The famine, the sword, the noisome beast and the pestilence.

By Isaac Ihekwoaba

(Sunday 4th May, 2008)

[For a printable version click here.] 

Ezekiel 14 vs 19 “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing greviously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it”.

Vs 20 “Though Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Vs 21 “For thus saith the Lord God, How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it men and beast”.

Scripture reading: Ezekiel 14 vs 12 – 23 and Job 5 vs 10 – 27

Sin attracts judgment. Destruction is coming, for humanity has sinned against God. These judgments that are coming upon humanity are all integrated into the eternal purposes of God. Right from time God has made it clear that sin/wickedness/iniquity will attract His judgment. Even in the time of Noah God judged the earth because of the sin of men. Gen. 6 vs 5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” vs 6 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” vs 7 “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them”.

Judgment is inevitable brethren; the troubles that are beginning to unfold upon the earth are part of this judgment. May the prophetic word we find that comes with God’s judgment encourage, bless and help our hearts. May we be comforted by the fact that the Lord will keep unto himself a remnant.

Ezekiel 14 vs 22 “Yet behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you and ye shall see their way and their doings and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it”.

There is sin in the hearts of men; (evil thoughts and desires abound). There is much shedding of blood upon the land. The spilling of blood attracts judgment.

This necessitates that we ask ourselves this question, what manner of men should we be at this time? What kind of person ought I to be? What kind of life are you living in the office, at home, amongst your friends or brethren? Is there a difference between your behaviour, character, nature and that of the unbeliever? What kind of Christian are you? God is not interested in the crowd. He desires a remnant. He is interested in the quality of your Christian life. Let us take heed and straighten out ourselves before God and men. Judgment is coming. For emphasis, the unfolding events of 2008 and the years to come are not happening in isolation to the judgment of God. There are four judgments outlined in Ezekiel.

1) Famine

Ezekiel 14 vs 13 “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast;

Vs 14 “Though these three men Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, thy should deliver their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God”.

The staff of bread (our source of livelihood, food, the things that give us satisfaction) shall be broken. Famine (both physical and spiritual) is coming upon the earth. This is all part of God’s judgment. Some governments like the United Nation say they will face the challenge of world famine. How can you mere man, rise up to a challenge, when it is God speaking. The Christians will remain upon the earth and famine will be all around us. You must learn to develop a mind set of food or no food, I will serve the Lord!! We must position ourselves in such a manner that God’s provision will reach us. For there is a position you can attain in God when you will not lack. God will indeed take care of all you need, in that case, you must be completely in His will. This is not the time to play around with God, sitting on your lees, being at ease. It will not suffice in these times. You will need to do something extra. “Normal Christianity” will not suffice in the time of judgment. You have to go the extra mile with God. Those who are being led by the Spirit of God are those who will be able to survive the famine. The famine will be so grievous even the beast of the earth the scriptures say shall be cut off. People of God you must be prepared. The solution is give yourself completely to God, for when a man gives his all to God, God will definitely meet all His needs.

2) Noisome beast

Ezekiel 14 vs 15 “If I cause noisome (bad, evil men) beast to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beast:

Men (evil beast) are on the prowl. They kill at will. No remorse or conscience in them. Their very nature has changed; their souls are filled with wickedness. God is removing His restraint upon such evil men as a judgment upon humanity who have turned their back upon God. How else can you explain the wickedness of men kidnapping young children? Continue to pray brethren, that God may arrest their activities. When we pray we build a defense for ourselves and a judgment for the evil upon the land.

3) Pestilence

Vs 19 “If I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast”

Aids is a pestilence. We see men beginning to decompose even though they are alive and walking around. Incurable diseases abound, and men are beginning to run out of answers.

4) The sword

Vs 17 “Or if I bring a sword upon the land and say sword go through the land so that I cut off man and beast from it”. The sword represents wars, man fighting against man, rebellions, riots, successions. Men use every excuse to kill and riot. God will bring judgment.

Take serious note of the distinction God makes time and time again, after each of the fore some judgments, given in the scriptures “Though these three men Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God” (vs 14, 16, 18, 20).

