September 21

Ezekiel 18:1-4

“Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.” vs. 4

There was a proverb popular among the Israelites, “The parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth have been set on edge.” The point was clear: sometimes children end up paying for the sins of their parents. We would probably agree. We’ve all seen instances where children are the innocent victims of their parents’ follies. We could even adapt the proverb to our times, “The mother has taken crack cocaine and her baby was born addicted.” It happens again and again! But that does not mean God punishes parents by causing harm to their kids! Sometimes when a tragic death comes to a small child, moms and dads assume it’s because they’ve done something wrong, and they’re wracked by guilt in addition to the grief. But that’s not how God operates! There is plenty of ugliness in our world, and the things that we do can have any effect on others. Our actions can cause plenty of pain. Again, we see it over and over again, and it’s always a tragedy. But all lives belong to God and all lives matter to God! God is not interested in vengeance or getting even or destroying the lives of perpetrators. Restoration is always God’s intention, and forgiveness is the first step on that road to wholeness. 

Thought for the Day: What negative effects has your mom or dad had on your life?

2 thoughts on “September 21

  1. Hi Steve. When I think of sins of the fathers I think of all the children who are influenced into hatred by parents who were probably brought up the same way. It has a huge effect on our environment.

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