“Or if I were to send a pestilence against that land and pour out my anger in it with bloodshed, destroying both man and beast in it, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were among them, as I live” says the Lord God, “they couldn’t save their own sons or daughters. They would only save their own souls due to their own righteousness.” (Ezek 14:19-20 [ISV])
It is dangerous to think that being amidst righteous people will save you from the destruction or can see you through judgment. It is good to do things together and it is common to think majority would have their way; consequences however, come on an individual package. I find nowhere in the bible that judgment will be collective. Each one of us will answer for himself or herself. “For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of the Messiah, so that each of us may receive what he deserves for what he has done in his body, whether good or worthless.” (2Cor 5:10 [ISV])
It is expected of each one of us to carry out our own judgment and decisions because it is that which will the basis for our judgment. If we have neglected the exercise of this power by leaving it for others to exercise it for us we shall be accountable for that.
“I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man’s judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed.” E. G. White (Gospel Workers p.489)
It is common to see people move with majority even when majority is wrong! But that will not change our responsibility to the things we did with others and alone. There is no escape for the judgment over our actions. We should not therefore delegate our decisions sense of judgment to others. What other decides is theirs, we cannot claim to be part of their decisions making even if we have influenced them in anyway, but the moment they take a decision to act in a certain way they become responsible for their action and not the one who influenced. When a person is lured into drugs or stealing his action will judge him; those who influenced him will not be there to share the consequences.
This power of choice we have is individualistic in nature although it is given to all yet is accountable to individuals. It is important to guard it against evil influences that may hijack our individualism of putting judgment into action. The text is reminding us that even if we have Noah, Daniel and Job in our midst we will not escape the wrath of God over our evil doing. Their Righteousness will not become ours nor will it cover us. We need to seek our own share of righteousness from Christ on individual basis.
We are also reminded through this lesson that we have individual role to play in life that is expected of us and that role depends upon us to exercise our judgment in so many aspects of life. On how we chose to lead our lives, on whom to serve, what we want in life; and the list goes on. I do all these knowing that salvation will be mine based on how I will decide to exercise my own judgment. This is one attribute that cannot be delegated.
“The individual and the church have responsibilities of their own. God has given to every man some talent or talents to use and improve. In using these talents he increases his capability to serve. God has given to each individual judgment, and this gift He wants His workers to use and improve” E. G. White (Manuscript Releases Vol.9 p.161.1)
– By A. Eliamani