Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.
This is a pretty fascinating motif I've never picked up in Ezekiel or really the Bible before. God sends the prophet Ezekiel to go speak with the leaders of Israel. He is pronouncing a fourfold judgment on them for "their idols in their hearts" (v. 3). So famine, sword, beasts, and plague are coming in hot. And God tells these leaders that even if they were three of the most righteous men who ever lived; Noah, Daniel, and Job, they would only be able to save themselves. It would not save the rest of the people because they are alone in their righteousness.
I couldn't help but think about how this idea finds fulfilment in such a greater way in Jesus. He also lived in a land of idols. But, instead of judgment being sent towards the people, it gets sent on Jesus. He absorbs the judgment of God on the cross. what's more interesting is this happens in the reverse of Ezekiel. The righteous were spared when God pronounced judgment on Israel. Only they were spared. Also, these leaders in Israel weren't even righteous men. Ezekiel says, IF you were one of the most righteous then only you would be spared. But they aren't. And so judgment comes. But it's the opposite with Jesus. Jesus is the only righteous one; more than David, Job, and Daniel. And yet he's the only one that receives God's judgment. And he takes his righteousness and he gives it to those who don't deserve it. He offers it freely to all who trust in him and not themselves. And in this, they are saved. Only the true Son of Man, Jesus Christ, was willing, able, and capable of such an amazing work.
Prayer: God, thank you for the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Remind me of this beautiful good news today. May it spur me on in transformation and ministry.
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