A Mystery in Old Testament History

I read a book called The Prophetic Significance of the Changing Climate by Arthur E. Bloomfield some years ago. Passing by I happened to see it in my library and my mind began thinking of the different ages our earth has been through. With the end of one age a new one began.

It is that way in the Bible, too. You have a certain period of significance that might be called an age, and then something significant happens to change the whole climate of mankind. This is dealing in particular with those who become God’s people. A period of time will go by and the downward pull of their human nature wraps them up in wickedness again. Then judgment comes, kind of like the Ice Age, where everything is wiped out and starts over anew. Each time, though, there is a little remnant that makes it through. This is what Isaiah talks about.

Isaiah 1:2-4 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, my people do not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

It happened over and over again. The people God brings forth finally rebel against Him. Even the jackasses have more sense than God’s people do when they get into this fallen condition. They are not only corrupt, but they corrupt everything else.

Isaiah 1:5-6 Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Outward and inner man is completely corrupt.

Isaiah 1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

Here comes a spiritual ice age, something that changes the climate.

Isaiah 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

A little hut was built in a vineyard or a field of cucumbers for someone to guard over the vineyard. Isaiah is saying that this is about all that was left.

Isaiah 1:9-10 Except the Lord of host had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.

That is what they had become – Sodom and Gomorrah, but the Lord leaves a remnant. This is the way it happened throughout the history of the Bible. God raised up a people and then there is the downward slide of the people and finally God brings a judgment. Each time, though, He leaves a little remnant to make a new start.

The main thing I want you to see is how man’s nature brought things down until they hit a point so low that God had to do something. He would bring judgment, but every time He brought a remnant through. He’s determined that He’s going to get done what He wants done. Then there were certain things that were crossovers, for example, the Red Sea, the Jordan River, judgments that God would bring. This has a corresponding counterpart in the realm of Spirit, how God deals with us. We’re carrying that old nature, and we’ll get to a certain place in our spiritual growth. Then God begins to bring judgment on a certain thing. He will bring forth the remnant that is within us, that little bit of Christ that is there to start a new process and a new work.

In Corinthians it talks about how they were all baptized into Moses, baptized into the sea, and they came out on the other side of the Red Sea. That’s indicative of coming out into a new era, a new realm, a new day. It’s very similar to when Noah passed through the flood into a new world. The Israelites came out into a new world when they passed through the Red Sea. From that point on the Lord began dealing with man collectively. Up until then, they were in bondage and after they came out God began to deal with the nation as a whole, not just individual people like the patriarchs. There were individuals who walked with God, but now there’s a whole nation that God is trying to bring into a walk with Him. All that began when they passed through the Red Sea and it opened up another realm to them.

Exodus 15:16-17 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which Thou has purchased.
17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.

That transcends anything in the natural realm. God talks about bringing them to the mountain of His inheritance and bringing them into His dwelling, the Sanctuary. This scripture is linked to the passing over from one realm into another that brings us into fulfillment.

Previously God had dealt with an individual – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. – but now He has begun to deal with a nation. He is bringing out a people who He is delivering. Not only is He dealing with the people, but for the first time you see someone that God has commissioned with the authority, like a shepherd over His people. Moses is basically the first. In Hebrews it says that Moses was faithful in his house as Christ was faithful in His house (Hebrews 3:2). They liken the two houses, the house of Moses and the house of Christ, and the faithfulness that took place there. Another thing that’s very important is that at this time we see how God begins to lead – the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. They are being directed by the Lord when they are to camp, when they are to break camp and move ahead. They did nothing except for what God said. So it was a very important time when God was dealing with the people, leading them by His spirit, and had a man commissioned to be a shepherd over them.

We’re talking about history, but the truths that are shown in the history come to light in the spiritual realm. That’s the reason I believe we should have a look at it. We’re not dealing with a timeline so much except that there are things revealed by it. First the natural and then the spiritual (I Corinthians 15:46). So if you can get a grasp of the natural it will enlighten the spiritual.

John 12:20-28 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desire him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
22 Philip comes and tells Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
25 He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

This is talking about Jesus’ resurrection historically, but it is also talking about the spiritual. He is the seed that is planted in us and that seed has to come forth. All those things that are described in Isaiah 5 where He’s taking care of His vineyard, using the very best vine plants so that it will bring forth fruit, shows that the seed that is planted in us is Christ. He is the remnant that is within us and the remnant keeps coming forth. The dealings continue to take place with our old nature because our flesh nature is like the Pharisees and the scribes and the chief priests who constantly wanted to kill Christ. Our human nature and our carnal mind is the great enemy of God, and lo and behold, He did not turn loose Israel but kept working with them, bringing out a remnant, working with them and bringing out a remnant. Paul said, “All Israel shall be saved.” This is what He does with us.

What it comes down to is in the natural Noah came through the flood. He was a type of Christ because he was the only thing to survive. In every crisis, every judgment, every crossing over the only thing that survives, spiritually, is Christ. God brings us into judgment. We come to a point where certain things in our lives can now be dealt with and judged. Paul talks about suffering loss through fire (I Corinthians 3:15). That’s the way it is. You go through things and you suffer loss and the loss is our self-life. The only thing that passes through is Christ, the remnant of Christ in us. He is the remnant and He survives. Then the remnant begins to grow until the next crisis. You suffer loss and everything of self is dying and the only person who makes it through into a new age is Christ. It is that part of Christ that’s been planted in us. It can be discouraging because it seems so little, but it is a remnant. But it’s all about Him – He survives from one age to the next. As Isaiah said, “If He had not left a remnant we would have been as Sodom and Gomorrah.”

This has to be the revelation behind the Word. Peter says, “We are born again of a living seed. The Word of God abides forever” (I Peter 1:23). It is that Word that prevails from generation to generation, from age to age. This puts a good perspective on it for us as far as history is concerned. There’s a remnant of Christ that will prevail through all the sludge and corruption. That’s guaranteed; that’s the promise that Christ’s seed would prevail. He’s going to prevail through a people. I know we’ve prayed for America in the past. Whatever happens to America, there is a remnant that is going to come through.

I believe the Lord has used the Old Testament history to help us see what the Lord did back then and how it relates to what the Lord is doing with us today. He is bringing forth a people. Paul spoke about the promises that God gave Abraham and his seed, not seeds many but seed singularly which is Christ (Galatians 3:16). All of the promises that had been given to Abraham come down into Christ and that seed of Christ, that seed of a living Word that is within you, all of the promises are enhoused in that and they are to break forth into life. There is where the fulfillment is. Amen.

Copyright © 2007 by Henry DuBose