relying on the righteousness of your parents to save you, in which case these words will be very convicting ones.

The soul who sins is the one who will die. Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just right....That man is righteous; he will surely live," declares the Sovereign Lord. "Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things (thought the father has done none of them)...Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he will surely be put to death and his blood will be on his own head. But suppose this son has a son who sees all teh sins his father commits, and thought he sees them, he does not do such things...He will not die for his father's sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?' Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The soul who sins is teh one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him." Ezekiel 18:4b, 5, 9b-11a, 13b, 14, 17b-20

You are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of your wicked parents. The cycle can be broken! You are not responsible for anyone else but yourself.

If you are a righteous parent and your child is not living for God, do not despair. Though we are obviously accountable for how we parent our children, we are not our children's Holy Spirit and we cannot make them become followers of God. Even if they are currently living in sin, do not despair. As long as there is breath in their bodies there is hope of them turning to God in repentence. Even if it is on their death bed, God will not turn them away. Sayings like "once a cheater, always a cheater" (or any other type of sin) do not have to be true. Nothing is impossible with God.

If you are married to a wicked man or woman, there is hope for your children. They will have the chance to make their own decisions, they are responsible for no one but themselves.

But you can also not ride the coattails of your righteous parents. There is a very accurate saying that God has no grandchildren, only children. You cannot inherit faith. You need to make it your own.

Whether this passage is convicting for you or comforting for you will depend on your life circumstances and the state of your own personal relationship with God. The Holy Spirit both convicts and comforts, we just need to be willing to let the Spirit work.

Every soul has a personal relationship with God. When you stand before God you answer only for yourself. You will not be rejected for your father's sin. You can't slip in on your wife's righteousness. We are what we are by our own choice. (Chuck Smith, emphasis mine)

Tomorrow's passage: Ezekiel 20-22:16


Pamela said...

How true. We are responsible for our own actions and it is our choice to follow or deny the things we are taught.

Miriam said...

Sorry to be so late in commenting - I fell behind last weekend because we were away for four days and I'm just now catching up.

I don't know if I've ever read this passage before, but it couldn't make things any more plain, could it? I've never heard the saying about God not having any grandchildren before either, but it's so true. Thanks for the great post, Tammy.

Alicia said...

This is a very good post and I heartily agree. It did make me wonder though how this applies to the situations where God punished the whole family when the father sinned. Achan brought God's wrath on his whole family from what he did. SO, it just makes me wonder. Didn't the young ones of his die and the animals?

Tammy said...

I know sometimes people are seemingly punished for someone else's sin, when really they're simply suffering consequences of sin which is the result of living in a fallen world (for ex - someone paralyzed after being struck by a drunk driver).

But in the case of Achan, it was direct punishment, in which case, I don't really know. I know that some things that seem contradictory to us from our limited human viewpoint, make complete sense to God. But, I really don't know.

Alicia said...

Me either. It made me wonder if God knew what was on their hearts and he knew they were all in on what had happened? I don't see how innocents could be responsible for that though.
I get what you are saying about sinful consequences, but this seems more of a judicial decision than effects of a fallen world.
I believe firmly that God does not contradict himself so I'm with you, there is a hidden reason or one I just can't see yet.