Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.” (Jeremiah 15:1, N.K.J.V.)
The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness, says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 14:12-14, N.K.J.V.)
The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel both prophesied against Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel. God had given the people of Judah many years to repent of their sins and return to Him, but they had refused to do so. Therefore, all that was left for them was judgment, and the vessel through which God would pour out that judgment was the nation of Babylon.
Setting all that aside, though, what I’d like to focus upon from our text passages are the names that God uses as examples of His choicest servants. First, speaking through Jeremiah, God says, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood (in intercession for Judah) before Me, My mind still wouldn’t be favorable toward this people.” Second, speaking through Ezekiel, He says, “Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job lived in a land that had sunk to the sinful level of Judah, their presence wouldn’t be enough to spare that land My judgment. Those men would be delivered from the judgment, but no one else would be.”
Moses. Samuel. Noah. Daniel. Job. You talk about a “who’s who” of Old Testament characters! Surely it would be difficult to provide the names of any five other people who served God more impressively in that era. You know what it means when you’ve served an employer well enough to receive an excellent reference from that employer, don’t you? Then just apply that illustration to what God does in these passages. He gives each of these five men the best reference possible, one from Himself!
Christian, you should strive to live a life that will allow God to give you this same type of reference. You can’t relive the lives of Moses, Samuel, Noah, Daniel, and Job, but what you can do is live your own life in the best possible way in regards to holiness and service to God. And remember three things about Moses, Samuel, Noah, Daniel, and Job. #1: All five of them were born sinners just like you are. #2: Daniel was still living at the time Ezekiel wrote, which means that you don’t have to be dead to receive a glowing reference from God. #3: Not one of those men had the indwelling Holy Spirit, a completed Bible, a church to attend each week, Christian programming, Christian books, daily devotionals, helpful commentaries, or any of the other spiritual advantages that God’s people enjoy today. You see, all these advantages can help you to earn God’s highest recommendation upon the way you are living, and that’s definitely a good reference to have as you live in this sin-sick world that is itself prophesied as heading for judgment.