The Righteous Perish

Q. For encouragement, I read the story of how God rescued Noah from the flood and also how Abraham prayed for Lot and God heard and rescued him from Sodom. But recently I have been reading through Ezekiel and was struck in Chapter 21 with how God decided he was going to bring judgment on everyone -righteous and wicked alike! The only comment I can find in my references simply says to compare the story with Noah and Lot. Well, sure, but WHY? is the question. Do you have any thoughts on the difference? Why God rescued the righteous earlier but in this case did not? We have just been praying for God’s mercy because the righteous do often suffer along with the wicked and what’s ahead is not going to be good.

A. Israel had and will again have a national covenant with God (Exodus 19:5-6). The whole nation paid the price for the disobedience of its leaders. But what happened with Noah and Lot took place before this national covenant existed when He was dealing directly with individuals.

Also, we should always remember God’s perspective in all this. When the righteous perish they go to a much better place and all their worries are over. He views that as a blessing. Isaiah 57:1 tells us, “The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.”

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