‘You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’.
It’s an interesting quote and has been quoted many times. There is truth to this statement. Our connection and influence of family is deeper than perhaps we like sometimes. Take Mother’s Day for example. How you react to it, could be depending on how things were or are with your Mum? Sometimes we can blame our families for picking up bad habits, or perhaps we have had tragic experiences. However, we are responsible in how we respond to the good and bad things we inherit from our families.
In Ezekiel 18, the Jewish Exiles made the excuse of blaming their ancestors for their current circumstances of exile, punishment, and God’s judgment. They are right to blame them, but they have a responsibility in how they will live differently. As the Jews were in Exile, God sent prophets like Ezekiel to remind the people of the covenant relationship, and to return to God. However, the people were blaming others for their sins, and taking no accountability or responsibility. That is why Ezekiel often says: ‘The one who sins is the one who will die’. Ezekiel 18:4.
Sometimes we can make excuses for our sin, like – ‘I didn’t have a great family’, or perhaps you may think you’re not such a bad person – ‘I’ve never murdered anyone’. But Jesus makes it clear that when we die, we will face God’s judgement. We will have to give an account and be held responsible for our decisions. The great hope is that we have Jesus, our great Mediator that saves us and gives us new life. But we have to repent, believe and live the righteous life.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18.