Ezekiel 18:1-3, 20, “The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the LORD GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.”
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
This age in which we are living has evolved into an age of finer pointing. “It’s not my fault. It’s my dad’s fault!” “It’s my mother’s fault!” “It’s my pastor’s fault!” “It’s my teacher’s fault!” On and on it goes.
Let me present to you a little background for this chapter. The Jews are in captivity. They were in Babylon as slaves all because of their sins against their God. They had started a proverb, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” This entire chapter 18 deals with what they were saying and what they were saying was it is our fathers’ fault we are having to suffer. God in this chapter also sets it straight.
In verses 1 and 2 God is saying how dare you blame your mom and dad for your rebellion, crookedness, and worldliness? Verse 3 tells us that God is saying to them to be quiet and do not point your finger at your parents and blame them for your condition or in fact on any one else but yourselves.
In verse 4 we notice God says that the soul that sinneth it shall die. God did not say the soul that causeth the sin, or leads to the sin, or tempts one to sin should die. No! God said THE soul that sinneth IT shall die.
Ezekiel 18:19, “Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.”
Ezekiel 18:30, “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the LORD GOD, Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”
It is a rare thing in this day and time when someone says, “It’s my fault!” Modern psychiatry and modern psychologists, who ought to be examined themselves, will place you on their couch and ask all about your past. These so-called professionals make a living off of basically “finger pointing.”
Solomon was the wisest man of his day. He wrote most of the Proverbs. Solomon was the wisest king at the time of his reign. No one who sat on the throne of Israel could shine the boots of this man concerning wisdom.
Yet, Solomon had a wicked son named Rehoboam. This son was the one who caused the division of the nation Israel into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Rehoboam was a wicked son who sought advise of the younger men and cast aside the advise of the wise older men.
David was a man after God’s own heart. No one in the Scriptures was loved like God loved David. God had a concern sort of an affinity for David, which He expressed toward any one else. Yet, this good man after God’s own heart had a son named Absalom who rebelled against his father’s kingdom and decided he would take over his father’s throne. Absalom started a revolution against his own dad!
Noah was a preacher of righteousness. He spent 120 years preparing an ark when it had never rained. What a man! Noah had a son who was wicked and his name was Ham. This son became a marked man according to the Scriptures.
Abraham was the father of the faithful. He was the father of faith and one of the great men in all of the Scriptures. Yet, he had a son named Ishmael who led the building of the nations, which would be embroiled in constant war and bloodshed. Likewise Abraham had an adopted son named Lot. This adopted son was reared in the home of Abraham. Lot’s adopted mother was Sarah and in spite of this he went to Sodom. He left Sodom when the fire was going to fall on the city. His wife turned into a pillar of salt when she turned to look back at Sodom. He had two daughters with him and he committed awful sin with his own daughters and daughter bore a child from their own father.
Isaac fathered a boy named Esau. This boy founded a fierce nation called the Edomites. Adam, the first born again man who ever lived, fathered a son named Cain who was the first murderer who ever lived.
WICKED & GODLY KINGS WHO HAD GODLY & WICKED SONS
· Wicked Abijam had a godly son named Asa
· Godly king Jehoshaphat had a wicked son named Jehoram
· Wicked Ahaziah had a godly son names Joash
· Godly Jotham had a wicked son Ahaz
· Godly Hezekiah had a wicked son Manasseh
· Wicked Ammon had a godly son names Josiah
· Godly Josiah had 2 wicked sons named Jehoiakim and Jehoehaz
OTHER MEN OF GOD
· Billy Sunday’ son
· D. L. Moody’s son
· Charles E. Fuller’s son
Some of the finest young people I met in the 42 years of ministry came from the homes of ungodly people while some of the worst young people came from the best homes. If you have a little child please be careful about your criticism of others who have teenagers until all of your results are in. It is mighty easy to preach hot sermons while your children are not reared yet. A lot of aged parents are needlessly going through their last years with guilt that is unnecessary. They are going through their last days feeling it’s their fault because a son or a daughter had gone into sin.
