Is this not the most classic kid argument ever – “It’s not fair!” (turns out, a lot of us grown-ups invoke it too). Whenever there is something happening that we don’t like, that isn’t convenient, or otherwise conflicts with what we want, our blanket defense is, “it’s not fair.” As is so often the case, this argument has been around for a long, long time.
Ezekiel 18:25 - “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”
Things to think about:
· I used to think the word fair wasn’t in the Bible until I ran into this passage.
o Is there anything going in in your life right now that doesn’t feel fair?
· In this case, the Israelites thought that God’s judgement was passed on from father to child, or in some cases, the sin of a child reflected back on judgement to the father.
o Some folks believe that being part of a good family or being a member of the right denomination / organization qualifies them for God’s approval (or the converse, “I’m part of a cursed family/culture, etc.”)
o Sometimes, we might carry a guilt burden that mistakes we have made are irrevocably passed on to our children.
§ Does this resonate with you?
o If you happen to be struggling with this, let’s just say that God makes it abundantly clear in chapter 18 of Ezekiel, this is not true.
§ Ezekiel 18:30 – “Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways.”
§ Personal responsibility is a key to God’s justice system.
· So, what is that God requires of each person?
o Ezekiel 18:30-31 – “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”
o How do we get this new heart and spirit?
§ Repent – acknowledge that God is right and that we have made mistakes.
§ Then act on your conviction by “turning from all your transgressions” and “casting away from you all the transgressions which you have committed”. There is a very active sense to this by “casting away” – throw them off like you would a venomous spider crawling on you! Oh, and “all” means ALL.
· Ezekiel 11:19-20 – “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.”
o John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
§ If you have been born again, in what ways do you see how God has given you a new heart and a new spirit?
· Ezekiel 18:31-32 – “For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore, turn and live!”
o 2 Peter 3:9 – God “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
· You know what’s not fair?
o That in Jesus, God has spared no expense to ensure your eternal salvation
2:6-8 - Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, He made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
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