ISSL Reflections – May 23, 2021 – Ezekiel 18:1-9, 30-32 Post 1

This week we turn to Ezekial’s words that at once can be heard as a challenge and as a path opening to renewal of God’s covenant with the people.

As you read this passage pay attention to not only what you read but notice what stops you. Where do you find yourself pausing and rereading? What words stand out to you above the rest?

Ezekiel 18:1-9

The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.

If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully—such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 18:30-32

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.

What held your attention in Ezekiel’s words?

Allow me a moment to show you something I noticed.

… As I live, says the Lord God … (18:3)

… Know that all lives are mine … (18:4)

… If a man is righteous and …. he shall surely live (18:5, 9)

… Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live. (18:31-32)

It seems to me the call to life and the promise of life run throughout Ezekiel’s words.

Do you see that as a theme in this passage?

What do you notice that calls us to life and sustains that life with God?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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