“If, however, he begets a son who sees all the sins which his father has done, and considers but does not do likewise, he shall surely live.”
It seems we have become a generation who blames our faults on others. No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Attitudes of the heart, as well as sinful behavior, are often blamed on our upbringing or our genetics. As much as this may seem like a modern problem, Ezekiel reveals this is actually a human nature problem. 2600 years ago this attitude was so commonplace it was captured in a proverb; the people could be heard saying,
“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge”
Ezekiel’s message is twofold. First, he begins by making it clear, in the eyes of God, each individual is responsible for his own actions. While our genetics and our upbringing may make it easier to fall into certain sins, these things do not excuse improper behavior. Each one will stand individually before God for his actions. Second, Ezekiel also makes it clear that we can turn from our past actions and live pleasing to the Lord.
Many people seem to repeat the same mistakes their parents and grandparents made. If a person was mistreated or neglected by their parents, they have a greater tendancy to treat their children the same way. If a person grew up with parents who abused alcohol or drugs, it is common for the children to follow the same path. One of the great promises of Ezekiel is that you can get out of that cycle. If we choose to surrender to Christ, allow His Word to direct us, and His Spirit to empower us, we can be freed from the tyranny of the cycle that has ruled our familes for generations.
Whatever your past may have been, now is the time to turn to the Lord and live.