“If he begets a son who is a robber
Or a shedder of blood,
Who does any of these things
11 And does none of those duties,
But has eaten on the mountains
Or defiled his neighbor’s wife;
12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy,
Robbed by violence,
Not restored the pledge,
Lifted his eyes to the idols,
Or committed abomination;
13 If he has exacted usury
Or taken increase—
Shall he then live?
He shall not live!
If he has done any of these abominations,
He shall surely die;
His blood shall be upon him.
14 “If, however, he begets a son
Who sees all the sins which his father has done,
And considers but does not do likewise;
15 Who has not eaten on the mountains,
Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife;
16 Has not oppressed anyone,
Nor withheld a pledge,
Nor robbed by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;
And not received usury or increase,
But has executed My judgments
And walked in My statutes—
He shall not die for the iniquity of his father;
He shall surely live!
18 “As for his father,
Because he cruelly oppressed,
Robbed his brother by violence,
And did what is not good among his people,
Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
We have a God who judges with finality; but also a God of mercy when there is repentance and a turning away from the sins. Three times he has listed those things that require a death penalty and as many times he states that the soul that sins is the one that dies. We are each of us responsible for our own actions. These are what we will be judged for by Almighty God.
“…‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live….”
And he states:
“… The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself….”
Mercy is granted to us when we turn from our own ways to follow his. We receive mercy when we receive Christ’s payment for our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
“…“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die….”
When we accept Christ we are accepting the new covenant that frees us of our sin past, present and future. And his righteousness becomes our righteousness.
Romans 3:21-22,25-26 “… But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. … For there is no difference; whom God set forth [as] a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus….”
So we can turn from our wicked ways and find forgiveness thanks to what Jesus has done for us. Then when judgment comes as it shall, God looks upon the blood of his son covering our sins and remembers them no more.
“…None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live….”
We have this promise:
“…1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness….”
Isn’t wonderful to hear God say:
“…Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?…”
He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but does have pleasure in the life of those who are covered with his righteousness.
What are we doing after we receive his son? Is our choice apparent in our lifestyle? Does our life mirror that of the son who followed after God and his ways? Do we act in love toward one another and toward the God who created and loves us?