First Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-20
“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever
you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to
the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the
wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his
blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way,
and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will
have delivered your soul.
Why Will You Die, Israel?: “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus
have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away
because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord
God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his
way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O
house of Israel?
“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous
shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked,
he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not
be able to live by his righteousness when he sins. Though I say to the righteous that
he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of
his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he
shall die. Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns
from his sin and does what is just and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives
back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing
injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the sins that he has
committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he
shall surely live.
“Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own
way that is not just. When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does
injustice, he shall die for it. And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and
does what is just and right, he shall live by this. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord
is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.