“Base Metals In Scripture – Iron”

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Introduction

Base metals all are refined from out of the dust of the earth, but they are not very valuable because they are so common. And  yet none of the precious metals would be considered precious to us without the fact that we have so much and so many of these base metals. For this very same reason God’s “jewels” are ‘jewels’ because there is such an abundance of base metals:

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous [ jewels] and the wicked [ base metals], between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

This same message is conveyed in the New Testament in different words:

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Our election is based upon the rejection of the multitudes. Through what was Christ raised from the dead:

Rom 4:25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for [ Greek – dia – through] our justification.

Christ’s resurrection from the dead was “through our justification,” through God’s rejection of the common base metal called “sinful flesh.”

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Iron

The base metal of our focus this week is the metal iron. Iron is first mentioned, appropriately enough in giving the genealogy of Cain:

Gen 4:17  And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Gen 4:18  And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Gen 4:19  And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [ was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Gen 4:20  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and [ of such as have] cattle.
Gen 4:21  And his brother’s name [ was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
Gen 4:22  And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [ was] Naamah.
Gen 4:23  And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
Gen 4:24  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

That is Cain’s line from beginning to end. Cain is the base metals copper and iron. He builds cities and dwells in tents. He makes music and instructs those who work with base metals. His genealogy ends with a murder.

Iron is referred to as an instrument of death

Num 35:16  And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.

Iron Is Associated With The Giants And The Gentiles In The Land

Deu 3:11  For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof [13 feet, 6 inches], and four cubits [6 feet] the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
Jos 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.
Jos 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.
Jdg 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.
Jdg 4:1  And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.
Jdg 4:2  And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host [ was] Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
Jdg 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.
1Sa 17:7  And the staff of his spear [ Goliath’s spear] was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.

Like Lead And Tin, Iron Typifies The Very Beginning Of God’s Work In His People

Deu 4:20  But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ ye are] this day.

Iron Is Found In The Promised Land Flowing With Immature, “Sincere Milk,” And Honey

Deu 8:9  A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

Just as it is with all immature “babes in Christ:”

1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

And yet these Corinthians were but immature babes:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:[ base metals]

Iron Is Associated With The Works Of The Flesh And Is Not To Be Used In The Service Of God

Deu 27:5  And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.

Jos 8:31  As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.

Base Metals Are In The Lord’s Treasury

Jos 6:19  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, [ are] consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
Jos 6:24  And they burnt the city with fire, and all that [ was] therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Iron Is God’s Instrument For Our Destruction Of The Things Of The Flesh

Deu 28:48  Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

Base Metals Contrasted With Precious Metals
Gold And Silver

Lev 26:3  If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4  Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5  And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6  And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [ you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7  And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8  And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:9  For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
Lev 26:10  And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
Lev 26:11  And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
Lev 26:12  And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Lev 26:13  I [ am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

These are good works, and according to 1Co 3, good works are precious metals:

1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

The holy spirit takes 10 verses to describe the benefits of obedience. Look at how many verses are needed to tell us of the curses of disobedience:

Copper and Iron

Lev 26:14  But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
Lev 26:15  And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [ but] that ye break my covenant:
Lev 26:16  I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17  And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
Lev 26:18  And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Lev 26:19  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

Deu 28:23  And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
Lev 26:20  And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
Lev 26:21  And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
Lev 26:22  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [ high] ways shall be desolate.
Lev 26:23  And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24  Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [ my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Lev 26:26  [ And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [ you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Lev 26:27  And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:28  Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:29  And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Lev 26:30  And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
Lev 26:31  And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
Lev 26:32  And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
Lev 26:33  And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Lev 26:34  Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
Lev 26:35  As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
Lev 26:36  And upon them that are left [ alive] of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
Lev 26:37  And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
Lev 26:38  And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
Lev 26:39  And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
Lev 26:40  If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
Lev 26:41  And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Lev 26:42  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43  The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44  And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.

You and I are the ‘land.’ It take our destruction of our old man for the ‘land to enjoy her sabbaths.’ It take being in Christ and Christ in us for the ‘land’ to rest from the works of the flesh which pollute the ‘land.’

Heb 4:1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Heb 4:4  For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [ day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
Heb 4:5  And in this [ place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Heb 4:6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Heb 4:7  Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Heb 4:8  For if Jesus [ Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Heb 4:10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [ did] from his.
Heb 4:11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Conclusion

This has all focused on the negative application of this metal iron. It is the hardest of the base metals and is used to demonstrate the immaturity of babes in Christ. Iron is the metal most associated with that immature stage of our walk, is rejected, and cannot be accepted by God. Iron is the works of the flesh:

Deu 4:20  But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ ye are] this day.
Deu 27:5  And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.

We will finish iron’s negative application and then look at how this too, has a positive application in God’s Word.

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