I have addressed quite a few historical biblical servants on this site and their lives’ application for understanding events to take place in our current end times.
In this passage, I will discuss a few more historical biblical figures and elements of their personal stories that we might recognize as repeating among the house of Israel remnant in these end times. All of these servants you may recall are members of the apostle Paul’s “hall of faith” given in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. They are as follows:
Collective characteristics of these historical figures that are the same or similar to end times servants include: they are chosen and blessed by God; they demonstrate faith and courage; they fight against Israel’s enemies; they save the people ‘Israel,’ and they are/become recognized as leaders among them.
One additional aspect of a few of these servants discussed herein is their affiliation or connection to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh and their soon-to-be apportioned land in that day. Thus, we can view some of their life events as representing a possible pattern for events that may reoccur in today’s last days ‘northern kingdom,’ which I have identified as, at least in large part, being represented by the United States (i.e. nation of ‘Babylon’).
In the following sections, I will give a relatively brief synopsis of each of these biblical figure’s stories, and then in a final section I will tie in the major themes that appear across all of their stories; these are themes describing similar events that we expect to take place in these last days. So while these figures’ storylines are not necessarily prophetic, they are informative nonetheless in the sense of considering repeating patterns and generally understanding similar-type servants living in our current end times period.
We first learn of Joshua in the time of Moses and the tribes in the wilderness. Along with Caleb, Joshua was the only one saved from his generation in the wilderness because of his faith when spying out the land of inheritance and believing that the people ‘Israel’ could enter the land and carry out God’s wishes for them, even among the giants who resided there.
Thus, it is not surprising that God handed the mantle to Joshua upon Moses’ death in order to lead the people into the land. And God commanded Joshua to “be strong and of good courage” in doing so. Joshua would lead ‘Israel’s men of war in many victorious battles once they entered the land of inheritance because God was with him; Joshua was chosen and blessed. This is demonstrated in the following scripture:
- “And the Lord said unto Joshua, this day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” (Josh 3:7)
The people of Israel came to recognize Joshua as they did Moses as their God-appointed, God-anointed leader as they began to see signs of God being with him. Just as God parted the Red Sea for Moses, he also supernaturally parted the Jordan for Joshua and his people.
God’s instructions to Joshua were pretty much the same as they were for Moses; that is, to have his people obey his commands. Joshua built altars to the Lord, led the circumcision of the people, and re-read the words of the law of Moses in front of them. Of course, he and his people were also commanded by God to take the land.
Canaanites heard about the Israelites entering the land to take it and became scared because they knew that God was with them. Because of the Israelites, at the first major conflict at Jericho, the town was shut up. You are likely familiar with the story of how the walls of Jericho fell; that is, as a supernatural result of the Israelites merely circling the town, blowing horns, trumpets and shouting; thus, giving Joshua and his fighters the ability to destroy the town.
Otherwise, as Joshua and his people went on and gained more victories, we are told that Joshua’s fame “spread throughout the country” (Josh 6:27). One notable victory for Joshua and his fighters was when five kings and their men combined, led by the king of Jerusalem, and came against Israel’s neighbors/allies the Gibeonites. The Lord supernaturally assisted in the slaughter of these kings and their armies including by the use of “great stones from heaven” as a weapon. This is where Joshua commanded the sun and moon to remain in place for one day to allow Israel to avenge itself and capture and hang these kings.
Joshua had many victories while fighting from “south to north,” enough to the point at which he divided the land of inheritance for the tribes. However, as the Israelites continued to try and drive out the inhabitants and claim the land, they found the Canaanites too strong in some places. Notably, the Jebusites in Jerusalem and the Canaanites in Ephraim and Manasseh we are told remained and lived in the land “to this day.”
In Joshua’s final words, as you would expect, he warned his people all over again about leaving enemies who would become as “snares,” “scourges,” and “thorns” to them. He also reiterated for his people to obey the Lord, avoid false gods and to possess the land. He renewed the covenant with his people once again, and made an altar and re-pledge to serve the Lord. God here also reminded his people how he had been with them, including their blessings as follows:
- “And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.” (Josh 24:12-13)
Also, in some of his final words, Joshua encouraged and exalted his people to have faith in their ongoing journey and mission to assume the land. Not surprisingly, given Joshua’s experience and demonstrated faith to that point, he exhorted them in their going forth as follows:
- “One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” (Josh 23:10)
We see plenty of examples of this power that God gave his people in the battles that followed, some of which are described in the sections below.
