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THE SILVER THREAD OF THE BIBLE
Victor M. Eskew
Angelic beings desired to look into it. The prophets contemplated its meaning. Satan strove to fight against it. In the Old Testament, it was a plan concealed. In the New Testament, it was a scheme revealed. We speak of the scheme of redemption. We reference God’s means to make sinful man friendly again with a holy God. This element of divine wisdom is the silver thread that runs throughout each book of the Bible. In this article, we want to briefly chart some of the Old Testament utterances that pointed to spiritual things to come in the days of Jesus and the apostles.
In the context, we learn that Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit. The consequences of their actions were being meted out. In Genesis 3:15, God is speaking to the serpent. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Three aspects of this verse are prophetically important. First, God says that the seed will come from the woman. In his book, A Review of the New Versions, brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. makes this comment: “The natural seed inheres on the male side, such as the seed of Abraham and the seed of David – but in Genesis 3:15 it is her seed which would be the object of Satan’s enmity” (p. 101). The idea that the seed would come from woman is prophetic of the virgin birth. Second, this text reveals that Satan would bruise the heel of the woman’s seed, a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Third, Satan was informed that a deathblow would crush his head. The one whose heel he had bruised would inflict it. That blow would be delivered when Jesus burst the bars of the Hadean realm by means of the resurrection.
In the days of Abraham, the Lord narrowed the seed promise to Abraham’s descendants. Abraham is given three promises in this passage: a land promise, a nation promise, and a seed promise. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” The last ten words are a direct reference to the Christ. Jesus would come forth from the loins of Abraham and bring blessings to all mankind.
The thread continues to be woven in the latter chapters of Genesis. In chapter 49 Jacob is blessing each one
of his sons. When he speaks to
Moses was the great prophet and lawgiver of the Old Testament. To him was given the Law of Moses. As he neared his death, Jehovah promised to raise up another Prophet like unto Moses. “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” The Messiah to come would be a spokesman for God. He would have a divine message. It was to be heeded by all men.
In Genesis 49:10, the prophetic words foretold of One coming from
In both Genesis and Deuteronomy, we were informed that the seed of promise would be a lawgiver. Jeremiah explains more about the law to be given. It would not be an addition to the Old Covenant. It would be a new covenant. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After these days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin nor more.”
One of the most descriptive prophecies of the Christ is found in Isaiah 53. In this text His real mission is revealed. Verses 4 and 5 indicate what He would do for sinful man. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
These are only a few of several hundred prophecies of the Old Testament detailing the coming of the Messiah. Over three hundred could be cited. It is evident that the God of heaven had a plan He intended to bring to fruition. He revealed that plan over the years. It was the silver thread that sewed the Old Testament books together.