Faithlife Sermons

Part 1: Defying the Narrative

Turn Around  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:30
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Memory Verse
Ezekiel 18:32 NKJV
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

An Inaccurate Narrative

Ezekiel 18:1–2 NKJV
1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
Or, another rendering
Ezekiel 18:2 NLT
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’?
Understandable…but what does it mean? Two things:
Children are affected by their parents’ life choices (which is true)
Children are controlled by their parents’ life choices (which is not true)
The Jews in Ezekiel’s day had come to understand it in only the second sense, so God said
Ezekiel 18:3 NKJV
3As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.
And He tells them why
Ezekiel 18:4 NKJV
4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Anticipating some push back, He then gives a few scenarios

A Just Person Shall Live

Ezekiel 18:5–9 NKJV
5 But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; 6 If he has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; 7 If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; 8 If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man; 9 If he has walked in My statutes— And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.

An Unjust Son Shall not Live

Regardless of who/what his father was
Ezekiel 18:10–13 NKJV
10 “If he begets a son who is a robber Or a shedder of blood, Who does any of these things 11 And does none of those duties, But has eaten on the mountains Or defiled his neighbor’s wife; 12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination; 13 If he has exacted usury Or taken increase— Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.

A Just Son Shall Live

Regardless of who/what his father was
Ezekiel 18:14–17 NKJV
14If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; 15 Who has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife; 16 Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge, Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; 17 Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!
And if the Son is just and the Father is unjust
Ezekiel 18:18 NKJV
18As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
The narrative that our lives are dictated by our parent’s choices is a lie and must be defied at every turn. It leaves us with no agency whatsoever and limits any potential that we might have: Good or Bad.
The truth is that we each stand or fall before God and in life based on our own choices. We each have agency and we each have a very important capacity: repentance. No matter who we are, what we have done (or not done) at this point in our lives, we can turn around and do what we should.
That is freeing.
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