In the time of Israel’s judges after Joshua, they were commonly the deliverers and saviors of the people while in the midst of their enemies and during their ongoing campaign to claim the land. Because his people Israel’s transgressions became worse after Joshua’s death, the Lord delivered them into the hands of their Midianite enemies for seven years. As a result, Israel became heavily oppressed and impoverished.
While among the Israelites during this time, Gideon of the tribe of Manasseh was visited by an angel of the Lord. Gideon was chosen to save Israel, despite his reservations of being from a poor family and being the “least” in his house. The Lord instructed him to break down the altars of Baal and then to go up against the Midianites. He was told, “fear not,” and God assured him that he had “given them into (his) hands.”
From among tens of thousands of fighting men in Israel, the Lord instructed Gideon to go through a process to find a fighting force of just 300 men to go against the multitudes of the Midianites who were infested like “grasshoppers” among the Israelites. This was so Israelites would later know that it was God who had done this work. Gideon was further reassured by additional signs from God as well as by the interpretation of a fellow Israelite’s dream. His was a dream of a cake of barley bread rolling into a tent and destroying it, which the man said represented Gideon destroying the Midianites.
Once they came aside their enemies, Gideon instructed his 300 men to blow trumpets, break empty pitchers and carry torches; upon doing this, the Lord set Israel’s enemies against themselves. At this point the others in Israel joined to pursue the Midianites, including the men of Ephraim, to slay them.
While Gideon was pursuing the Midianite kings, in the course of his travels, the Israelite men of Succoth and Penuel offered no help to Gideon and his men with bread as they requested. So after Gideon found and slew his enemies, he came back through these towns and executed punishment on them with the “thorns of the wilderness, and with briers.”
The men of Ephraim also had a conflict with Gideon for not being invited to participate in the initial battle. But Gideon comforted them, and explained to them how their enemies had been delivered and that, “the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim” was better than the vintage of the whole harvest.
Because of his conquest over the Midianites, the people of Israel asked Gideon and his sons to rule over them. Gideon had one son of a concubine of different family than his 70 sons from his wives. This son, Abimelech, deceived the men of Shechem and slew Gideon’s 70 sons so that he could rule. Only one of Gideon’s sons (Jotham) escaped.
This lone son Jotham returned to scold the men of Shechem to make the point that they had forsaken the rightly deserving rulers of his father’s line, and had chosen his half-brother Abimelech in a treasonous act. Because of Jotham’s curse, God eventually returned the wickedness on these men and Abimelech was killed in battle shortly thereafter.
Not long after the days of Abimelech, the Israelites in Gilead (east of the Jordan) had again turned to foreign gods and became oppressed after God sold them to their neighbors. Then, the Ammonites came against them, believing that it was their land from before Moses’ day. The children of Israel needed someone to lead them in battle at this point.
The elders of Gilead approached Jephthah who lived in Syria and asked him to return to lead them in battle and to become their leader. Scripture says that Jephthah was a “mighty man of valor,” but that he had originally been cast out from his house by his brothers because he was a half-brother, a son of a harlot. Jephthah nevertheless was faithful in the Lord and agreed to help his people.
The Lord answered Jephthah’s prayer and delivered the Ammonites into his hand. As we saw with Gideon, the Ephraimites were angered by not being approached to help fight. Jephthah responded that he had called them but that they did not respond. The Ephraimites believed Jephthah and the Gileadites to be “fugitives.” Jephthah then smote Ephraim. In doing so, he identified some in battle by their dialect in pronouncing a certain word (shibboleth); this is a word with a meaning of flowing stream, ear of grain, branch, etc.
Samson was another notable judge of the people Israel. A Nazarite, he was chosen and blessed (with incredible strength, etc.) by God, and was virtually single-handedly enlisted by God on behalf of his people in southern lands to fight against their oppressors, the Philistines.
Samson married a Philistine wife in whom he confided a riddle, and who then conspired with her people- Samson’s enemy- in telling them the meaning. Samson then executed his first wave of punishment by destroying 30 of their men. After he returned and found his father-in-law had given his wife away to another, Samson then burned the Philistine’s fields and vineyards with fire in a second wave of punishment.
Samson was then rejected by the men of Judah, whom the Philistines approached when they came to find Samson. Judah took and delivered Samson back to the Philistines to put him in bonds. Samson broke his bonds and slew another one thousand men of Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.
Then Samson loved and stayed with Delilah. She also conspired with the Philistines who had surrounded Samson to understand the source of his strength and to fight against him. After she had tried several times, Samson finally confided in Delilah who then shaved his hair, which allowed the Philistines to capture Samson.
