Monday, February 27, 2012

Sins of the Father, Sins of the Son

I'm going to post a pretty lengthy passage of scripture. I really hope you guys take the time to read it, because it illustrates the amazing character of God - His mercy and just judgement. It's Ezekiel 18. Guys, this is why it's also important to read the Old Testament. Get to know God for who He was and still is to this day.

So, this passage was really encouraging for me. I have a lot of fears that I will reap and have to handle the sins of my earthly father. I've battled fear that I will be forced to be like him and live life the way he has chosen to. This verse has been a scary one for me. "The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations." (Numbers 14:18)

Yikes. That's a little freaky. But wow! I was totally encouraged by this passage in Ezekiel. We really do serve and absolutely mind-boggling, flippin- amazing God. For real!

(Ezekiel 18:4-9) "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.
 5 “But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, 6 and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period— 7 if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 8 if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man, 9 if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord GOD."

To rephrase, the righteous man will live.

(10-13) “Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination, 13 he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head."

The unrighteous will die.

(14, 17b and18-20)“Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise....he will surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.19 Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. 20 The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."

And here is where we see the just judgement of the Lord. Those who sin will die (second death) and those who are righteous will live. I find a lot of freedom in this verse. Certain people who have had sinful fathers or mothers, tough family situations or have been in abusive relationships can find JOY and FREEDOM in knowing that there is one person, only one, that they are responsible for before the face of God. His or herself. Just because your father did it wrong, doesn't mean that you are destined to live that life as well. Just because your mother died in unrighteousness, doesn't mean you will too. And it means that you don't have to carry that. Yes, the generations to come will see the results of her/his unfruitful life, but you won't have to live in bondage to that! How awesome! How just is our God!

(21-23)But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? 

What mercy. God is saying, "If you are an unrighteous man, but turn to my ways, NOTHING will be remembered against you." Folks, this is waaaaaay before Jesus died on the cross, but the Old Testament is still dripping with the Gospel! This is all about faith and trusting in Jesus and how life can be attained through turning to God, through His grace capturing our lives.

(29-32) But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right? 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”

Repent and live. And prepare to be judged according to your own conduct. This should bring freedom to anyone who is oppressed. Hear the Word of the Lord. 


Katherine said...

Wow, that's really neat. I don't remember ever reading those verses before. Thanks for posting and talking about them. :)

Love ya,

Logan said...

Awesome post! Great job! You did really well rephrasing and making such a long passage more understandable. Keep up the blogging!!!