No one lives in isolation. Christians are members of Christ’s body. Disciples are God’s family. What one does affects others.
So it was among the people of Israel. Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 B.C., because of the accumulation of the people’s sins over centuries. It did not happen suddenly. So this is why Asaph asks God:
Do not hold us accountable for the sins of earlier generations!
Quickly send your compassion our way,
for we are in serious trouble!
Psalm 79.8 NET
Sin has cumulative effects. Without denying the truth of Ezekiel 18, we ought to recognize that sin hurts not only the one who commits it, but many around him and many who come after.
The above verse is a prayer for mercy and pardon. The author shows his repentance and declares that he has learned his lesson through the punishment God has sent. He recognizes that they are in exile for being a part of a sad and rebellious history. He seeks now to become a recipient of God’s goodness.
As a brotherhood and as a congregation, we are part of a history, not all of it positive nor honorable. May we ask God to treat us with justice and mercy, seeking to recognize whence we came and what we need to do today to please the Lord in all things.