I’m dating myself here, and some of you may have to google him to know of whom I speak, but for those who may remember him; do you remember Flip Wilson’s favorite line whenever he did something wrong? He always said “The devil made me do it.” He wasn’t totally wrong, seeing that the devil is behind all evil, but by yielding to the temptation, old Flip shifted the blame to himself. It may have been a cute line, but he became guilty of the trespass.
In Ezekiel chapter 18 Israel was trying to do the same thing. They wanted to blame their trespasses on their ancestors. As a matter of fact, they wanted even their innocent children to pay the penalty for their sins. God, through Ezekiel, addresses the problem of passing blame by letting them know that every individual would be held accountable for their actions. In 2020 we’re trying to do the same thing. That’s now called “reparation.” Modern day elites now want this current generation to pay for the sins of their ancestors. They’re literally telling people to apologize for the skin they’re in, as though any one of us had a say in the matter, and some are falling for it. 🤦♀️ But God has already determined how that’s handled in His court of justice. I’ve told you but it’s worth repeating. Everything you need to live righteously is already written. His Word is relevant and current in every generation and every situation. We just like to justify our actions by thinking it’s new. Let’s read: it’s another long one but there’s no other way to do this so hang in there.😊
“GOD ’s Message to me: “What do you people mean by going around the country repeating the saying, “The parents ate green apples, The children got the stomachache?”
“As sure as I AM the Living God, you’re not going to repeat this saying in Israel (America) any longer. Every soul—man, woman, child—belongs to me, parent and child alike. You die for your own sin, not another’s.
“Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships— doesn’t eat at the pagan shrines, doesn’t worship the idols so popular in Israel, (America) doesn’t seduce a neighbor’s spouse, doesn’t indulge in casual sex, doesn’t bully anyone, doesn’t pile up bad debts, doesn’t steal, doesn’t refuse food to the hungry, doesn’t refuse clothing to the ill-clad, doesn’t exploit the poor, doesn’t live by impulse and greed, doesn’t treat one person better than another, But lives by My statutes and faithfully honors and obeys My laws. This person who lives upright and well shall live a full and true life. Decree of GOD, the Master.
“But if this person has a child who turns violent and murders and goes off and does any of these things, even though the parent has done none of them— eats at the pagan shrines, seduces his neighbor’s spouse, bullies the weak, steals, piles up bad debts, admires idols, commits outrageous obscenities, exploits the poor “—do you think this person, the child, will live? Not a chance! Because he’s done all these vile things, he’ll die. And his death will be his own fault.
“Now look: Suppose that this child has a child who sees all the sins done by his parent. The child sees them, but doesn’t follow in the parent’s footsteps— doesn’t eat at the pagan shrines, doesn’t worship the popular idols of Israel, doesn’t seduce his neighbor’s spouse, doesn’t bully anyone, doesn’t refuse to loan money, doesn’t steal, doesn’t refuse food to the hungry, doesn’t refuse to give clothes to the ill-clad, doesn’t live by impulse and greed, doesn’t exploit the poor. He does what I say; he performs My laws and lives by My statutes.
This person will not die for the sins of the parent; he will live truly and well. But the parent will die for what the parent did, for the sins of— oppressing the weak, robbing brothers and sisters, doing what is dead wrong in the community.
“Do you need to ask, ‘So why does the child not share the guilt of the parent?’ “Isn’t it plain? It’s because the child did what is fair and right. Since the child was careful to do what is lawful and right, the child will live truly and well. The soul that sins is the soul that dies. The child does not share the guilt of the parent, nor the parent the guilt of the child. If you live upright and well, you get the credit; if you live a wicked life, you’re guilty as charged.
“But a wicked person who turns his back on that life of sin and keeps all my statutes, living a just and righteous life, he’ll live, really live. He won’t die. I won’t keep a list of all the things he did wrong. He will live. Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn’t it my pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right—really living?”
Ezekiel 18:1-23 MSG
We’re a people that love shifting blame. As long as what we’re doing is not as bad as the other person we lie to ourselves that we’re better. We say, “well, I’ve never murdered anyone!” Really! This is what Jesus said.
“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Matthew 5:21 MSG
That chapter addresses the heart. Things you do that no one but God sees.
I’ve already addressed what sin does to the heart without Jesus in last Friday’s lesson. But we’re creatures of habit. The minute we give in to anger and fits of rage we’re murderers. Jesus said it -I didn’t. We’re told to be angry and sin not. Righteous indignation over injustices without retaliation is the Bible way.
