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Ezekiel 18:1-3, 20, “The word of the LORD came unto me again,
saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel,
saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on
edge? As I live, saith the LORD GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use
this proverb in Israel.”
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the
iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:
the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the
wicked shall be upon him.”
This age in which we are living
has evolved into an age of finer pointing. “It’s not my fault. It’s my dad’s
fault!” “It’s my mother’s fault!” “It’s my pastor’s fault!” “It’s my teacher’s
fault!” On and on it goes.
Let me present to you a little
background for this chapter. The Jews are in captivity. They were in Babylon as
slaves all because of their sins against their God. They had started a proverb,
“The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
This entire chapter 18 deals with what they were saying and what they were
saying was it is our fathers’ fault we are having to suffer. God in this
chapter also sets it straight.
In verses 1 and 2 God is saying
how dare you blame your mom and dad for your rebellion, crookedness, and
worldliness? Verse 3 tells us that God is saying to them to be quiet and do not
point your finger at your parents and blame them for your condition or in fact
on any one else but yourselves.
In verse 4 we notice God says
that the soul that sinneth it shall die. God did not say the soul that causeth
the sin, or leads to the sin, or tempts one to sin should die. No! God said THE
soul that sinneth IT shall die.
Ezekiel 18:19, “Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the
iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right,
and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.”
Ezekiel 18:30, “Therefore I will judge you, O house of
Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the LORD GOD, Repent, and turn
yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”
It is a rare thing in this day
and time when someone says, “It’s my fault!” Modern psychiatry and modern
psychologists, who ought to be examined themselves, will place you on their
couch and ask all about your past. These so-called professionals make a living
off of basically “finger pointing.”
Solomon was the wisest man of his
day. He wrote most of the Proverbs. Solomon was the wisest king at the time of
his reign. No one who sat on the throne of Israel could shine the boots of this
man concerning wisdom.
Yet, Solomon had a wicked son
named Rehoboam. This son was the one who caused the division of the nation
Israel into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Rehoboam was a
wicked son who sought advise of the younger men and cast aside the advise of
the wise older men.
David was a man after God’s own
heart. No one in the Scriptures was loved like God loved David. God had a
concern sort of an affinity for David, which He expressed toward any one else.
Yet, this good man after God’s own heart had a son named Absalom who rebelled
against his father’s kingdom and decided he would take over his father’s
throne. Absalom started a revolution against his own dad!
Noah was a preacher of
righteousness. He spent 120 years preparing an ark when it had never rained.
What a man! Noah had a son who was wicked and his name was Ham. This son became
a marked man according to the Scriptures.
Abraham was the father of the
faithful. He was the father of faith and one of the great men in all of the
Scriptures. Yet, he had a son named Ishmael who led the building of the
nations, which would be embroiled in constant war and bloodshed. Likewise
Abraham had an adopted son named Lot. This adopted son was reared in the home
of Abraham. Lot’s adopted mother was Sarah and in spite of this he went to
Sodom. He left Sodom when the fire was going to fall on the city. His wife
turned into a pillar of salt when she turned to look back at Sodom. He had two
daughters with him and he committed awful sin with his own daughters and
daughter bore a child from their own father.
Isaac fathered a boy named Esau.
This boy founded a fierce nation called the Edomites. Adam, the first born
again man who ever lived, fathered a son named Cain who was the first murderer
who ever lived.
Wicked Abijam
had a godly son named Asa
king Jehoshaphat had a wicked son named Jehoram
Ahaziah had a godly son names Joash
Jotham had a wicked son Ahaz
Hezekiah had a wicked son Manasseh
Ammon had a godly son names Josiah
Godly Josiah
had 2 wicked sons named Jehoiakim and Jehoehaz
Sunday’ son
D. L.
Moody’s son
E. Fuller’s son
Some of the finest young people I
met in the 42 years of ministry came from the homes of ungodly people while
some of the worst young people came from the best homes. If you have a little
child please be careful about your criticism of others who have teenagers until
all of your results are in. It is mighty easy to preach hot sermons while your
children are not reared yet. A lot of aged parents are needlessly going through
their last years with guilt that is unnecessary. They are going through their
last days feeling it’s their fault because a son or a daughter had gone into
However, God said the soul that
sinneth IT shall die! Some of you dear parents reading this chapter have done
your best. You did the ultimate you could do and you have some children who
have broken your heart. Please quit blaming yourself! Never forget the soul
that sinneth IT shall die!
