Sunday – July 12, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – July 12, 2015 Download / Print
Ezekiel 14 verse 19 & 20
“Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”
But maybe you’re thinking, “Does God have favorites? I thought that He received everyone equally.” The answer is, God may not have favorites, but He does have intimates. Some people have connections with God in a way that others do not. When they pray, God listens. In at least two Scriptures, God acknowledges that certain men had special influence with Him. In Jeremiah 15:1 , God tells the prophet that even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Him, His heart would not be with this people, so great is their sin. The implication is that these two men normally had special influence, although in this case, even they would not prevail. This week we will look at Ezekiel 14, where God tells Ezekiel that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were to pray for this people, He would not grant deliverance, except to these men alone
That’s the context of Ezekiel 14. The city of Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed, but it now was inevitable because God had determined that it must be judged as a testimony of His separation from His people’s sin. God had graciously warned them over and over for centuries. But finally they had crossed the line. Now, not even the prayers of righteous Noah, Daniel, or Job could prevail.
We make a serious mistake if we think that God’s patience has no limit. His grace is great. His patience goes much farther than human patience ever could go. But there is a limit. There’s a limit nationally, when God as sovereign says, “That’s enough!” He told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved in another land for 400 years and then they would return to the land of Canaan. Then God added, “for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). God was patient with the immoral Canaanites for more than 400 years, but then He said, “That’s enough!” and commanded Israel to destroy them in judgment. Nations, like ours, that turn from the knowledge of God are presuming on His grace.
Also, there is a limit to God’s patience personally. If we have not responded to His grace, we face that limit at death, which can strike at any moment. But, also, it can come when a person repeatedly hardens his heart against God. He crosses a line where he is so confirmed in sin that even the prayers of the righteous for his salvation will not prevail. We never know for sure when that line is crossed. We know that God is both just and merciful. But the fact that the line exists ought to make us tremble at the thought of continuing in our sinful ways. “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6)