The Land Sinneth
In Ezek 14:13, the Lord said, “when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it”. The phrase, the land sinneth, is an unusual expression. However, we can find it in Deut 24:4, concerning a man who marries a woman he divorced. He causes the land to sin. Similar expressions are found also in Lev 18:25-27, Num 35:33-34, and Ezek 36:17, where sin defiles the land in which it is committed.
God Sends Judgments Upon the Land When the Land Sinneth
In famine, v.13, God breaks the staff of bread and sends famine to cut off man and beast from it. Environmentalists and evolutionists practice conservation measures, which protect the land and animals. But they don’t realize that sin in the land is deadly to the very things they try to protect. One of the best things you can do for the land and the animals is do right in the sight of God. Sin defiles the land and kills the animals.
In v.14, the Lord says that these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job could only deliver their own souls in this judgment. Contrast how Moses delivered the souls of Israel in the wilderness through his prayers, as in Ex 32:11-14 and Num 21:6-9. Pay careful attention to the phrase, “by their righteousness”. In the Old Testament, righteousness was their own; it was not the imputed righteousness of God, like we have in the New Testament. As righteous as these men were, they couldn’t stop this judgment of God.
In v.15, noisome beasts are beasts injurious to health and harmful. They pass through the land and make it desolate. They are like the feral hogs destroying our land and crops. Yet, these noisome beasts are also deadly, killing people as in Rev 6:8.
In v.16, these three men couldn’t even deliver their own sons or daughters. We are to understand how severe this judgment is. Consider that in Acts 16:31, when you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation affects “thy house”. Consider Rahab who delivered her family in Jos 6:22-23. Even Lot delivered his wife and daughters from the destruction in Sodom. That’s how terrible this judgment is going to be.
In v.17, the sword is an enemy invasion. And v.18 same as v.16, except for “but the land shall be desolate”. The enemy kills and captures people and takes spoil and destroys cities.
In v.19 God’s pestilence pours out fury in blood to cut off from the land man and beast. Pestilence is something that is destructive and pernicious (deadly), and could be an epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating. The pestilence in 1 Chr 21:12-14 was by the angel of the Lord with a drawn sword. 70,000 men died in 3 days. Again in v.20, Noah, Daniel, and Job could only deliver themselves.
God Sends Judgments Upon Jerusalem When the Land Sinneth
In v.21 God emphasizes how much worse these judgments of sword, famine, noisome beast, and pestilence will be when he sends them upon Jerusalem. You can see these judgments in the warning Moses gave Israel in Lev 26:17, 20 (26), 22, 25.
Yet, God Spares a Remnant
In v.22, yet, in (Jerusalem) shall be left a remnant of sons and daughters. The Lord said, “Ye shall see their way and their doings”. Seeing them, the people will be comforted concerning the evil of God’s judgments. In v.23, they will understand, “That I have not done without cause all that I have done”. A great cross reference to help us understand this is found in Ezek 36:27-35. They lothe themselves for the evil that they have done. But they have a new spirit and heart to keep from doing it again.
Conclusion to The Land Sinneth
It would not be surprising to see these same judgments against our own country for the abominations that we have legalized. The best way to prepare for something like this is to live right with God. And to help others, help them to receive the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. That’s the best way to deliver them!