To the children who may I say you
have no one to blame but yourself when you turn your back on God? Please
understand this God will not accept your finger pointing.
Romans 14:12, “Everyone of us shall give account of
himself to God.”
The children cannot blame anyone
but themselves. “I have no character because my dad never taught me character!”
Sorry! That will not work with God! The soul that sinneth IT shall die! You
have no character because you have chosen to have no character. “My parents are
the reason I am lazy!” Sorry! “My dad smokes and that is why I smoke!” “My dad
was into porn and that is why I am in porn!” “I was molested as a child and
that is why I molest!” “My parents never hugged me when I was young!” “I was
deprived as a child!” “My dad hollered at me all the time when I was a child!”
“My mom screamed at me all the time!” “My dad drank!” “My parents never went to
church!” “My parents divorced and it hurt my marriage!” Sorry! The soul that
sinneth IT shall die!
It is not your mom’s fault, dad’s
fault, or any one else’s fault! It is your fault you are not happily married.
The finger pointing toward others must be turned toward ourselves.
My parents ate too much candy and
that is why I have bad teeth. Uncle George didn’t wash his ears so I am hard of
hearing. Grandpa didn’t use deodorant so I have body odor. Aunt Susie wore
tight shoes so I have corns on my feet. The preacher preached past noon so I
have insomnia. My daddy rode a horse and so I’m bowlegged. Dad had sinus
trouble so I have a big nose. Grandma was ugly so I can’t get a date. How
foolish! How silly our view of life is!
My college mistreated me and that
is why I am a failure. I’m black and I have no opportunity. I’m a Yankee and I
have a speech impediment. George Washington Carver said, “I’d rather be a black
man in America than any other man in the entire world!” Everyone and anyone can
make it in America!
To say you are not succeeding in
life because you were abused, as a child, is idiocy. There is not a command in
the Scriptures that a child of God cannot obey. If you are not affectionate to
your husband it is not because of something that happened to you.
The sad thing is Christians have
fallen prey to this worldly view of accountant ability. Finger pointing is not
of God! It was in light of this reasoning that God said to mankind “The soul
that sinneth IT shall surely die!” If one fails in college it is that person’s
fault and not any one else. If one is expelled from college it is not the
college’s fault but the individuals fault. If you do not receive a degree from
college it is not the college’s fault. If you fail a course it is not the
college’s fault. If a preacher flops as a pastor it is not the church’s fault,
college’s fault, your wife’s fault, or the deacon’s fault.
The Jews sat there in Babylon and
said that they could not succeed because of their father’s sins. To be sure
their being in Babylon was caused by their fathers but their failures in
Babylon was their fault and not their father’s fault.
Look at what Daniel did while in
captivity? Look at the Hebrew children in their slavery? Look at Esther as a
slave in captivity? God is saying you may be in captivity because of your
fathers’ sin but if you don’t succeed in Babylon it is your own fault.
The inheritance of poverty and
suffering can be used to train a nobler character. The inheritance of
wickedness and sin can be used to show the results of sin and cause one to
avoid it. The inheritance of a ghetto can be used to challenge one to rise
above it all. A bad background can be a great blessing for each generation is
its own entity and will pay for its own sins or receive rewards for his own
efforts. Each individual is its own entity and will pay for his or her’s own
I’m saying I don’t care what your
background is you can succeed! If you fail just look in the mirror and point
your finger at yourself. It is your fault if you fail to succeed. It doesn’t
matter if it is a broken home, broken life, or a broken heart you can succeed.
