Today is the final recap on our study of Metals from the “The Word of God” series from 9 months ago.
Numbers 31:22, “Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead”
When lead is mentioned, the first association you are likely to think of is of something heavy. In Zechariah 5:8, we read, “And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.”We also read in Exodus of 15, where Moses sings his triumphant song recalling the victory at the Red Sea over the Egyptians. Moses says that the Egyptians, “sank as lead in the mighty waters.” (v10) We know that even today, fishermen use lead weights to sink a fishing line.
In chapter 19 of the book of Job, we read Job’s greatest expression of lament, which climaxes with a cry, “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! (v 23-24) The heaviness of heart that Job expresses here is illustrated by this picture of his words being written as ‘lead in the rock’ — such is the weight of the trial he is bearing at this point, that he feels only the medium of lead would do justice to the weight of his words.
Remembering again that the metals are a picture of our spiritual condition, remember that it is possible for a real man of God to go through an extremely ‘heavy’ time or a heavy trial. God calls Job perfect 3 times! No one else in the Bible is called perfect as many times as this man Job. Yet this perfect man is chosen by God to be tested beyond any other man we read of in the Bible. This man Job, is chosen to bear a trial so heavy that the telling of it has to be written in lead. Selah.
We may also think of poison when lead is mentioned, for it is well known that the lead-lined pipes used particularly during the Greek and Roman eras, poisoned the water and in drinking the ‘poisoned’ water, many became mentally ill. Lead was also the ingredient in pewter drinking vessels, popular until the mid 19th century, and frequently drinking from these vessels also caused ‘madness’. Lead in the body’s system damages the nerves and causes brain disorders. Even the fumes of burning lead are highly toxic.
Spiritually, if we‘drink’ of heavy trials too often or allow ourselves to be consumed with heaviness, we will poison our minds and our spiritual health. We must take care that when we go through a very hard trial that we are quick to encourage ourselves in the Lord, and like Job, to raise our ‘eyes’ toward our Redeemer and His coming. In the very next verses after Job speaks of writing his words in lead, he expresses his hope: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And...yet in my flesh shall I see God:” (Job 19:25-26) It is interesting to note that the word ‘hope’ appears more times in the book of Job than anywhere else in the Bible. This is a sure sign that ‘hope’ is the best remedy for heavy and poisonous battles. So the next time you find yourself in a spiritually ‘lead’ state, change your water source and drink of the fountain of living water!