Ezekiel 18:2-4 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. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine…
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. The 21st century entitlement generation is not new. Nearly 2600 years ago, Judah experienced a similar phenomenon. They believed that government owed them, not health care, housing, or fat pensions, but protection and ease. The ruler of theocratic Israel was God, and they were His covenant people. God promised Israel Deuteronomy 11:27-28 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. In Joshua 1:8 He reminded Joshua: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Israel had received promises that were positive and negative. These promises were conditioned by their obedience to God’s laws. In other words, God made them personally responsible to walk with Him in obedience to His laws where blessings abounded, or He would be forced to judge the nation. God removed the Canaanites from the land in severe judgment for their wicked practices around 800 years before these events. Just a note, the same evil practices found in Canaan can be found in 21st century America.
Israel’s critical problem was their view of God, self, and justice. Israel believed that God owed them safety and ease, and when they had disregarded His laws, that God viewed their sins more severely then their predecessors in the land. Israel had sinned against far more knowledge than the Canaanites, and had passionately pursued idolatry and immorality when they had received abundant blessing from God. Israel believed their suffering demonstrated God’s unjust wrath. Israel failed to see God’s perspective. Jeremiah’s reflection on God’s justice is Lamentations 3: It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Rather than seeing God’s judgment as just and consistent with His promises to His covenant people, Judah was blind to their own sin, and accused God of being unjust. We must recognize that Judah’s thinking is all too prevalent in our lives and those around us.
- We tend to soften the seriousness of our sin.
- We tend to be inconsistent in our view of justice.
- We tend to forget our sins and remember the sins of others.
- We tend to excuse rather than take personal responsibility for our sins.
- We fail to see that our blessings and continued existence are not the result of our goodness, but of the mercies and grace of God.
- We forget that God sees all when our perspective is severely limited.
- We tend to arrogantly view God as unjust when we should humbly thank Him for His goodness.
- We tend to view God as our equal not our creator.
- We tend to view things in the present without factoring the past and the future.
- We tend to indulge in sin but disregard the consequences it brings.
We must daily battle the drift of unbiblical thinking. The degree of drift is revealed in the trial of life. What do your trials reveal about the degree your thinking has drifted? The unsaved view God as a bully, tyrant, or business partner. Sadly, many believers drift into the same thinking patterns. I challenge you to view God, self, and justice biblically.