Assuming Personal Responsibility

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), August 20

imagesPerhaps the most common rationale this generation employs for their wrong actions and ungodly attitudes is that their parents were too __________ (choose one or more: selfish, indulgent, violent, passive, bitter, nice, religious, atheistic, hypocritical, sincere). In other words, this generation would be righteous were it not for their parents. The Word of God, however, rejects this argument.

God’s Word says that each generation is fully responsible for the choices they make.

Each generation must take responsibility for its own sin and is judged for its own sin. Ezekiel faithfully records the truth, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ez. 18:4). A number of truths become immediately clear:

  • No son may piggyback his father’s righteousness. Verses 10-13 describe a righteous man who has a violent son who doesn’t follow in his steps, but disobeys God. The father’s righteousness will not be applied to the son at death. The son will die for his own sin.
  • No son may blame his father for his own rebellion; he is responsible for the choices that he makes. A son who, observing his father’s wickedness, walks uprightly, keeps God’s laws, and followed His decrees will not pay for his father’s sins. He will pay for his own sins. Further, the son is also not accountable for his father’s unrighteousness (18:14-19).
  • Every man will be accountable for his own sin and judged for his own sin (18:20).
  • If a wicked man turns from his wickedness and keeps God’s decrees and walks uprightly, he will not die for the sins that he had formerly committed (18:21-23).
  • If a righteous man turns from walking uprightly and embraces a wicked lifestyle, his former righteousness will not save him; he will die in his sin (18:24-26).

Each man will stand before God, not based on how his life began, but on how his life ended; not based on the righteousness or wickedness of the previous generation, but on the righteousness or wickedness of his own generation. No excuses will be accepted; blaming parents for personal wickedness will not fool the God who sees the innermost being and knows the secrets of the heart.
Henry Blackaby stated at a conference in Kenya in 1994, “My life is the result of choices that I make.” Therefore, every man standing before God will be responsible for his own sin.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ez. 17:1-19:14):
Both visuals and stories possess the potential to communicate truths powerfully. Ezekiel utilizes both. What truths does he communicate through the story of the two eagles?
Who do the two lions in Ezekiel 19:1-9 refer to?
How does Ezekiel use the analogy of the vine (19:10-14)? What has Israel’s destruction cost her?