Standards of Righteousness
Ezekial 14:14 (NLT) Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves.
This verse is a "who's who list of righteous men"
Noah - a man singled out from the whole earth. A man who alone sought to serve and obey God.
Job - A man who lived so intentionally as a righteous man that he became a spiritual target of Hell itself.
Daniel - A contemporary addition to this list as he lived during the same time as the writer. We all know him as a man who stood and refused to bow down to any other God and faced the lions as a result. What most of us don't realize is that the den of lions came late in his life. He had already been honing his spiritual habits and choices for over 50 years. The true test of his character came when he was just a teenager. Before most of us start making any significant choices in our life, Daniel was taken captive and transported over 500 miles from home. We can travel that distance in just hours today but then it would have taken weeks to return if he had tried to escape. While in captivity, he had no parents around to keep him accountable to follow Gods laws but he deliberately chose to obey God first and foremost, no matter what the consequences. We see this evidence in the first chapter of Daniel. The 8th verse sums it up perfectly - "Daniel PURPOSED in his heart that he WOULD NOT defile himself..."
Q: How did these three men make this elite list?
A: Through intentional, deliberate, repeated decisions.
Know Gods commands
Psalm 119:9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Gods word. (NLT) The first step in becoming a righteous person is to know Gods commands. How do you get to know His commands? By reading his word. Do this daily.
Twice in the flood account of Genesis chapter 6 and 7, it is recorded that Noah did exactly as God commanded him. Daniel was not afraid to make the tough decisions, even if it meant risking his life. The same word is used to describe both Noah and Job - Blameless.
Do not compromise
In Job chapter 1, Job runs toward righteousness and away from evil. Daniel applied Gods standards to every nook and cranny of his life and was not willing to settle for just getting by. He knew where the line was and was not willing to cross it. We can also learn from Daniel that it helps to have men standing by you with the same standards - all of us need an accountability partner. If you don't have one, get one. A chord of three is not easily broken.
We all need to follow Christ as the perfect example of how to live our lives. Few of us have not heard of WWJD - What would Jesus do. If you need some extra encouragement from some men who committed the same faults and experienced the same failures that you and I do, take a good long look at the lives of Daniel, Job and Noah By doing so, discover the principles of what makes a righteous man.
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I start every day by digging into Gods Word. I try to journal what I learn so that I can remember it and apply His principles to my daily life. I challenge you to do the same.