Ezekiel 18:19-24 (JDV)
Ezekiel 18:19 But you may ask, ‘Why doesn’t the son suffer punishment for the father’s violation? ‘Since the son has done what is just and right, carefully observing all my prescriptions, he will certainly live.
Ezekiel 18:20 The throat who fails is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s violation, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s violation. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the guilt of the guilty person will be on him.
Ezekiel 18:21 “But if the guilty person turns from all the failures he has committed, keeps all my prescriptions, and does what is just and right, he will certainly live; he will not die.
Ezekiel 18:22 None of the rebellions he has committed will be held against him. He will live because of the righteousness he has practiced.
Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the guilty?” This is the declaration of the Lord Yahveh. “Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?
Ezekiel 18:24 But when a righteous person turns from his righteousness and acts unjustly, committing the same repulsive acts that the guilty do, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. He will die because of the treachery he has engaged in and the failure he has committed.
You are a Christian — you say. You have repented and trusted Christ as your savior. But I want today’s text to challenge you as it does me. This text defines repentance. A repentant person is someone who has turned from his ways. God takes pleasure in the person who has turned from his ways and now follows God’s ways. That is the person who will live.
LORD, make us into people who are truly repentant. Give us the strength to turn — and keep turning — until we are walking in your ways, not our own.