Here’s an interesting passage I preached out of a couple of weeks ago…
In Ezekiel chapter 14, the Lord speaks through His prophet Ezekiel a message to His people. In verses 12-14, Ezekiel, speaking for God says, “The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.”
The next 6 verses of Ezekiel describe more of the same. Basically, when God gets ready to do something to Jerusalem, for their unfaithfulness to Him, it’s going to be worse than these examples, and not even the presence of Noah, Daniel and Job would stay God’s hand. Only those three men would be spared.
The scripture notes their righteousness as the cause of their salvation from these judgements from God, but my question is, why these three men? God uses these same three men each time over a course of different judgement examples.
Where is Moses on this list, the savior of God’s people from Egypt? He would have been a great example. How about Abraham, a man the Bible calls the God’s friend, he was certainly righteous in God’s eyes. Joseph is another candidate for the list. No one in the Old Testament was more a type of Christ than Joseph. In fact, the Bible does not record any sins committed by Joseph, but he’s not on the list. The list could go on and on… Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, Samuel, David (a man after God’s own heart), Elijah, Jeremiah???
There has to be something that links these men together, something that sets them apart for this example, something that we can identify as the quality that cause God, speaking through Ezekiel, to use these three men as the lone survivors of God’s wrath in His example to His people.
Faithfulness. I believe the answer is faithfulness. In there own way, each of these men proved their faithfulness to God in the face of varied and difficult circumstances.
Noah faced the test of futility. He proved faithful, even when he wasn’t sure the rains would ever come or this huge ship he built on dry ground would ever have a chance to float. He probably looked like a fool to those around him, but he didn’t waiver.
Daniel showed his faithfulness to God at the King’s table. He refused to eat things that he believed he shouldn’t eat, and the rest is history. You could say that the test he faced was the temptation to lower his standards.
You might think that God put Daniel on this list because he showed himself to be faithful to God in the lion’s den. The only problem with that, is that when God spoke this statement about Noah, Daniel and Job, it was years before Daniel would have to face the lions… His stand at the king’s table proved the faithfulness of his heart to God, well before Daniel had to face the lion’s den.
Job’s great test was the test of suffering. The Bible says that satan reached out and touched everything Job had. He killed his family and servants, flocks and herds. All was lost. His wife even told him, “Why don’t you just curse God, and when you’re done giving God a good cursing, why don’t you just die?”
Job looked it all over and said, “I was naked when I cae into this world, I’ll be naked when I go out, the Lord gives and takes away… blessed be the name of the Lord.”
When I see something in the Bible that shows me the likes/dislikes of God, I like to pick up on those cues and see where I can be more pleasing to Him. I think He was very pleased with the faithfulness of these 3 men, and they are company that I would not mind keeping!