The righteousness of the righteous shall not save them when they transgress; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, it shall not make them stumble when they turn from their wickedness. Ezekiel 33: 12
Israel had heard and experienced firsthand, the wrath of God against them for their sinfulness. They had been warned by the prophet and had been experienced the destruction of Jerusalem as prophesied. Their hearts were heavy with despair and they lived in doubt that there would ever be a moment of reprieve for them. They were receiving what they deserved according to the word of the Lord through his servant. The servant’s message was no longer one of despair however but one of hope. "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?' Ez. 33: 11. The way out for Israel, the deliverance they sought, was available to those who repented of their sins. God’s desire was not for their destruction but that they would choose to turn to God and find new life.