Ezekiel 18:1-3 (New Living Translation) for August 26, 2009
The Justice of a Righteous God
~1 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste’? 3 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel.~
This common proverb misrepresented God, and he told Judah to stop using it. Young people of that day quoted it from Exodus 34:7, in which God warned the Israelites that he “punishes the children and their children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” The people who heard this said, in effect, “Why should we obey God? He’s going to judge us for our fathers’ sins. So let’s live as we please.”
The Father makes it clear in the rest of the book of Ezekiel that he does not judge anyone for their father’s sins. But over a lifetime [three or four generations], a father’s wrong choices may continue to have consequences on his offspring. We only need to look at the millions who had alcoholic or abusive parents or came from homes broken by unfaithfulness to know this is true. But this pain need not be passed on to future generations. It can stop with us. The sinful link between generations can be broken as we receive the Father’s healing into our lives and show his heart to our children.
Have you suffered because of the sins of your parents? Forgive them, and let God’s healing touch break the chains of the past.