“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.
Every time I read through the Bible, the more I realize it comes down to personal responsibility. Each of us is responsible for our lives. Circumstances vary, forces outside of our control can act upon us, but how we react or how proactive we are is what makes us who we are.
Sometimes when things go wrong we wonder why God is punishing us. God does not punish, we punish ourselves. God instructs Ezekiel in verse 11 to tell the captive Israelites, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked”. We punish ourselves with the consequences of our actions, the consequences of bad decisions and sin. In the rest of verse 11 God tells us that we have control over our lives; “but that the wicked turn from his way and live;”.
We make bad decisions, we sin, and we experience the consequences of those actions. We are then in control to either learn from those consequences, adjust our behavior, make better decisions, and not continue to beat ourselves. Or we can choose to deny what happened, blame somebody or something else, expect someone else to pick up the pieces, and continue to make the same bad decisions. But not matter what path you choose, you are in control.
In verse 12 God tells us there is no relenting of consequences of actions. Being good and righteous 99 percent of the time does not eliminate the consequences of your actions the other 1 percent of the time.
Everything you do in life stands on its own merit. Righteousness is righteousness and sin is sin.
…and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.
Each decision and action that we take starts at zero and there is no overlooking bad decisions or sin. Doing it right most of the time doesn’t make it right all of the time.
…The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses…
Every individual is responsible for ever individual action they take. The consequences are an irrefutable law of the universe, and a lifetime of one does not eliminate the consequences of the other.
Righteousness must be ever vigilant.
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