God’s Renewing Word of Peace and Justice
Ezekiel 18:21-32: Today’s reading continues the discussion from yesterday (Ezekiel 18:1-20) and emphasizes returning to God and receiving forgiveness.
21 “If someone evil stops sinning and keeps my laws, if he does what is right and good, he will not die; he will certainly live. 22 All his sins will be forgiven, and he will live, because he did what is right. 23 Do you think I enjoy seeing evil people die?” asks the Sovereign Lord. “No, I would rather see them repent and live.
24 “But if a righteous person stops doing good and starts doing all the evil, disgusting things that evil people do, will he go on living? No! None of the good he did will be remembered. He will die because of his unfaithfulness and his sins.
25 “But you say, ‘What the Lord does isn’t right.’ Listen to me, you Israelites. Do you think my way of doing things isn’t right? It is your way that isn’t right. 26 When a righteous person stops doing good and starts doing evil and then dies, he dies because of the evil he has done. 27 When someone evil stops sinning and does what is right and good, he saves his life. 28 He realizes what he is doing and stops sinning, so he will certainly not die, but go on living. 29 And you Israelites say, ‘What the Lord does isn’t right.’ You think my way isn’t right, do you? It is your way that isn’t right.
30 “Now I, the Sovereign Lord, am telling you Israelites that I will judge each of you by what you have done. Turn away from all the evil you are doing, and don’t let your sin destroy you. 31 Give up all the evil you have been doing, and get yourselves new minds and hearts. Why do you Israelites want to die? 32 I do not want anyone to die,” says the Sovereign Lord. “Turn away from your sins and live.”
Today’s Key Verse: Ezekiel 18:30b
[The Sovereign LORD said:] “Turn away from all the evil you are doing, and don’t let your sin destroy you.”
In what way does today’s reading speak about individual and moral responsibility? What does today’s reading teach you about God?
Righteous and Sovereign God, you keep open the door for returning to you, repenting of my sin and receiving your forgiveness. Thank you for giving me the gift of a new mind and heart and for your mercy and grace. Amen.
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Ezekiel 34:1-10: Israel’s leaders are denounced.