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Pastor's Column 6/16/2024

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“Then another message came to me from the Lord: “Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel; “The parents [fathers] have eaten sour grapes but their children’s mouths [teeth] pucker at the taste.” As surely as I live says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. For all people are mine to judge – both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.”

Ezekiel 18:1-4, NLT

“Old Blame – New Accountability”


Inherent in human nature is the tendency to blame the previous generation for problems and woes encountered by their descendants. Such blame is codified in thoughts which have, unfortunately, been passed down over time. Ezekiel and Jeremiah prophesied the collapse of Israel under the oppressive arm of Babylon. They lived through a part of the horrors that shaped the destruction of Jerusalem, and led exiles into Babylon. Ezekiel, unlike Jeremiah, was “among” the exiles, beside the great canal that snaked through Babylon. The hunger, isolation, and suffering the exiles experienced, were not foreign to the prophet. Ezekiel wept with the exiles as they mourned the destruction of the Temple and their Holy City. But, unlike them, the prophet was aware that the people were blaming their woes on previous generations, whom they called “the fathers.” There was an age-old proverb that asserted a person can’t be blamed for their sins, because the previous generation is the cause. The Lord told that generation, to stop blaming “fathers “(or parents) for their mistakes. Someone else eating sour grapes, will not cause another person’s mouth to pucker; or their teeth to be on edge. Some decades ago, there were many studies that placed the entire “blame’ of a family’s dysfunctions on the absence of the father. The complexity of human nature; environmental challenges, and other factors, have defeated this idea. Many children grew up in single-headed families and succeeded. Even in Biblical times, whether a father was present or absent, the children were called to personal accountability. Honoring our fathers and mothers, regardless of circumstances, is a call to taking responsibility. Each is held accountable for one’s life!

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