However, God said the soul that sinneth IT shall die! Some of you dear parents reading this chapter have done your best. You did the ultimate you could do and you have some children who have broken your heart. Please quit blaming yourself! Never forget the soul that sinneth IT shall die!
To the children who may I say you have no one to blame but yourself when you turn your back on God? Please understand this God will not accept your finger pointing.
Romans 14:12, “Everyone of us shall give account of himself to God.”
The children cannot blame anyone but themselves. “I have no character because my dad never taught me character!” Sorry! That will not work with God! The soul that sinneth IT shall die! You have no character because you have chosen to have no character. “My parents are the reason I am lazy!” Sorry! “My dad smokes and that is why I smoke!” “My dad was into porn and that is why I am in porn!” “I was molested as a child and that is why I molest!” “My parents never hugged me when I was young!” “I was deprived as a child!” “My dad hollered at me all the time when I was a child!” “My mom screamed at me all the time!” “My dad drank!” “My parents never went to church!” “My parents divorced and it hurt my marriage!” Sorry! The soul that sinneth IT shall die!
It is not your mom’s fault, dad’s fault, or any one else’s fault! It is your fault you are not happily married. The finger pointing toward others must be turned toward ourselves.
My parents ate too much candy and that is why I have bad teeth. Uncle George didn’t wash his ears so I am hard of hearing. Grandpa didn’t use deodorant so I have body odor. Aunt Susie wore tight shoes so I have corns on my feet. The preacher preached past noon so I have insomnia. My daddy rode a horse and so I’m bowlegged. Dad had sinus trouble so I have a big nose. Grandma was ugly so I can’t get a date. How foolish! How silly our view of life is!
My college mistreated me and that is why I am a failure. I’m black and I have no opportunity. I’m a Yankee and I have a speech impediment. George Washington Carver said, “I’d rather be a black man in America than any other man in the entire world!” Everyone and anyone can make it in America!
To say you are not succeeding in life because you were abused, as a child, is idiocy. There is not a command in the Scriptures that a child of God cannot obey. If you are not affectionate to your husband it is not because of something that happened to you.
The sad thing is Christians have fallen prey to this worldly view of accountant ability. Finger pointing is not of God! It was in light of this reasoning that God said to mankind “The soul that sinneth IT shall surely die!” If one fails in college it is that person’s fault and not any one else. If one is expelled from college it is not the college’s fault but the individuals fault. If you do not receive a degree from college it is not the college’s fault. If you fail a course it is not the college’s fault. If a preacher flops as a pastor it is not the church’s fault, college’s fault, your wife’s fault, or the deacon’s fault.
The Jews sat there in Babylon and said that they could not succeed because of their father’s sins. To be sure their being in Babylon was caused by their fathers but their failures in Babylon was their fault and not their father’s fault.
Look at what Daniel did while in captivity? Look at the Hebrew children in their slavery? Look at Esther as a slave in captivity? God is saying you may be in captivity because of your fathers’ sin but if you don’t succeed in Babylon it is your own fault.
The inheritance of poverty and suffering can be used to train a nobler character. The inheritance of wickedness and sin can be used to show the results of sin and cause one to avoid it. The inheritance of a ghetto can be used to challenge one to rise above it all. A bad background can be a great blessing for each generation is its own entity and will pay for its own sins or receive rewards for his own efforts. Each individual is its own entity and will pay for his or her’s own sins.
I’m saying I don’t care what your background is you can succeed! If you fail just look in the mirror and point your finger at yourself. It is your fault if you fail to succeed. It doesn’t matter if it is a broken home, broken life, or a broken heart you can succeed. Others have! If you can’t date, rate, or mate you can succeed. It doesn’t matter if you are short of stature, short of manliness, or short of brains you can succeed. If you had to dig, rake, and scrape to pass in school you can succeed. It doesn’t matter if you are timid, shy and losing your battle with an inferiority complex you can succeed.