God’s final punishment on the Philistines through Samson was at their gathering and party where they made sport of Samson and mocked him while praising their own false gods for his deliverance. Samson prayed that God would give him strength to bring their house down in his final wave of punishment, which took place so that we are told, “the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”
Samuel was the son of formerly barren Hannah, the wife of an Ephraimite. Hannah had been lowly and poor, and also afflicted by the enemy because of her shut up womb. Hannah asked the Lord in faith for a child and pledged him to the Lord for his service ahead of time. Hannah was similar in some ways to Mary and Elisabeth, the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist, respectively.
Hannah’s prayers for a child were answered, and the Lord indeed called to Samuel at an early age and we are told was with him. This is shown in the following scripture:
- “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” (1 Sam 3:19-20)
As this scripture might suggest, Samuel became a prophet and a watchman for Israel. He also warned in righteousness; his first big warning was to the house of priests of Eli (son of Aaron) in his day who were corrupt and who God would purge and destroy. He later warned his people ‘Israel’ at-large more than once about their disobedience and faithlessness. They had rejected God, and just like later prophets such as Jeremiah, they would not listen to Samuel’s words.
In their rebellion, the people of Israel requested a king to lead them instead. Thus, Samuel naturally became an unwitting judge in his people’s disobedience and at God’s request begrudgingly went to find them a king.
In the meantime, Samuel warned his people about the consequences of their disobedience in what appears to also be a prophecy applying to these end times, telling the people that, in that day, a king they serve will take their land, children, factors of production, one-tenth of their seed, etc.
Samuel’s final two major acts were related to anointing Israel’s first kings. He first anointed Saul, who God later abandoned as a result of his disobedience. Then, he anointed David and later became a refuge with David while David was running from Saul.
Eight (8) takeaways from the stories of ancient servants that apply in the end times
Below, in this section, I will summarize themes applying to God’s ancient servants and their stories as these are addressed herein. For each theme, I will briefly restate how it applies to each particular servant and their individual story. I will then also briefly describe the similarity of how the theme applies to end times servants along with possible prophetic implications.
Humble, poor beginnings– Gideon was from a lowly family, and expressed concern to the visiting angel appointing him that he was “the least” in his house. Jephthah was a son of a harlot who had been cast out from his brothers. Samuel was born of Hannah, who was lowly and poor. We also see how the kings who were subsequently anointed by Samuel, Saul and David, were not obvious choices based on their background.
In my last passage, I described how end times ‘Jacob’ is very small, like a mustard seed, and certainly nothing like the “great men” or “mountains” of Israel who are current day house of Israel leaders.
God’s chosen and anointed– Joshua was chosen directly by God, just as Moses was. Gideon was visited by an angel who told him that he was to save Israel. God visited Samson’s parents, and then Samson was blessed and anointed as a Nazarite from his mother’s womb. The Lord accepted Hannah’s offer of her son Samuel in service and then called the prophet Samuel at an early age, telling him that he was with him.
On this site, I have shown many times how God is with his end times holy ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant, and how they are his chosen to go into the Millennial Kingdom. He directly refers to ‘Jacob’ and his remnant as his chosen people.
Faithful, courageous warriors– Joshua led his people into many victorious battles, and of course he had originally spied out the land, courageously believing that his people could enter. God told Joshua, “be strong and courageous” upon his and his people’s entry into the land. Both Gideon and Jephthah were referred to as “mighty men of valor.” Samson was an obvious warrior.
In my passage on this site entitled, ‘An End Times Judah Remnant,’ I described the warrior characteristics of this “small flock” end times remnant who fight as part of the ‘Jacob army’ against the anti-Christ Chaldeans in these last days.
God’s supernatural assistance– God’s assistance for his servants is implied in Joshua’s words to the people, “One man of you shall chase a thousand.” Joshua’s battle against Jericho showed God among them in bringing down the walls of the city merely by shouting and blowing of horns. In a subsequent battle, God reigned down “great stones of heaven” on his people’s enemies. Similarly, only 300 men among Gideon who blew trumpets and broke pitchers caused a large Midianite army to raise their swords against themselves. Samson was given supernatural strength to break all of his bonds and also to slay a thousand with the jawbone of an ass; then he slayed several thousand by removing pillars and bringing down a large house.
The end times ‘Jacob army’ is a very small remnant that God supernaturally protects and allows to destroy many kings and nations in the last days behind-the-scenes, unconventional war that I have described in detail on this site.
