“Return and live!”
This is very good advice from the prophet Ezekiel. He was preaching to a nation that was steeped in sin, and whose sinfulness was passed on from previous generations. But unlike the punishments of old, where God punished those who sinned for many generations, Ezekiel proclaimed that God was going to do something new. He was going to punish only those who did wrong, and bless those who did right. If the son sinned, it was not the father’s fault, and if the mother sinned, it was not the daughter who would pay the price.
We might call that “personal responsibility,” a notion that doesn’t get as much adherence these days as it ought to. Now if the son sins, the parents sue the person who punished the son for it. Nothing is anyone’s fault; no one has to step up and take responsibility for what they’ve done. Or at least it sure seems that way.
Ezekiel would take us all to task for that philosophy. Our God is Truth, and we should live that truth every day of our lives. So if we’ve wandered from that, Ezekiel has the remedy today: “Return and live!”