Based on Ezekiel 14: 20, there are 3 people identified as being able to deliver only themselves by their righteousness: Noah, Daniel, Job. As God mentions his 4 severe harsh judgments for unfaithfulness, He identifies these three as being able to deliver, but under his judgments, only themselves. The implication here is that they have previously brought deliverance for people, and therefore, are notable intercessors. These are not likely the names that first come to mind when one thinks of biblical intercessors. We are more likely to think about Moses, Abraham, David, Esther.
So why these 3 being mentioned specifically? If we understood that, we may understand intercession at a deeper level. So let’s look at these 3 individually and then together as a group for surely they were not mentioned
1. Gen 6:8-9 found grace in eyes of Lord; a just man; perfect in his generation; walked with God
2. Genesis 7: 1 righteous before God
3. 2 Peter 2: 5 preacher of righteousness
B. Hebrews 11: 7
1. man of faith
2. warned of things not yet seen
3. moved with fear
4. obedient as prepared ark (as God commanded Gen 6: 22) (Divine long-suffering
5. heir of righteousness
6. saved household (8 souls 1 Peter 3: 20)
C. Preparation of ark – obedient action directed by God – is intercession
1. No prayers recorded for Noah
2. Other actions of intercession (Phineas Numb 25: 8) (Elisha 2Kings 4: 32-36)
1. Dan 1: 4 young man with no blemish; good-looking; gifted with all wisdom; possessing knowledge; quick to understand
2. verse 6 of the tribe of Judah (note, not of priest or Levites)
3. Dan 5: 11 known to have Spirit of God
4. Dan 6: 10 regularly pray 3 times a day
B. Dan 2: 17-18
Facing order from King Nebuchadnezzar to be executed with all magicians and wise men (verse 13)
2 gather with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah to seek mercy from God so that they would not perish with otherwise men
3. verse 19-, God gives them what they need to be preserved
C. Dan 9
1. Daniel understood the word of the Lord and the prophecy of Jeremiah (verse 2)
2. verse 3 Daniel set his face (determined) to get God’s attention; made request (intercede) by prayer (conversation with God) and supplications with fasting (denial of self and his needs); sackcloth (humility); ashes (mourning).
3. Tephillah (the Aramaic word for prayer in verse 3) is a general word for pray and denotes musical with worship.
1. Job 1: 1 known as blameless; righteous; fearing God; shunning evil
2. God even attest to this about Job in verse 8
B. Job 1: 5 intercedes for his children
1. invites them to join him
2. intercedes for each individually
3. did this regularly with the feasting parties of his sons
4. sanctified and made a burnt offering on their behalf
C. Job 16: 20-21
1. his friends, rather than intercede for him, scorn him
2. he continues to plead with God in his prayers
3. longs for someone to intercede to God for him
4. as a man intercedes between two men.
D. Job 42
1. verses 5 & 6 Job’s revelation and repentance
2. verses 7 & 8 God reprimands Job’s friends and tells them to give offering and beseech Job to intercede to God on their behalf
3. verse 9 Eliphaz Bildad, and Zophar obey and Lord accepted Job (ie. his intercession for 3 friends)
4. After Job prayed – God restores
IV. Bigger picture
A. We who are righteous in God’s eye; are people of integrity; found grace in God’s eyes; fearing God; walking with God can be (should be) interceding. We need not be in ministry or ordained or appointed to the office of intercessor to do intercession. Not to take anything away from called intercessors, this illustrates that footsoldiers and leaders alike can do intercession.
B. We could intercede through obedient action (Noah)
C. We could intercede for our own benefit/need/provision (Daniel)
D. We could intercede by choice for loved ones (Job)
E. We could intercede in response to a request from others Job)
F. We could intercede when we understand the Scriptures or prophecy or with Word of wisdom or knowledge from God (Daniel)
G. Often things are restored to us when we intercede (Job)
H. Going through trauma, tribulation, trial are opportunities to intercede (all 3 of these did not intercede to avoid God’s judgment (flood); satan’s attack on family and body; taken into captivity but rather their intercession occurred during their respective situations)
V. Physics of cloud and ground lightning is a great illustration of intercession
A. As clouds condense together, the water is pressured and confined forming rain clouds (nimbus). With the involvement of change in temperatures and elevation, turmoil arises in the clouds with matter (drops of moisture and frozen moisture) reacting to both winds and changes in temperature) colliding, causing a separation of charges such that negative charges accumulate near bottom of clouds and positive charges near tops, thunderstorm.
B. Negative charges start to repel each other and seek ways to dissipate…creating small trails within and without the cloud. We call these stepped leaders. These are unseen with the human eye but eliminated when a connection is made (see C.)
C. At the same time, all the negative charge in the air creates positive charges drawn from the ground. These charges start growing upward in columns, called streamers. When a streamer of positive charges connects with a stepped leader, there is an enormous release of energy as the charges flow and neutralize each other. Multiple times in microseconds this flow of energy continues, creating a flashing effect for the eyes. Other stepped leaders connected to the pathway will appear briefly, but the main connection continues to dispute a lot of energy.
D. This energy heats of the air nearby tens of thousands degrees F (5-10 times heat of sun). The heated air expands and as it pushes against nearby air it creates waves of moving air (like pulses) that from a distance sounds like a rumble. When the lightning ceases the air where the bold was, cools rapidly and the air collapse with a loud crack or slam sound heard by those near the connection that created the visible lightning bolt.
E. An intercessor is much like the streamer…loaded with a positive charge from earth reaching heavenward. Positive charges like believing God exists and that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; like knowing that God knows the plans that He has for us (plans to prosper us; plans not to harm us; plans to give us hope and a future); like God hears us and answers us; like God makes us righteous, and therefore qualified to seek Him.
F. God is energized and reaching out, searching for one seeking Him. These are the stepped leaders.
G. When God and intercessor connect, there will be a flow of power, the atmosphere will be changed, something will happen, and the invisible becomes visible and can be heard…even to those who are distant!
H. And, by the way, lightning only happens in a storm of turmoil.
VI. Why are we not excited
A. To intercede in response to our concerns, requests from others, understanding scriptures, directed by God, for our own preservation?
B. To understand that we can all, and perhaps should all, be interceding?
C. To embrace the storms as opportunities to be the positive charges on earth to connect with the heavenly?