Noah, Daniel & Job

Of all the great examples of faith in the Bible, no three men strike a more imposing image of faithfulness than Noah, Daniel and Job. The wickedness of the world of Noah was so great the Creator chose to destroy all mankind. Noah and his family were the only ones saved from the flood (Genesis 6-9). He was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5) who walked with God and obeyed the warnings saving his household (Hebrews 11:7).

Daniel is the character of Babylonian and Persian heroism who defied the king to serve the one true God. He was faced with the challenge of the king’s delicacies and won the victory through his trust in God (Daniel 1). Death faced him in the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and again the Lord delivered him (Daniel 2). Later Daniel was cast into a den of lions for doing what he had always done since early childhood and the angel of the Lord closed the mouths of the beasts to save the aged man of God (Daniel 9)

Who can think of suffering and not think of the story of Job and the calamities that befell him. How much can a man take and retain his faith in God? Job was “blameless and upright and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). His devoted faith helped him endure untold misery in this suffering and to receive the blessing of the Lord in the end.

What do these three men have in common? The prophet Ezekiel uses these three men to describe the condition of a land that is filled with rebellion and wickedness. "Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the Lord God ... Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness." (Ezekiel 14:13-14, 19-20).

Ezekiel’s use of Daniel is especially important to see they are contemporaries and the impact of Daniel’s righteousness was already well established in the hearts of the people of God. The sad part is how the wickedness of the people was so full that the presence of these three righteous men would not stay the judgment of God. “Even if these three men were in it” (Ezekiel 14:16) there would be no hope.

While Ezekiel shows the sinful nature of the people he illustrates the power of influence that a righteous person can have. Yes, the Lord said that judgment would come regardless if Noah, Daniel and Job were there. But the point is also made of the lasting example of character embedded on the pages of history by the lives of righteous men and women. We should live that our names would be lifted by the Lord as “lights in the world” in a “crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15).