“Even though these three men,
Noah, Daniel, and Job,
were in its midst,
by their own righteousness
they could only deliver themselves,”
declares the Lord God.
While reading through God’s judgment in Ezekiel, I came across chapter 14, where God calls out three men, maybe the “top three” in Israel’s history, as an example of righteousness, explaining that if they were around, even they couldn’t rescue Israel from the judgment to come, and my heart cried out,
“Oh God, I want to be in your top three!”
But my conscience tells me, there’s no way. I know my heart, my sin, my evil thoughts and faithless prayer life, not to mention the stuff I don’t even know about myself as I live a self-deceived life. So I journaled about my failures.
But then, as I was reading something else, it hit me – though these 3 men, by their own righteousness, could not even save their own son or daughter, Jesus can!
And I pulled my journal back out, and my prayers of disgust at myself turned to prayers of thankfulness for what Jesus has done. By His righteousness, my sins are forgiven, wiped away, clean! That condemnation that I can pour on myself has been removed. Because of Jesus, God is FOR me, helping me, cheering me on, correcting me when I’m wrong, and guiding my path.
Whether I’m in the top three or top three million, I’m covered in the righteousness of Christ. I’m filled with hope and not despair. I may still be a sinner, but I have a new heart, and God’s renewing it, little by little. I can embrace that grace, and then pour it out on the people around me.
Noah. Daniel. Job. They couldn’t.
But Jesus can.