In Ezekiel 14: 14, 18 God said that even if NOAH, DANIEL and JOB were in the country, they would have only saved themselves by their righteousness. He would still stretch out his hand. He said if the three men were in the country, they would not save their daughters and sons. They will only save themselves. Good day Prof. oakes,I am a dsciple from the campus ministry ICOC Nigeria, Lagos. I’ve been studying Ezekiel for a while and my question goes thus: Ezekiel 22: 30 God looked for a man who will build up a wall and stand before him in the gap on behalf of the land so that he would not destroy it. God found none.
Both scriptures clearly established the fact that there isn’t any righteous person worthy enough to make God withhold his wrath. WHAT ABOUT PROPHET EZEKIEL? WASN’T HE RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH TO STAND THE GAP?
What God is telling his people in Ezekiel 14:14 is that his “mind” is made up and that judgment is inevitable. Up until Ezekiel 10, when God abandoned the temple, it was possible that if enough of Israel had repented of their sins, God would not have brought on them the judgment he had already prophesied through Ezekiel and Jeremiah. There are many examples of God prophesying or announcing judgment, but holding out the possibility of the judgment being avoided by repentance. Perhaps the most famous example is judgment on Nineveh as pronounced by God to Jonah which was avoided through the repentance of the Ninevites. However, with God it is possible for a nation to reach a point of no return, when no amount of repentance is possible or sufficient to prevent God’s judgment falling on a people. Such is clearly the case in Ezekiel Ch 14, as exemplified by his statement about Daniel, Job and Noah.
I believe that the same is true of individuals as on peoples. For us as individuals, God has warned us of coming judgment, but he holds out the possibility of us repenting and having his “prophesied” judgment on us not come to pass. If we repent and are baptized, we will be forgiven and we will avoid hell. However, it is possible for us to reach a point of such degradation, that it is literally impossible any longer for us to repent. This possibility is suggested in Hebrews 6:4-8.
So, my answer is that if Noah, Daniel and Job would not have been righteous enough for Judah to avoid the coming devastation, then neither would Ezekiel have been righteous enough for them to avoid the judgment. By the time reach Ezekiel 14, judgment is inevitable. God had already reached the point of no return. Of course, once God judged his people, then, when his wrath was completed, he came back to his people and returned to blessing them. The prediction of the restoration of Israel is the subject of Ezekiel Ch 34-48. This is encouraging material. As prophesied in Ezekiel, God brought them back to the land. This was prophesied in Jeremiah 29:10-14 as well and was fulfilled in 538 BC when Cyrus conquered Babylon and sent the Jews back to restore the temple.
I have done a series of lessons on Ezekiel which explains all of this. The power point and notes are at the web site in the power point section of the site. Actually, I am attaching the Ezekiel notes. Prophets of the Exile