The word of the Lord came [again] to me, saying, “Son of man, if a land sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it and destroy its source of bread and send famine on it and cut off from it both man and animal, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in that land, by their own righteousness (right standing with God) they could only save (deliver) themselves,” says the Lord God. “If I were to cause predatory beasts to pass through the land and they ravaged it and depopulated it of children, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through because of the predators, though these three men were in the land, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they could not save either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate (ruined, deserted). Or if I were to bring a sword on that land and say, ‘Let a sword go through the land and cut off man and animal from it,’ even though these three men were in the land, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they could not save either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be saved. Or if I should send a virulent disease into that land and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and animal from it, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the land, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they could not save either their son or their daughter; they would save only themselves by their righteousness [that is, their right-standing with God—their moral and spiritual integrity].” – Ezekiel 14:12-20
Living out this personal righteousness in our professional pursuits adds life and meaning to our present circumstances because it assumes a better tomorrow, ushers the future kingdom of God into the present, and provides a glimpse of what God anticipates from His people.
“Integrity describes a person whose thoughts and private behavior are consistent with their outward profession. The Christian leader with integrity is a person whose heart is set on loving and obeying God, no matter what the cost.” – G.C.Newton
The idea is that one must surrender their will to God and allow his or her stubborn, godless, rebellious, prideful heart to be spiritually circumcised by God’s Spirit.
Ezekiel stressed God’s relationship to His covenants with Israel, which Ezekiel viewed positively. Yahweh, for Ezekiel, was a God who acts. The Spirit of God features more prominently in Ezekiel than in any other prophetic book. The prophet also emphasized that God’s will for Israel was blessing more than punishment.
“To make great men the source of a nation’s greatness is always to end up with a dearth of great men. Unless the greatness comes from within the community itself, a condition which is ultimately the result of trust in God, no great leaders will rise from it. Instead, the leaders will merely reflect the spiritual poverty of the community.” – Oswalt