“Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.” vs. 4
Within the pages of our scripture there is an underlying debate about whether children are punished for the sins of their parents. Verses can be found to support either position: Exodus says that God is jealous and punishes children to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their fathers. Ezekiel in this passage says that’s not the case…it is only the person who sins that shall die. In the face of such conflicting evidence, believers have sought some sort of harmonizing position, something we often do with scripture. The problem is, that in this instance, the truth lies in the extremes…and not in the middle…so both perspectives are true! Obviously, children do have to endure the pain and the consequences of their parents’ sinful behavior. We see that all the time all around us…and it’s painful to watch. The lives of so many innocents have been ruined by what they’ve experienced in their homes. And at the same time, we must also affirm that each of us have personal responsibility for the trajectory of our lives…and we can’t always blame our parents for our misery. Ezekiel is right…the lives of both parents and children belong to God…and with a few exceptions, in spite of past circumstances, we can live in a way that brings glory to God.
Thought for the Day: To what extent have my parents damaged my life?