What made these 3 men so special that God himself testifies that even though He was releasing judgment; these three men will not be affected. They were marked out or separated for deliverance at a time of judgment. What did they do for God that He had to favour them and testify of them to future generations. We will examine more closely the life of these 3 men.

  • NOAH

Noah lived in a generation just like ours. A generation of men filled with wickedness, yet the scriptures testifies of Noah. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”. Noah was just and perfect in his generation. Noah walked with God.

He was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2). Remember you may not open your mouth to say a word, but your actions (your standing up for that which is right and refusing to join in what is wrong) can testify and preach righteousness.

God is looking for a people like Noah. A people who can rise above the beggarly elements of sin and unrighteousness. A people who can rise against the tide of wickedness and compromise. God blesses men that do righteousness. Are you standing for righteousness. In your business do you cut corners. Do you buy fake spare parts and sell to others feeling such does not matter? Do you do contracts and liaise with others to inflate the bill? What manner of Christian are you? Are you compromising your Christian virtues? Judgment is coming!!!


Daniel in his own generation marked himself out. He was a serious and focused Christian. He rose to the level of ruling Prince in the Empire because of the Spirit of excellence that was in him.

Pressure was put upon him to forsake God but Daniel stood his ground against all odds. Let us be like Daniel. If you want to serve God, then serve him. Avoid ‘wishy washy’ Christianity; one leg in God, one in the world. Be a Daniel and stand your ground inspite of pressure to compromise.

What pressure is being put upon you to cause you to give up your spiritual activities or exercises? Are you succumbing to it? Or are you like Daniel standing steadfast, inspite of the risk of being thrown into the lions den. Examine yourselves brethren. May we not compromise our faith for a piece of bread. Let us be fanatical about God.

  • JOB
    Job was a man approved of God.
    He was perfect.
    Job was upright.
    He feared God.
    He eschewed evil.
    He sinned not, neither did he charge God foolishly even in the time of great tribulation.
    What a glorious testimony of a man who lived in a time not different from ours.

God approved of these men and spoke well of them. Will your own testimony be sufficient to attract God’s mercy in the Day of Judgment.

“Stand therefore having your lions girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. (Eph. 6 vs 14 – 16).

When you walk in righteousness, (when you do righteousness), doing the will of God, then a hedge is set round about you. Satan can do nothing to you except the hedge is broken.

In the midst of the judgment, God is separating unto himself a people, a remnant!! Be encouraged brethren to walk in righteousness that you may be part of this people who though they pass through the crucible of God’s chastening, they come out victorious, clothed in the clean garments of righteousness and like Noah, Daniel and Job become marked out for deliverance rather than judgment.

Ezekiel 14 verses 22 and 23, remind us that we are not alone in this tribulation. Elijah felt he was alone but God opened his eyes to realize that He (God) had 7000 prophets that had not bowed their knees to baal. The good news is that whatever God is does is not without cause. You shall be comforted and encouraged that God has not sent His judgment without a cause, at the revelation of fellow brethren who have gone through pain, suffering, rejection, lack, etc and come forth with a testimony. The scripture says after we have been tried we shall come forth purer than gold.

Let us desire to come up in God, desire a higher place in Him, walk in obedience, then we shall escape these judgments.



Lord, put in me a new spirit. Remove my heart of stone.
And give to me a heart of flesh. That trusts in you alone.
Oh, that I may fear your name. Each day right from the start.
Oh, Lord, please give to me. An undivided heart.

I want a gaze that never waivers or loses sight of the goal.
To keep its focus on obeying you with mind, body and soul.
Help me to walk in submission to Christ in whole and not in part.
Oh Lord, please give to me. An undivided heart.

I want your joy to be my great strength. Your salvation my impassioned praise
Your holiness to be my way of living. For all the rest of my days.
Keep me steadfast in doing your work and following the course that you chart.
Oh Lord, please give to me. An undivided heart.

Teach me to daily die to self. And to spend much time in prayer.
That I may be discerning of those around me. And treat them with genuine care.
I want to be totally true to you. To wear your righteousness as my work.
Oh Lord, please give to me. An undivided heart.

I want to live the time you’ve given me committed fully to your purpose and call,
Lord, consume me with your awesome presence.