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Have you ever wondered whether God is fair in His judgment of people?

At times, it appears as if life is not fair and that God judges and rewards individuals based on the actions of other people connected to them.  This is the reason many are uneasy with the teaching of Exodus 20:5-6 about God punishing children for the sins of their parents, and yet pouring out His grace on thousands of those who love Him and keep His commandments.  

Do you hear that?

Others think God blesses children regardless of the way they live because of the obedience of their parents.  Both of these views of the justice of God are not in keeping with His character. The scriptures teach that God holds each individual responsible for their own actions.  The parents’ sins have consequences for their children, but God does not hold children responsible for the sins of their parents and vice versa.  He rewards each person according to their righteousness, and this is not transferable.  

Reading Ezekiel 18, one discovers the amazing mercy and grace of God. In verse 20b, God promises “The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”  The peoples of Judah in this chapter feared God was going to punish them for the sins of their fathers (Ezekiel 18:2). However, God in His sovereignty forgives anyone who turns from their sins and turns toward Him. He shows no favoritism. He is gracious and merciful. Each person is responsible for their own actions.  A person suffers God’s punishment simply because of their own sin and a person experiences God’s blessing because of their obedient actions. May you walk in the mercy and grace of God this week!

Questions to ponder:

1.  Do you worry God is punishing you for the sins of a family member?

2.  What does Ezekiel 18 teach you about the nature of the mercy of the grace of God?

3.  What would you say to a person who wonders if God is punishing a person because of another person’s sins?

4.  Have you ever repented of your personal sins and accepted the gift of God through Jesus Christ? If your answer is yes, praise the Lord!  If your answer is no, God is inviting you to accept the gift of His begotten Son today.