Year 3 Day 129
Read - Ezekiel 14:12-23
Message - Alan Burke
There are three names mentioned in these verses that I want us to focus on and then think about the reason why they are mentioned. The first Noah, we all grew up learning about Noah every time we see a Rainbow in the sky we think of the promises of God. It all came about because of God’s judgement on the earth because of the wickedness of man but there was one that found favour in the eyes of the Lord and that was Noah. He was a righteous man and blameless among those of his generation (Gen. 6:9), yet the world was not spared because of his presence, the world still faced judgement the flood came. Then we have Job, remember him? Job was a blameless and upright man but this did not mean that his family were spared or his possessions, we learn how he lost everything (Job 1:1-2:10). Finally Daniel, the prophet who had been exiled some time before Ezekiel and by Ezekiel’s time his reputation as a wise and righteous man had spread. He was an example of righteousness in the midst of unrighteousness. Daniel stood against idolatry even in exile.
Well these elders had come, “seeking” (v1) the Lord as it suited them as such and the word of the Lord comes once more, it makes the point that nothing will be able to save God’s people because of their past faithlessness. The Lord would stretch out His hand against it, just as He had stretched out His hand against the Egyptians (Ex 3:20), He would stretch his hand against His own people. There are different examples given, first famine in v12, wild beasts v15, sword or war v17, plague v19, all are mentioned in v21 for this is what His people would face at the hand of the Babylonians. Even if Noah, Daniel and Job were among them God would not relent in bringing his judgment.
Each one of these men were outstanding examples of righteousness, their lives were set apart, they lived for God, but even their presence, the presence of those who love the Lord, godly men and women in a society will not alone deter the deserving judgment that was coming here. This judgment on the people in Ezekiel’s day is coming, the Lord said three times in these closing verses “as surely as I live, as surely as I live, as surely as I live declares the sovereign Lord”. When this is uses in the OT as God lives, as the Lord lives it is used to speak to how the Lord will keep his word, his oath, He will act, unlike the gods of the nations around, the false gods the people worshiped in their idolatry who were thought to die rise or see, the Lord though is not like the false gods, their idols, He is aways watching and working on behalf of his people (Ps 121:3-5; Josh 3:10; 1 Sam 17:26; Jer 1:12; 10:3-16; Dan 6:20-26).
Notice in v16, how these men could not save their own sons or daughters, referring to them all but think of Job, then in 18 again it is repeated. It is these men alone that would be saved, not their family, they couldn’t save their offspring. And none of us can save our sons and daughters, our family or friends, none of us can change the heart. We are tasked with training up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6) but we can all testify to how that hasn’t gone the way we would have wanted. We are reliant on the Lord himself to work in the hearts of our children and those whom we love, that they may have salvation. For parents of young children, pray with them, read with them, bring them to worship and do all you can as they have been engaged to the Lord at baptism as they have had the sign and seal placed upon them that they will trust in Him. Look down to verse 20, for it is the first time that these mens children are mentioned of being saved and it is by their righteousness, it is by a personal faith, it is not by outward appearances it is by a heart that has been transformed, for it is by grace we are saved, through faith—and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).
Q12 What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
When God had created man, he entered into a (covenant of life) with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death. (Gal. 3:12, Gen. 2:17)