Today's Bible Study Lesson
“Ezekiel: The Street Preacher to the Exiles”
in which we blame others as the cause,
be responsible for our own behavior,
responsible behavior that finds favor with God.
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
came from a priestly family and he was later called to become one of
God’s prophets. His name means “God strengthens (this person).”
lived during the Babylonian exile and was an active prophet for 20
years. He was carried captive with King Jehoiachin to Babylon.
Book of Ezekiel to which the prophet is credited as the God-inspired
author describes the disobedience of Israel and Judah and God’s
desire for the Israelites to follow
His Law and to be blessed.
Study in Ezekiel Chapter 18 opens with Ezekiel describing another
message from God for the people. God poses a question, “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’?” This proverb reveals
a blame game. The current generation of Israelites believe that
their exiled condition is the result of
previous generation’s sins and disobedience of
God’s Law. In Genesis Chapter 3, the original sin was a
of the blame game. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. When
in fact both Adam and Eve each shared responsibility for their own
to God’s Law.
strong words, “as I live, the Sovereign LORD,”
that the popular proverb no longer be quoted in Israel. God’s
message goes on to establish that God, the Creator of all creation
and the Sustainer of all creation, has the right to demand the end
the use of the proverb. For He created both the parents and
children. God’s message states that the person who sins will die.
In other words, each individual is responsible for his/her behavior
and not another.
the message provides clarity on
the behavior of one
seeks to be righteous
relationship with God) and who
what is just and right. Such
a person will
live. Detailed examples of right behavior are provided: avoiding
eating meat that has been used in idol worship, not engaging in
adulterous behavior, not
mistreating the poor by keeping their security deposit in a business
the buyer needs the pledged item for survival, not robbing from the
poor, generously sharing with the poor, not charging interest when
lending to others, avoiding injustices, being honest and fair when
judging others, and faithfully obeying decrees and regulations. This
reaffirms God’s justice regarding individual behavior.
to what the proverb stated, the current generation of exiles were
indeed guilty of their
and disobedience. They
were suffering for their own behavior. In verses 10 – 29, a
description of a son who exhibits just behavior and one who does not
is given and it is explains
the father is not punished for the sins of the son nor the son
punished for the sins of the father. It
also describes one who abandons righteousness for unrighteousness
and vice versa.
Each is held accountable for their own behavior and
the resulting consequences.
30, plainly states God judges each individual for their own behavior
He calls for the exiles to repent and to turn from their sins
because their sins will destroy them.
message from God appeals to them to seek a new heart and spirit, that
is a heart and spirit which is pleasing with God. Finally, the
message shows God’s Mercy in that
not want the
to experience Spiritual Death which will be the result if they do
not turn from their wicked ways. The choice of Life or Death
is placed before them in Ezekiel’s God-given message.
of us is
responsible for our own actions and behavior. We
cannot place the blame for
the consequences of our poor judgement or wayward behavior
Pryor’s excuse, “the Devil made me do it!” cannot stand.
is a God of Justice and Mercy. This is exhibited by the death of His
Only Begotten Son, Jesus,
for our sins.
behavior does have consequences, either good or bad!
Verses to Keep in Mind:
the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our]
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John
thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy
unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalms
Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than
sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1Samuel
the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of
oil? Shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, The fruit of
my body [for] the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what [is]
good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love
mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:7-8 NKJV