Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness

Just before the death of actor W. C. Fields, a friend visited Fields’ hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. Asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, “I’m looking for loopholes.” (Source Unknown). … More

Judgment

Noah, Daniel and Job were great men in Israel’s history who were known for their wisdom and relationships with God (v. 14). However, even these great men of God could not have saved the people of Judah because He had already passed judgement on the nation’s pervasive evil. The three men mentioned here, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were righteous, not by virtue of their own deeds, but by virtue of the imputed righteousness of God (vv. 16-20). The remnant mentioned were not righteous individuals, but characterized the gross idolatry that prevailed in Jerusalem (v. 22). When these are brought to Babylon, the exiles already there realized the justice of God in bringing His fourfold judgment upon Jerusalem (v. 21).

The four judgements are specified as follows:

  1. War - “Or if I bring a sword on that land” (v.17). God often chastises sinful nations by bringing a sword upon them, the sword of a foreign enemy. It is bad enough if the sword do but enter into the borders of a land, but much worse when it goes through the land.
  2. Famine  -  “I will cut off its supply of bread” (v. 13). He cuts off man and beast by cutting off the provisions which nature makes for both. God cuts off its supply of bread, when, though we have bread, yet we are not been nourished and strengthened by it (Hag. 1:6).
  3. Wild Beasts - “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they empty it” (v. 15). It seems that these beasts, either ravenous or poisonous, were not only preying upon their flocks and herds, but  devouring men, women, and children.
  4. Pestilence - “Or if I send a pestilence” (v. 21). A dreadful disease, which has sometimes depopulated cities; kills as effectually as if the blood were shed by the sword.

Application

From this passage of Scripture we can see how God has many ways of fighting sin. I am glad that my sin has been judged once for all, and I do not have to fall into the hands of an angry and just God.

Ezekiel 14:12-23 (English Standard Version)

And the word of the LORD came to me: "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. "If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. "Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered. "Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness. "For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord GOD."

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