God Owns The Lives Of Our Children, And Does Not Punish Our Children For Our Sins

Fourth, we can be assured that God saves infant children because He owns our children, not us, and that God will not punish our children for our sins. In the Bible, God clearly makes a claim of ownership over each of our lives and the lives of our children. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1. In the book of Job, we read that God told Job, “Everything under heaven belongs to me.” Job 41.11. If God claims ownership over our children, would not God dictate the eternal destination of His children?

Indeed, scripture consistently points out that God’s ownership of, and provision for, infants and young children is in no manner impacted by who the parents are and what type of relationship these parents have with God. We are told unequivocally that God does not punish children for the sins of their parents. “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.

The Old Testament includes several examples where God’s actions clearly demonstrate that he will not punish a child for the sins of his or her parents.

Deuteronomy: In the book of Deuteronomy, we find the people of Israel living in disobedience to God. Israel had become obstinate in their refusal to enter the Promised Land as per God’s instructions. In his anger against Israel for its disobedience, God promised that none of the adults who were then living would ever enter the Promised Land. But God specifically notes that the same punishment imposed on the disbelieving generation would not be imposed upon subsequent generations. God said, “And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.” Deuteronomy 1:35, 39. In that particular instance, God does not punish the younger generations of Israelites, those who “have no knowledge of good or evil,” for the unbelief of their parents. Indeed, we are told that once the older generations died, the next generation did enter the Promised Land, and received God’s blessing.

Jonah: In the book of Jonah, God had mercy on the infants of Ninevah, even though God had considered the evil in the city to be very great. We are told that God saved Ninevah because of the 120,000 infants living in the city at the time who “did not know their right hand from their left.” Jonah 4:11.

Ezekiel: In the book of Ezekiel, God speaks through the prophet Ezekiel to speak out against Israel. At that time in its history, the nation of Israel had forsaken its relationship with God and had resorted to such detestable practices as idol worship and child sacrifice. The prophet states, “…And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols….You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols…” Ezekiel 16:20-22. God claims ownership of all children, not just the children who live in obedience to Him. The children who died as a result of their parents sacrifice to idols were called “my children” by God. In His mercy and justice, God did not punish the infants and young children for the disobedience of their parents.

In each of these examples, God did not punish the infant children for the sins of the parents. Instead, God claimed ownership of these children, in spite of the disobedience of the parents. We can therefore rest in the assurance that because of God’s ownership of all of our children, He will indeed save them for all eternity.

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