Text: Ezekiel 18:1-18 (KJV)
1 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,
2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,
6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;
8He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,
9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.
10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,
11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife,
12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,
13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife,
16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,
17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.
18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.
Key Verse: “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” – (Ezekiel 18:4)
According to Charles Spurgeon, “If in the courts of justice, a thief, when called up, should argue, ‘Well, I am not so great a thief as some; there are to be found some who have been thieves longer than I and if there be one conviction in the book against me, there are some that have a dozen convictions against them.’ No magistrate would acquit a man on such an excuse as that, because it would be tantamount to his admission of a degree of guilt, though he might try to excuse himself because he had not reached a higher degree”. It is so with every sinner. All have sinned. Another man’s sins cannot excuse you; you must stand on your own feet at the day of judgment.
The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in the text to stop an erroneous belief paraded with a popular proverb. The saying was that when the fathers sinned, the punishment would be transferable to their children. God declared that all souls belong to Him – the soul of the father, as well as the soul of the son. Any soul that sins and does not repent will surely die. Everyone is liable for their sins.
Despite the diversity of human goals, aspirations and means of survival, one thing remains universally essential: the well-being of the soul. This is one area of life that you will never be excused for neglecting. While everything else that matters to us in this life will someday cease to be, our immortal souls will continue to live on, whether in eternal bliss or eternal grief.
That you attend church regularly, do charitable works in the community and give alms to the poor does not automatically translate into getting the approval of God in heaven. Repentance and faith in Christ are necessary because no one can bear your sins for you: everyone will stand in judgment one day.
Thought For The Day: All souls will face God individually at judgment.
The Bible In One Year: Psalms 92-100
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.