Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.








Chariots of Iron

In the scriptures there is a strong correlation between the use of the metal, iron, and the subject of bondage. One area in which this correlation is illustrated is in the scriptural references to chariots of iron:

1. Josh. 17:16 "And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel."
2. Josh. 17:18 "But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong."
3. Judg. 1:19 "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."
4. Judg. 4:3 "And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel."
5. Judg. 4:13 "And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon."

God had promised the land of Canaan to the children of Israel by covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The children of Israel were to go in and possess the land by destroying the nations that occupied the land. The nations had completely polluted themselves with wicked practices and lifestyles. They had sold themselves to work evil and were in the bondage of evil. In the first two references above we read about the Canaanites having iron chariots. Thus, they themselves were in bondage. The house of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were to drive out the Canaanites in order to possess the land.

Canaan land is similar to the Lord's church. In order to possess the Lord's church here in time, it is necessary that we overcome the enemies in our lives that have "iron chariots." The biggest obstacle or enemy keeping us as children of God from possessing the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is our fleshly lusts. The bible is clear that we should mortify the deeds of the flesh: Col. 3:5-9 "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;" The old man is in bondage and would keep us in bondage and thus keep us from possessing the Lord's church here in time.

Rom. 6:13-19 "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."

One of the first requirements for a child of God to possess the Kingdom of God (the Lord's church) is to repent. Repentance involves us mortifying the deeds of the flesh (destroying the Canaanites in the land with their iron chariots that enslave us).
Sometimes we are like the tribe of Judah in reference 3 above. We only possess part of what we are capable of possessing because we fail to drive out all the Canaanites in parts of our lives. We possess the mountains and not the valleys. That is, we rejoice in the preaching of the gospel and in the worship of God and rejoice in singing praises unto God and in the meetings with the saints of God. However, we fail to mortify the fleshly lusts in aspects of our lives and this brings us in bondage to the flesh in such places as our family relationships, our work lives, or in our relationships with others or in dealing with the problems of living (valleys). Thus, the Canaanites (fleshly lusts) have us in bondage (iron chariots) in the valleys of our lives.

However, there is an answer to us found in references 4 and 5 above. The children of Israel were in bondage to the Canaanites and their nine hundred iron chariots under Sisera. The children of Israel were in bondage for 20 years and they cried out unto the Lord and he send deliverance to the children of Israel and they were able to deliver themselves from the Canaanites and their iron chariots. They did this under the leadership of the prophetess Deborah and the captain Barak. Today, when we find ourselves bondage to our fleshly desires and cry out unto the Lord, we know that he hears our cries. When we put our trust in him and follow the leadership of his word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit we are able to throw off the enemies (our fleshly lust) that hold us in bondage (iron chariots).

Iron and the Crucifixion of Christ

There is a strong correlation in the scriptures between the subject of bondage and the biblical use of the metal, iron. Two biblical references point us to this correlation in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The first is found in 1 Sam. 23:1-7: Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place."

1 Sam. 23:1-7 is a direct prophecy of the covenant work of Jesus Christ. In this passage David with his last words is a mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit who relates to us a conversation between the Rock of Israel (Christ-the Son of God) and the God of Israel (God the Father). The Rock of Israel said to the God of Israel this: "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place." In this passage the sons of Belial are typical of the sins of God's elect family. The children of God could not do anything to satisfy God's wrath because of their sins. Yet, because of the covenant arrangement there is a man that was to take their sins as thorns thrust away and utterly burn them with fire. This man is Jesus Christ. In the place where he was fenced with iron and the staff of the spear (at the cross of Calvary) Jesus utterly burned our sins with fire (the judgment of God). Jesus was fenced with iron (nails through his hands and feet) and with the staff of a spear (spear thrust through his side) at the cross.

The second passage of scripture is found in Ps. 105:18: "Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron." This is a direct reference to Joseph who is one of the strongest figures of Jesus Christ in the scriptures. There are over a hundred parallels in the scriptures between what is written about the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus Christ.

The question may be asked, "How was Jesus Christ ever in bondage?" Certainly he was never in bondage to man. There were times that men tried to take him and he simply walked through their midst. Man could not take the Lord Jesus Christ and enslave him in any way. Yet Jesus was willingly and knowingly bound to the covenant that he made with the Father. This covenant was alluded to in 1 Sam. 23:1-7. This covenant is plainly set forth in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

That Jesus was bound to this covenant he made with the Father is set forth in many places. We are told of this first in the New Testament in Matt. 1:20, 21: "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Thus, Jesus was born with a covenant purpose to save His people from their sins.

That he was willingly bound to this covenant purpose is manifest in John 6: 37-39: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."

Jesus bound himself to this covenant of redemption in order to save his people from their sins and to finally deliver them into heaven's glory world without the loss of a single one. In accomplishing the salvation from the condemnation of sin, Jesus was fenced with iron and the staff of a spear.

I can find no greater reason to give praise to God than for his covenant work of redeeming us from our sins. May God be praised in all that we think or do.