No Bank Account For Good Deeds

No Bank Account For Good Deeds

Ezekiel 33:17-20

“Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

These verses speak to me on a couple of levels.

First, the idea of justice.

Ezekiel talks about the Israelites complaining that God’s justice, or the balance of the universe, doesn’t fit their idea of justice.  I’ve written before about this and the fact that my idea of justice and someone else’s idea of justice are probably two different things.  And so the Israelites say in verse 17, what most of us say today when something happens to us, or others, that we don’t understand.  We say, “There is no justice” and then question God and even God’s existence.  We do this on the basis of things not going the way we thought they should go.  We look to blame something outside of us for what happened.

God answers these petty accusations very effectively:

…when it is their own way that is not just.

Ezekiel and God are talking about personal responsibility, and each of us owning up to and realizing that we are responsible for our actions.  We must face up to the fact that we are responsible for the consequences of our actions.  The perceived injustice of the world, is the injustice we have created and served upon ourselves.

God does not inflict grief upon man.  Man inflicts grief upon man.

In verses 18 and 19, Ezekiel speaks of God’s balance. When the righteous do evil they suffer their grief.  There are no mulligans, or a reserved bank account of good deeds to excuse the evil act and eliminate the consequences.  And vice versa.

Second, each act stands on its own.

This is the third time I have written about this.  This truth is conveyed a number of times in the writings of Ezekiel.

Each act, each decision has its own consequence based on the act.  Every act and decision stands on its own.  If a plane makes 1000 trips without incident, that will not eliminate a catastrophe if the pilot makes a bad decision.  The 1000 safe and non-eventful flights do not somehow make the laws of physics and aerodynamics over look this lapse in judgement.  The consequences of a bad decision will be experienced.

Every action stands on its own.  That is what God and Ezekiel are telling us in verse 20.

I will judge each of you according to his ways.

This is personal responsibility. They are telling us that each of us stands alone, every one of our actions stands alone.  If you do twenty wonderful and righteous things during the course of the day and then do one evil act, the twenty do not cancel out the one.  The consequences of the evil act will still be suffered.

God and Ezekiel are letting us know we are responsible for our actions.  Each and every action is judged by itself.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy Labor Day – It Starts With Your Attitude

Happy Labor Day – It Starts With Your Attitude

 Colossians 3:23

New Revised Standard Version:

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters

English Standard Version:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Christian Standard Bible Version:

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people

New International Version:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

I thought today I would write in reference to the holiday we are celebrating, Labor Day. Continue reading

The Fools Will No More Be Called Noble

The Fools Will No More Be Called Noble

Isaiah 32:5

“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrels said to be honorable.”

When I read that verse I had to write it down.  I guess I wrote it down because it gives me some hope.

I thought here is another example of the prophecies of the Bible that apply today and probably throughout the existence of mankind.  I thought about how hopeful I am that this is prophetic about Washington DC, for Washington has become nothing but a town of fools and scoundrels.

Fools in the sense of how foolish these people are in their own self importance.  They are not stupid people just foolish people.

And scoundrels, I think you would be hard press to find one that isn’t a scoundrel. Continue reading

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

We have all asked the question how do such evil people get away with doing such evil things and yet here I am toiling away doing it the right way and getting nowhere?

In Ecclesiastes 8:11 King Solomon is addressing that question because just as today, people had the same thoughts in ancient times.  To quote Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Continue reading

Happy Labor Day – It Starts With Your Attitude

Happy Labor Day – It Starts With Your Attitude

 Colossians 3:23

New Revised Standard Version:

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters

English Standard Version:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Christian Standard Bible Version:

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people

New International Version:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

I thought today I would write in reference to the holiday we are celebrating, Labor Day. Continue reading

The Fools Will No More Be Called Noble

The Fools Will No More Be Called Noble

Isaiah 32:5

“The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrels said to be honorable.”

When I read that verse I had to write it down.  I guess I wrote it down because it gives me some hope.

I thought here is another example of the prophecies of the Bible that apply today and probably throughout the existence of mankind.  I thought about how hopeful I am that this is prophetic about Washington DC, for Washington has become nothing but a town of fools and scoundrels.

Fools in the sense of how foolish these people are in their own self importance.  They are not stupid people just foolish people.

And scoundrels, I think you would be hard press to find one that isn’t a scoundrel. Continue reading

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

We have all asked the question how do such evil people get away with doing such evil things and yet here I am toiling away doing it the right way and getting nowhere?

In Ecclesiastes 8:11 King Solomon is addressing that question because just as today, people had the same thoughts in ancient times.  To quote Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Continue reading