Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God. Ezekiel 14:14 (NKJV)
Sometimes the books of the Old Testament prophets can be long and difficult to read, with much prophecy and destruction, because God’s people kept turning away from Him. But there are still good verses tucked in there to exhort and encourage us in our walk with God.
The verse above from Ezekiel 14:14 was one of these that caught my eye. When we read, “Noah, Daniel and Job,” we feel connected, since most of us have heard their stories: Noah’s Arc, Daniel and the Lions, The Patience of Job. The following verses remind us of each one.
…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9 (NKJV)
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel 6:10 (NKJV)
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1 (NKJV)
A just man who walked with God, a man of prayer, a blameless and upright man…These are all great Bible heroes, strong in their faith. So, what does Ezekiel 14:14 tell us? It says that even if those three faithful men were there, they would only save themselves and no one else from God’s impending destruction.
What does this mean for us? John McCarthur says in his notes on Ezekiel 14:14, “one man’s righteousness is no protection for another.” (MacArthur, 1997) We can’t take comfort that we live in a country founded under God, or that our neighbor attends church, or that our grandmother prayed for us. We must make the decision for ourselves, confess Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raise Him from the dead, and we will be saved (Romans 10:9).
Even if we hangout with our pastor’s family or Bible study leader, though these are very good things to do, we won’t be delivered. We must “hang out” with the King of kings, the Savior of our souls, God’s only Son who gave His life for our sins on the Cross, pouring out His blood to wash us clean. We must be friends with Jesus.
Today’s TEA CUPP: Be friends with Jesus. Have TEA with Him each day, reading His Word, the Bible, pouring out your heart to Him in prayer. As you begin this new year, ask God to help you walk with Him each day as did Noah, Daniel, Job, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Ruth, and so many others Bible heroes.
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:23-24 (NKJV)
MacArthur, J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. (p. 1168)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Many thanks to my Discipleland Sunday school curriculum for the Bible hero pictures I enjoy each week in our classroom!