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 MSG
God is not pleased with the way His Church is responding in this season. We cannot become a part of the conversation to shift blame. We’re all guilty of the sin of commission and omission. We’re all guilty of name calling and blame shifting. If the Holy Spirit would begin amplifying our private conversations most Christians would be appalled at what they have allowed to come out of their mouths. Like King David we’d be shocked to discover that the recording was us. I asked the question a few messages back. If we were on trial for being Christians would we be found guilty? Just think about our actions and words in the past few weeks. What have you been saying and sharing? Because if it wasn’t the love of God, you’re a part of the problem. Listen to this interaction between David and Nathan after David’s sin of commission:
“The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! 😬 yikes!
2 Samuel 12:1-7 NIV
Sounds like us? As long as we think it’s someone else’s fault, that we would never have done anything so despicable, then we feel justified in our anger. But point your finger! Go ahead! Notice anything? Your pointer and thumb faces outward, representing you and the devil, the accuser of the brethren. There are three pointing back at you! Father, Son, Holy Spirit! They’re the only Righteous Judge. We are all capable of doing evil without Jesus. We can be as smug and self righteousness or morally superior all we want! We’re evil and capable of evil, without Jesus Christ. Blaming others and passing the buck is an old trick of the Devil that every generation falls prey to. WE ARE THE PROBLEM! We have turned inward instead of upward. We have been chasing Jesus out of our lives and our Nation for decades. RIGHTEOUSNESS exalts a Nation, a life, a family. SIN destroys the best of us.
God is not in the business of passing the blame. He’s into individual, personal responsibility. He was very clear in Ezekiel 18. Let’s continue with verse 24-32
“The same thing goes for a good person who turns his back on an upright life and starts sinning, plunging into the same vile obscenities that the wicked person practices. Will this person live? I don’t keep a list of all the things this person did right, like money in the bank he can draw on. Because of his defection, because he accumulates sin, he’ll die.”
“Do I hear you saying, ‘That’s not fair! God’s not fair!’? “Listen, Israel (Americans). I’m not fair? You’re the ones who aren’t fair! If a good person turns away from his good life and takes up sinning, he’ll die for it. He’ll die for his own sin. Likewise, if a bad person turns away from his bad life and starts living a good life, a fair life, he will save his life. Because he faces up to all the wrongs he’s committed and puts them behind him, he will live, really live. He won’t die.
“The upshot is this, Israel (Americans): I’ll judge each of you according to the way you live. So turn around! Turn your backs on your rebellious living so that sin won’t drag you down. Clean house. No more rebellions, please. Get a new heart! Get a new spirit! Why would you choose to die, Israel (Americans)? I take no pleasure in anyone’s death. Decree of GOD, the Master. “Make a clean break! Live!”
Ezekiel 18:24-32 MSG
Galatians 6 reads:
“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
Galatians 6:7-8 MSG
We serve a God who sees. I wrote in an earlier message; He may be silent, but He’s not absent. Jeremiah wrote these words: It’s because of the Lord’s mercies why we’re not all consumed, because His compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:22. Justice, true justice will only be served at the second coming of Jesus Christ. I’m not advocating that we do nothing! But I am advocating that as Believers in Jesus Christ, that we do things His way. I’m not denying what has happened in the past. But we can not keep looking in the rear view mirror expecting to succeed in the future. If looking back makes you bitter, then you’ll fail in the present. If it makes you better, you’ll be the difference maker. Love covers. God’s love that is. Until the heart of man is changed by the Blood of Jesus, human efforts are futile. Preach Jesus and Him crucified. He alone is the answer. Go ahead! Call me simplistic. To those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:18. At the end of Ezekiel 18 the Sovereign Lord literally shouted these words. REPENT AND LIVE! See also Deuteronomy 30:19
Father in the Name above every name Jesus the Christ, I pray for our Nation. We need a supernatural intervention right now! The Church has lost its way and voice in this season. We repent for our sin of commission and omission. We have not done what we are supposed to and what we shouldn’t do we have. We are guilty of sending the wrong messages by the way we are responding to world events. We have not sought you through repentance but have heaped sin upon sin. Please forgive us, so that we can live and show the world the wondrous works of our God. In Jesus Name. Amen
“For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].”
2 Corinthians 5:10 AMP
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit