“Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” (18:31-32)
Each person is responsible for themselves. A father doesn’t die for the sins of the son, and the son doesn’t die for the sins of the father. A good man can throw his good life away, and a bad man can turn his life around. The LORD pleads: turn it around!
I find the list of righteousness qualifiers interesting:
- Practices justice and righteousness
- Does not eat at mountain shrines
- Does not lift his eyes to idols
- Does not defile his neighbors wife
- Does not sexually approach a menstruating woman
- Does not oppress anyone
- Pays debts
- Doesn’t steal
- Feeds the hungry
- Clothes the naked
- Does not take interest on loans
- Keeps his hand from iniquity
- Executes True justice
- Walks in the LORD’s laws and statutes
What a guy. Not unreasonable expectations. Still, the LORD is gracious when we fall short, and is always calling us back, because He doesn’t wish death for anyone.
“‘Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ declares the LORD GOD, ‘rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?'” (18:23)
Do any of the things on this list jump out to you? Do any of them surprise you or had you not considered them so important to the LORD?
Do you feel responsible for the sins of your parents of children? Are you burdened by the sins of others? Bring these things to the LORD, today, and ask Him how He can help you turn things around.