The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3 “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.
4 “Behold, all souls are Mine;
The soul of the father
As well as the soul of the son is Mine;
The soul who sins shall die.
5 But if a man is just
And does what is lawful and right;
6 If he has not eaten on the mountains,
Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife,
Nor approached a woman during her impurity;
7 If he has not oppressed anyone,
But has restored to the debtor his pledge;
Has robbed no one by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;
8 If he has not exacted usury
Nor taken any increase,
But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity
And executed true judgment between man and man;
9 If he has walked in My statutes
And kept My judgments faithfully—
He is just;
He shall surely live!”
Says the Lord GOD.
”…The soul who sins shall die.
5 But if a man is just…”
The soul that receives the gift of salvation offered by Christ’s death and resurrection is covered and will not die; but the one that does not…
“…Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him…”
The Lord has lined out the attributes of a righteous man. He is clearly stating also that we each individually are judged by him by what we do or do not do. Again, it is the Lord who judges not we. Have we accepted the offer of salvation and mercy? If so time to take inventory and see if we have the attributes of a righteous individual. What do others see? Do they see one who has reunited with the Lord of Hosts? Do we look like it? Do we look, talk and act just like everybody else with no witness to the change in our lives?
A message is being developed here. A message to us about what righteousness looks like. And a message that lays the responsibility for righteousness before God solely upon each individual, not based upon what anyone else has done, specifically, not based upon what a parent has or has not done. In a society that loves to lay blame for what is done on someone else this is a revelation. We each of us are responsible for our own actions. And that is the word of the Lord. The judgment spoken of here comes on the individual based upon that individual’s life. The penalty for sin is dealt to each one individually, not based upon what a parent did or did not do. Salvation comes the same way. Each individual decides to accept God’s gift or not. It is not dependant upon what a parent did or did not do. And the fruits follow; what do we look like? A branch of the vine? Our decision should be evident.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8