Comments on Verses from Prophets

Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”

The people had created a proverb about the land of Israel saying that the fathers had eaten sour grapes and their children’s teeth were set on edge. God is having none of this talk for He holds each person accountable for their sins. If a man is righteousness God will bless him and if not then he will not receive a blessing. This verse gave rise to the chimney corner scripture ‘every tub will set on its own bottom,’ which of course was just a more modern paraphrase.

It’s good to keep this word from God at the forefront of our thinking. It is also good to consider what it doesn’t say as well. When parents sin they alone are responsible but that does not mean that the children will not be affected by the consequences of the parents behavior. What we do as individuals will often affect others around us. Sometimes the consequences will completely change history. Look at David and Goliath for an example. Think of Gideon and the three hundred. What about Rahab? On and on the stories go demonstrating how sin or righteousness can produce long lasting consequences. God is not talking consequences but life and death spiritually.

Task for Today: Where you paddle your canoe or pull your little red wagon is your responsibility. It may affect others and it may not but it will determine your eternal destiny. Your soul belongs to God who will determine your destiny based on the criteria of justice and rightness.

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