If your mother was a prostitute and you are destitute you can succeed. If your 5 foot 1 and weigh 95 pounds and your weight is greater than your IQ you can still succeed. If you past is in the gangland or your name is Mickey and you were born in Disneyland you can succeed. If your face stops a clock and traffic at the same time you can succeed. If your bicep is the size of a grape and your shape like a coke bottle you can succeed. If you have a bowling ball for a head and your eyes stare at each other you can still succeed. If you are tongue-tied, hair lipped, or worse of all have the speech impediment of a Yankee accent you can still succeed. If you have the neck like a giraffe, stomach like an elephant, legs like a kangaroo, and feet like a duck you can still succeed.
If your father is Jerry Rueben and your mother is Jane Fonda you can still succeed. If your father is the Pope and your mother is Mother Theresa you can still succeed. If your father is Dennis Rodman and your mother Liberace you can still succeed. If your father is Bill Clinton and your mother only God knows who she is you can still succeed. If your father’s a priest and your mother’s a nun you can still succeed. If your father is Jerry Springer and your mother is Madeline O’Hare you can still succeed.
If your father wore the earrings and your mother wore the pants you can still succeed. If your father was a wimp and your mother was a pimp you can still succeed. If you are a paraplegic, paranoid, or a paratrooper you can still succeed. If you are hyper, a sniper, or a viper you can still succeed.
If your pastor is John McArthur, assistant pastor is John Piper, youth director is Jessie Jackson, senior saint pastor is Robert Schuler, choir director is Tammy Faye Bakker, the head of the jail ministry is Jim Bakker, bus director is Norman Vincent Peale, college president Arlon Horton, and head of student affairs Jimmy Swaggert you can still succeed.
If you were called to preach in the ABC, licensed to preach in the SBC, ordained by NBC, commissioned by the NAACP, and sent out by the KKK you can still succeed. If you were molested, detested, or arrested you can still succeed. If you were beaten by your parents and hated by your teachers you can still succeed. If your dad was an alcoholic, you were abused, refused, used, unused, misused, diffused, and confused you can still succeed. If your parents were divorced and foster parents raised you, you can still succeed.
If you are bowlegged, knot kneed, pigeon toed, cock eyed, hump backed, hard of hearing, crippled, lame, bald, stooped, drooped, forsaken, forgotten, forlorned, and color blind you can still succeed.
If your mom was destitute, restitute, or a prostitute you can still succeed. If you are epileptic, dyslectic, anorexic, peptic, or septic you can still succeed. If you are freckled, dimpled, or rumpled you can still succeed. If you have amnesia, anesthesia or mild of magnesia you can still succeed. If you have bursitis, neuritis, appendicitis, arthritis, aids, band-aids, or lemonade you can still succeed. If you are white, black, red, yellow, maroon, green, blue, chartreuse, pink, lavender, baize, or gold you can still succeed. If you are Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, or caesarean you can still succeed. If you are Polish, English, childish, German, chink, Mexican, gringo, bingo, or albino you can succeed.
If you are 4 foot 7 or 7 foot 4 you can still succeed. If you have been to Michigan State, Indiana State, Illinois State, Penn State, or the state pen you can still succeed. If you have been to MIT, TCU, SMU, MSU, BYU, or phooey on you, you can still succeed. If you have no MD, BD, LID, PHD, Hum. D, DOT, or BVD’s you can still succeed.
Shame on America for finger pointing! My goal in this is to strip every excuse away from ourselves for being a flop and a failure with the exception of you have not done what is necessary to succeed. Rise above it parents! Rise above it children!
Read Psalm chapter one and you will discover it says nothing about ones background, mother, dad, Sunday school teacher, Christian school, Christian college, Youth Director, or Pastor.