Posted by / Wednesday 18 January 2017 / No comments

Ezekiel's teaching on individual responsibility

In his teachings on individual responsibility, Ezekiel condemned a proverb which had gained popularity in his days that “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”. This means that the fathers have sinned against God and God had exacted punishment on their children. This concept became popular among the Jews who were taken into exile in B.C. 597.

According to Ezekiel, this proverb was not going to apply anymore. In other words, when a father sins against God he shall suffer for it and when a son sins against God, he shall also suffer for it. Here in lay the concept of individual responsibility as proclaimed by Prophet Ezekiel.

The new concept further propounded that when a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right, that man shall not die. If that man gives birth to a son who is not righteous and who does not do what is lawful and right, that son shall die though the father was righteous. Furthermore, if the father gives birth to a son who sees all the bad things his father did while he was alive and avoids his father’s actions and deeds, that son shall surely live.

Ezekiel continued that the son shall not die for the sins of his father and the father shall not die for the iniquities of his son. A righteous person shall benefit from his righteousness and a wicked person shall also benefit from his wickedness.

However, if a wicked person turns away from his sins, that person shall live because of all the righteous things he has done and none of the sins he has committed before shall be remembered. They shall all be forgotten. On the other hand, if a man turns away from his sins and goes back to do the very things that he had turned from, he shall die and all the good things he did shall not be remembered.

Ezekiel taught that God is not pleased when people die for their sins; he rather wishes that people shall turn away from their sins and live.

The people turned and accused God of not being just. Ezekiel counter-accused the people and said it is their ways rather that are not just. Through Ezekiel, God told the people that he would judge everybody according his ways.

Finally, Ezekiel advised that the people should turn away from their sins and renew their heart because if they do not, their sins shall ruin them eventually and they shall be destroyed.

1. Espouse Ezekiel’s teachings on individual responsibility.

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