A day of accountability is coming. "The day of judgment" is at hand. "A short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (Rom. 9:28), that no man knows. "The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth" (Jer. 25:30). You will personally give account for "every idle word that. . . [you] shall speak, . . . [and you] shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt. 12:36). Are you ready to meet your Maker? What will you say when the LORD rejoins, "Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me" (Job 38:3)?
by Jerry Gentry
"Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD" (Eze 14:13-14)
The language of God's final judgment upon the earth is frightening. No man has ever lived through such indignation, as if "a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?" (Jer. 30:6). No woman has ever experienced such a time. No child has ever felt the fright of "the great and terrible day of the LORD" (Joel 2:31), when "every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (Rom. 14:11).
It is a time when men and women, old and young, teens and toddlers and babes in arms&emdash;all face "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Dan. 12:1). "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). It is the time when the lion of Judah will rule the earth with a rod of iron, when "the God of heaven [shall] set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44).
"And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" (Joel 2:11).
It is a time when "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). It is one time of history above all that calls for sobriety. The LORD warns all Israelites, especially those of the remnant:
"Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth" (Joel 1:5).
The God of heaven taunts: "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you" (James 5:1).
It is no time for rejoicing of buyer or seller: "The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof" (Ezek. 7:12). At such a time "there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate [merchandisers], and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills" (Zeph. 1:10). Yes, the mountains of that great city Babylon shall break up and come crashing down.
"Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come" (Rev 18:10).
"And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more" (v. 11).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job&emdash; were in it, they should deliver none but themselves.
"The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing" (v. 15).
"Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence" (Isa. 64:1).
Will you learn the lesson of these three men?
What is the lesson for us today of these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job? "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 11:15).
"Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:9).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job&emdash;be in it, they should deliver only themselves. Yet the keys to your own personal deliverance is found in the lessons of these three men.
Are you, as Noah, perfect in your generations? If you will find deliverance through the coming tribulation, wrath of God and four sore judgments, you too will stand before God as Noah&emdash;perfect in your generations, that is, pure in your pedigree. At a time of great mixing and amalgamation of the races, how do you know your pedigree is pure? Are you inescapably drawn to the gospel of Jesus Christ, in word and in deed? Do you have the law of God written in your heart and conscience? Does the faith of Jesus Christ burn in your soul? When you fall into sin through backsliding or even through willful acts, are you drawn back to Jesus Christ through repentance? If your faith is genuine toward God, then your genetics are pure, but genetics alone did not save Noah. And genetics alone will not save you, friend. No matter how pure your pedigree, you will burn in hell unless you learn the full lesson of Noah.
As Noah "walked with God," you too must walk with God in obedience, through the time of Jacob's trouble. When the fiery furnace of persecution and tribulation heats up seven times hotter than ever before, will your "gold that. . . [is] tried with fire" (1Pet. 1:7) shine forth? Will your works stand, or will they be burned up as Sodom and Gomorrah? Noah "walked with God" through 120 years of preparatory work. He obeyed God and built his ark of preservation. At the end, he was sealed in that ark and carried up by the very waters that destroyed every breathing thing over the whole earth. You too must prepare your ark and walk with God through your trial by fire. Christianity is a way of life, a walk with God, through the work of the indestructible ark called the church of God. Further, "No man can come to me [Jesus], except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Jesus said, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
And "if I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts" (Eze 14:15).
"Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate" (v. 16).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job. . .
Daniel was a child of noble birth, one of the captives of Judah who were carried into Babylonian captivity. He was one of a select group who were appointed rations from the King's table, while being trained to stand before the King as counselor.
Above all, Daniel was a man of prayer. Even after conspirators used deceit against King Darius, who "signed the writing and the decree" (Dan 6:9) whereby prayer to the true God was forbidden, Daniel "went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime" (Dan 6:10).
Daniel confessed sin. "We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments" (Dan 9:5). He prayed, "O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name" (Dan. 9:19).
