7.15 Ezekiel -- Personal Responsibility
The people complained that the Lord was unjust to punish them for inherited guilt -- and perhaps also for an inherited disposition to sin.
"What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'"? (Eze 18:2)
God rejected this proverb and emphasized that each person would live because of his or her own righteousness or repentance, or die because of his or her own sins (Eze 18:1-30, Eze 33:12-20). This was a vital message, for although the Lord was bringing judgment on the entire nation, there was yet mercy for any individual who would hear and repent. Furthermore, God did not enjoy condemning even those who deserved their fate:
"Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?" declares the Sovereign Lord. "Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?" (Eze 18:23).
"Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?" (Eze 33:11)