This message will take you back in time, to a time when your parents were children.
Grapes have always been one of my favorite fruits. I especially prefer the red seedless variety and often add them to enhance a chicken salad or fruit salad recipe. However, I’ve never been fond of sour grapes and if you’ve ever bitten into one you know how acidic they can be. The scripture below is a comparison of sour grapes and sin.
The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel and said. “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?” As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child–both alike belong to me. The one who SINS is the one who will die.” Ezekiel 18:1-5 NIV.
What HaShem is saying here is, He is not going to pass the parent’s sins down on their children. If the children are righteous, they will live, if the parents are wicked, they will die. But if the parents are righteous, they will live, and if the children are wicked, they will die. Their children were born in Babylon. After the exile, the children of Israel were taken to a foreign land, and they had children there. My generation has had children in Babylon.
My mother and father’s generation are dying off. That generation is in their late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s now. They are a passing breed. They were born before the baby boomers in the late 30’s. This group of men and women worked hard. They worked hard as children and they worked even harder as adults. They didn’t back talk or expect things from their parents. They were mostly farmers and factory workers, but a few were educated. My father had one pair of overalls for school and one pair of shoes. My dad’s lunch pail had a biscuit in it and if he were really lucky, a piece of ham or sausage. Ignorant to unclean meats maybe so, but he was thankful. He walked to school, yes miles, as in plural. He didn’t complain. My mother walked too, they made their way to a one-room school house and they prayed and they read His Word, and then they were taught.
If the children were bad, they were taken outside, and they got a switch for misbehaving or a ruler swat. None of the parents thought it was wrong, they went by Hashem’s Word; “Whoever spares the rod HATES their children, but the one who LOVES their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24. Today parents are thought cruel or are even arrested for trying to discipline their children.
Teachers didn’t sleep with their pupils back then, they taught them. Pupils didn’t come in with guns and murder their teachers and classmates. No, it was a different time. A time when you said, “Yes Sir” and “No Ma’am.” It was a time when you found out Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor over the radio.
At night, the children gathered around that radio, and they listened to the Old Gospel Hour. Parents didn’t have to worry about them listening to songs with cursing or sexual content, it didn’t exist…television was not screened, it was clean and mostly religious programming. Now, many families gather around and watch mostly filth. If the shows not filthy, then the commercials are. Idols are everywhere in Babylon.
My father worked the same job all his life. He had the same wife, and we were drug to “church” every time the doors were opened. We had prayer every night for our meals at the dinner table at five o’clock, and sometimes we had Bible study before bed. Every night at seven o’clock sharp, my father excused himself, and went to his room for an hour to be with the Father. I remember this about my dad. It stuck with me.
How sour have our grapes gotten? Because each generation has become more wicked. The word for wicked in Hebrew is a word that basically means to not work in the divine order it was created in. I can’t get everlasting life holding on to the back of my father’s coat tails. All the prayers he has said and all the works he has done for the Father, like missionary work in Ecuador and Mexico only count for him. Being a deacon and Elder, praying over the sick and teaching the youth, Those are his works.
He does ministry at nursing homes, and at hospitals. Yes, those are his works, and faith without WORKS is DEAD.
God said, “Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right… He does not oppress anyone but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. He does not lend to them at interest or take a profit from them. He withholds his hand from doing wrong and judges fairly between two parties. He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD! EZEKIEL 18:1, 7-9.
“Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination, he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.” EZEKIEL 18:10-13 NASB.
Yes, now we are under the blood, the blood of one spotless lamb, Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah. However, we will still be judged by our works. Read below:
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.’ Revelations 2:2-5 NASB.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV. Everlasting is a long time.
It’s time to spit out the sour grapes. Just know that our parents may have been highly moral and God fearing people, but if we aren’t, He says it’s appointed once for man to die and then the judgment. My mom lived her life– she had her days in the sun. She traveled and she enjoyed some life here on earth, but she died in 2012. We all will taste death. I pray you begin to ask yourself if you died today would you be found worthy. Your parents might, but what about you? Don’t let this moment pass you by, call on HIM. Turn around and start going in the direction and path of His Commandments–His Torah.
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” Revelations 20:12.
Photography by Andrew Yisrael