Christian, will you stand in the day of judgment? Then you will learn to pray as Daniel prayed. Daniel's prayer delivered only himself and no one else, through his own personal fiery trial. Through thanksgiving three times daily, Daniel persevered. Through faithful prayer Daniel "stopped the mouths of lions" (Hebr. 11:33), and prevailed over his enemies, "So this Daniel prospered" (Dan 6:28).
Brother and sister, will you survive during the coming tribulation? Will you prosper? Then you will learn to pray as Daniel prayed. You will learn the prayer of thanksgiving. You will learn to "glorify. . . the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea" (Isa. 24:15). You will learn to "offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [y]our lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebr. 13:15), knowing that "He hath done all things well" (Mark 7:37).
"If I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it" (Eze 14:17).
"Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves" (Eze 14:18).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job. . .
Job was singularly of all Bible characters a man of contrasting trials and blessings. At the first, he lost everything. His oxen and asses were stolen, and his servants killed. Lightening fell upon his sheep and shepherds. The Chaldeans stole his camels. "A great wind from the wilderness" (Job 1:19) destroyed the house he had built for his children, and even they too were killed. Lastly, his wife turned against him, when she looked upon his pitiful countenance and said, "Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die" (Job 2:9). Job endured the counsel of his three well meaning friends, who simply could not see the work God was performing in Job's life. Job learned the hard way that "every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Ps. 39:5), that among the children of men "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:12).
Will you too learn the lesson of Job? Then with Job you will come to that point in your life where you will admit, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver none but themselves. Three great men. One great lesson. That lesson is clear. No man or woman will meet God on the coattails of another human being. No man or woman, infant or child, teen or toddler can come to God through anything less than the methods of these three men. The Bible says "many shall cleave to them with flatteries" (Dan. 11:34), but God will not hear flattery. Only the genuine cries of blood washed saints who "as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Gal. 3:6) will be delivered in the day of God's wrath. "Jesus. . . said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29).
"Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man" (Isa. 47:3).
Though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job&emdash;were in it, they should deliver only themselves. But you can deliver yourself, if you are willing to learn the lessons of these three men.
Noah was a man perfect in his generations&emdash;pure in his pedigree. Yet that was not enough to save him. He "walked with God" and through obedience he obtained grace and deliverance. Israelite, will you walk with God, as Noah walked with God? Then you will walk in "the obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26).
Daniel was a man of prayer&emdash;three times daily he offered thanksgiving. Through prayer, Daniel was delivered from the conspirators and from the mouths of lions. Will you learn the lesson of Daniel? Then you will offer thanksgiving to God. You say, but I don't have time to offer prayer three times daily? Then perhaps you will not have time to find deliverance.
Though these three men. . .
Job lost it all and suffered more than any man in the Bible. Yet through personal trial, he learned to say, with the apostle Paul, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 7:24-25). In the end, he learned the lesson of the publican, who "smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). He looked by faith to that great resurrection time and confessed, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth" (Job 19:25).
Job learned that God "hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end" (Eccl. 3:11). He learned to "Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?" (Eccl. 7:13).
"And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing" (Ps. 64:9).
"Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him" (Isa. 40:10).
Christian, will your work stand during the coming great and dreadful Day of the LORD?
Then learn the lessons of these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job. Learn the lesson of Noah and you will walk with God. Learn the lesson of Daniel and you will offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, even in the fires of trial. And learn the lesson of Job, and you will come to that place of patient yieldedness and repentance, where you see yourself as nothing and you see God as everything.
Yes, though these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job&emdash;were in it, they should deliver only themselves. Yet the very lessons of their personal deliverance "are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1Cor. 10:11). Christian, if you will learn the lessons of these three men, then you too will find deliverance in the trials to come.
"If I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast" (Eze 14:19).
"Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness" (v. 20).
"For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?" (v. 21).
"Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it" (v. 22).
Christian, learn the lessons of these three men&emdash;Noah, Daniel and Job. Though these three men should deliver only themselves, they teach the great fundamentals necessary for every personal deliverance. Learn these lessons now and prepare to meet thy Maker.
Noah, Daniel, and Job&emdash;these three men&emdash;follow their examples and deliver thyself.