Incidentally, the Jacob-Judah remnant fights against the anti-Christ Chaldeans primarily in the nation of ‘Babylon’-U.S. One of Joshua’s men we are told took (against God’s instructions) a Babylon-ish garment out of Jericho. This is a sign that the battle of Jericho could be a picture of the last days walls of ‘Babylon’ and its anti-Christ Chaldean kingdom coming down.
Rejected and betrayed– Men of the house of Israel at Succoth and Penuel denied Gideon and his men bread while they were en-route against the Midianites. Gideon’s line of 70 sons from among whom a successive leader should have come were traded out and were all killed by their half-brother. Jephthah had originally been cast out by his brothers because he came from a harlot mother. Then, the tribe of Ephraim did not help Jephthah fight against the Ammonites. Samson was betrayed by his first wife and then also by Delilah who both conspired with their own Philistine people. The tribe of Judah traded out and betrayed Samson when they were approached by the Philistines, turning him in so that he could be captured, bound and shackled. Although God had assured the prophet Samuel that his people had not rejected him, it was clear that his people did not listen to Samuel’s words.
The last days ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant will find themselves cast out into the wilderness, with world leaders and rulers opposing them. Recall end times ‘Jacob’ is an object of strife, contention and controversy much like Jeremiah was in his day. Many in ‘Jacob’s remnant will be divided from their own families and friends- a fulfillment of Jesus’ words on this topic that will eventually apply to the multitudes in these last days.
God’s provisions and inheritance– Joshua led his people and crossed the Jordan to inherit the land, a land God reminded them was one “for which you did not labor.” Joshua had his people sanctified and re-dedicated to God. Joshua later apportioned the land as an inheritance according to tribe. After his victory, Gideon told Ephraim in what appears to be a prophetic statement with inheritance implications that, “the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim,” was better than the whole harvest. The prophet Samuel implicated a line of corrupt priests and described how they would be removed by God, but then eventually set up a king (David) who whose line would inherit the eternal throne.
Last days ‘Jacob’ will raise up the tribes of Israel as they return from all over the world to “cross the Jordan,” literally and figuratively speaking, and come to the land which will again be divided by tribe. The first fruits remnant will come out of ‘Ephraim’- the land and part of the remnant people. End times ‘David’ will anoint the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. God’s regathered people will be sanctified and given a new heart and spirit upon coming to the land.
Ties to the ‘northern kingdom’– Joshua was an Ephraimite. His final inheritance was on Mount Ephraim. Gideon’s lineage was of the tribe of Manasseh and he fought against enemies who were beyond the Jordan. Jephthah also operated for Israel on the other side of the Jordan against their perennial enemies. While Gideon had blessed Ephraim and made peace, Jephthah destroyed many of Ephraim because of their betrayal, not helping him fight against the Ammonites. Interestingly, he identified some by their dialect.
The last days holy remnant will return to the land of Israel from today’s ‘northern kingdom’ – the “land of the north” of Israel. This will include God’s warriors who fight against the anti-Christ Chaldeans in the nation and kingdom of ‘Babylon.’ Ironically, some of ‘Ephraim’ will have been opposed to the righteous remnant as they will have been among the Chaldeans themselves- a people of a “strange language.” Only a select remnant of/from ‘Ephraim’ will return.
The harvest time and its meaning– Perhaps the initial, fitting symbolic indication for this entire time period of Joshua, the Judges and the people of Israel as they entered and journeyed through the land to claim it is that they originally crossed the Jordan at a time when it was at a high water mark, overflowing its banks. This happens to the Jordan during the time period of the harvest.
We see occasional indirect references to the harvest in the scripture for this time period. Gideon was visited and anointed by an angel of the Lord while he threshed wheat by the winepress. Gideon was also told the dream of a fellow man about a barley cake rolling into the camp of the enemy and destroying it. Recall Gideon also told the men of Ephraim they had received the “gleaning of the grapes,” the few grapes left after the harvest. In one of Samson’s judgments, after he was betrayed, he burned the Philistine’s shocks, corn, vineyards and olives.
End times ‘Jacob’ and the Israel remnant will begin to gather and be separated from worldwide fighting at the last days harvest- a time when God’s judgment will separate the wheat from the tares as is told in Jesus’ parable of the same name. God’s remnant will represent the few grapes remaining on the vine of Israel.
In conclusion, we see that characteristics of God’s ancient servants and their stories are highly similar in some cases to those of end times servants and the events that we know will take place in the near future in these last days.
Grace & Peace,
Lion’s Lair (LL)