Others have! If you can’t date, rate, or mate you can succeed. It doesn’t
matter if you are short of stature, short of manliness, or short of brains you
can succeed. If you had to dig, rake, and scrape to pass in school you can
succeed. It doesn’t matter if you are timid, shy and losing your battle with an
inferiority complex you can succeed.
If your mother was a prostitute
and you are destitute you can succeed. If your 5 foot 1 and weigh 95 pounds and
your weight is greater than your IQ you can still succeed. If you past is in
the gangland or your name is Mickey and you were born in Disneyland you can
succeed. If your face stops a clock and traffic at the same time you can
succeed. If your bicep is the size of a grape and your shape like a coke bottle
you can succeed. If you have a bowling ball for a head and your eyes stare at
each other you can still succeed. If you are tongue-tied, hair lipped, or worse
of all have the speech impediment of a Yankee accent you can still succeed. If
you have the neck like a giraffe, stomach like an elephant, legs like a
kangaroo, and feet like a duck you can still succeed.
If your father is Jerry Rueben
and your mother is Jane Fonda you can still succeed. If your father is the Pope
and your mother is Mother Theresa you can still succeed. If your father is
Dennis Rodman and your mother Liberace you can still succeed. If your father is
Bill Clinton and your mother only God knows who she is you can still succeed.
If your father’s a priest and your mother’s a nun you can still succeed. If
your father is Jerry Springer and your mother is Madeline O’Hare you can still
If your father wore the earrings
and your mother wore the pants you can still succeed. If your father was a wimp
and your mother was a pimp you can still succeed. If you are a paraplegic,
paranoid, or a paratrooper you can still succeed. If you are hyper, a sniper,
or a viper you can still succeed.
If your pastor is John McArthur,
assistant pastor is John Piper, youth director is Jessie Jackson, senior saint
pastor is Robert Schuler, choir director is Tammy Faye Bakker, the head of the
jail ministry is Jim Bakker, bus director is Norman Vincent Peale, college
president Arlon Horton, and head of student affairs Jimmy Swaggert you can
still succeed.
If you were called to preach in
the ABC, licensed to preach in the SBC, ordained by NBC, commissioned by the
NAACP, and sent out by the KKK you can still succeed. If you were molested,
detested, or arrested you can still succeed. If you were beaten by your parents
and hated by your teachers you can still succeed. If your dad was an alcoholic,
you were abused, refused, used, unused, misused, diffused, and confused you can
still succeed. If your parents were divorced and foster parents raised you, you
can still succeed.
If you are bowlegged, knot kneed,
pigeon toed, cock eyed, hump backed, hard of hearing, crippled, lame, bald,
stooped, drooped, forsaken, forgotten, forlorned, and color blind you can still
If your mom was destitute,
restitute, or a prostitute you can still succeed. If you are epileptic,
dyslectic, anorexic, peptic, or septic you can still succeed. If you are
freckled, dimpled, or rumpled you can still succeed. If you have amnesia,
anesthesia or mild of magnesia you can still succeed. If you have bursitis,
neuritis, appendicitis, arthritis, aids, band-aids, or lemonade you can still
succeed. If you are white, black, red, yellow, maroon, green, blue, chartreuse,
pink, lavender, baize, or gold you can still succeed. If you are Italian,
Romanian, Hungarian, or caesarean you can still succeed. If you are Polish,
English, childish, German, chink, Mexican, gringo, bingo, or albino you can
If you are 4 foot 7 or 7 foot 4
you can still succeed. If you have been to Michigan State, Indiana State,
Illinois State, Penn State, or the state pen you can still succeed. If you have
been to MIT, TCU, SMU, MSU, BYU, or phooey on you, you can still succeed. If
you have no MD, BD, LID, PHD, Hum. D, DOT, or BVD’s you can still succeed.
Shame on America for finger
pointing! My goal in this is to strip every excuse away from ourselves
for being a flop and a failure with the exception of you have not done what is
necessary to succeed. Rise above it parents! Rise above it children!
Read Psalm chapter one and you
will discover it says nothing about ones background, mother, dad, Sunday school
teacher, Christian school, Christian college, Youth Director, or Pastor.

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