Gen 1 to 18 and Ezekiel 18 “The problem of blame-shifting.”
Theology is the study of God, and today’s lesson is about upside-down theology. From Gen 1 to 18, we learn that what was perfect was destroyed by sin. First, Adam blamed Eve, then Eve blamed the serpent, and so it has gone since time began. Here the elders sat before Ezekiel complaining (maybe in their hearts?) that they were in this fix, meaning in Babylon, because of their father’s sin. Ezekiel asked them just as God asked Eve and then Cain; “what have “YOU” done, not what has your father done. Each is responsible to live righteously or live in sin. You can’t use the thinking of Flip Wilson: “he made me do it.”
Ezekiel told them, “the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” [Ezek 18:20] We are all responsible for choosing righteousness or wickedness/sin. We all must stand before God alone, and God will not hear our complaint that “it was because of so and so” or “he made me do it.” Ezekiel then points out the beauty of God’s mercy. “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.” [Ezek 18:32]
May we all stop and thank God that we are not responsible for another’s sin.