“Son of man, when a land sins against me…even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness” (Ezekiel 14:13-14).
Have you ever had something happen to you and wondered why the Lord allowed it? Think about this for a moment. Your desire is to serve the Lord. You read scripture, attend church, and try to reach out to others about Jesus. Yet, sometimes, bad things happen. You ask the Lord, “Is this how you treat your servants?”
Consider what today’s passage tells us. Our righteousness, that is, how we live for the Lord, our practical righteousness, cannot save or prevent bad things from happening, much less save anyone else. Four times in Ezekiel 14 the Lord uses this phrase, “They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.”
Thank God that we have something, someone, different. Jesus Christ is our righteousness. “You have been washed, you have been made holy, you have been given righteousness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 6:11). He has imputed to us his perfect righteousness. He has saved us. Only he can deliver us from our sin.
This does not mean that we should not try so hard to live a godly life. It simply acknowledges that our efforts at living for the Lord can only go so far. And while only the righteousness of Christ can deliver us from our sin, God still honors us for wanting to live a godly life. Consider that though these men, Noah, Daniel, and Job could not deliver others, the Lord still honored them for a life well-lived.
“You have been washed, you have been made holy, you have been given righteousness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 6:11).
Do you live a life of righteousness in Jesus Christ? Do you expect God to deliver you from every trouble just because you live for him? Remember that Jesus, whose righteousness does deliver, was not shielded from bad things. If this is how it was with Jesus, how much more with us. Determine to live for Christ no matter what happens to you.