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August 18th - On Children's Choices

On Children’s Choices

(Ezekiel 15:1-8; 16:1-63; 17:1-24:18:1-32)

The Time Out Chair

Photographer Unknown

Today's Bible readings contain tons of truth, while evoking many potential questions. First, the Lord gave the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel two allegories to teach about the unfaithfulness of His people.

Judah’s Judgment

First, God described a useless vine, which produced no fruit or solid wood for any purpose. He likened this to the people of Judah, pursuing their own interests, rather than looking to the Lord.

Next, Jehovah likened Judah to an unfaithful wife, who offered her private treasures to outsiders, even as a prostitute might peddle her lost purity.

Through Ezekiel, the Lord pronounced prophetic judgment upon His people, warning them to repent. Surely, the children of God might return to the Father’s care, if they would but look to Him and turn from the pagan practices and worldly living of the nations around them.

Sodom’s Sinfulness

Next, God described the neighboring people of Sodom as arrogant, appetite-led and apathetic. Ouch! Might these adjectives apply to modern culture? Could these descriptions pertain even to us at times?

Owning Accountability

Finally, the Lord delineated the individual responsibility of each human heart to repent from sin and live in His light.

This passage may seem puzzling, when compared to other Scriptures, in which generational sin and ancestral accountability may be described. How might we resolve the difference, as we look at Bible verses like this one?

“The soul who sins is the one who will die.

The son will not share the guilt of the father,

nor will the father share the guilt of the son.

The righteousness of the righteous man

will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked

will be charged against him.”

(Ezekiel 18:20, NIV)

This passage may offer both peace and panic to parents. Doesn't it sound as if God holds each individual responsible for his or her own decisions? What freedom might we gain, if we will claim this truth?

Of course, God promises to hear and answer faithful prayer, and parents can be quite earnest at interceding for children. Doesn’t God desire the safety and salvation of our kids? Absolutely, He does.

On the other hand, don’t our children (and teens) possess the same free will that we do? Aren’t the hearts that beat within them simply human hearts? Don’t they hold the same ability to make poor (or good) decisions that we do?

What responsibility do we hold for the choices of our children? What lasting legacy can we build, if no guarantees exist that our children will follow the faith we hold?

May God guide us, as we pray for the hearts and souls of those we love.

God, Claim My Kids for Your Glory

Photo c2009 by Nickers and Ink

Will you pray with me?

Father of Fathers,

Unless You draw us,

None of us can come to You.

Tug at our hearts,

To pull us closer to Your own.

Place Your pull

Upon the hearts

Of our children,

So that they will desire

More of You

Above all else.

Hold our children,

Even when we cannot.

Make us faithful,

As we plead in prayer

For those we love

For Your glory.


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