Even though the Old Testament was focused on the Lord’s dealings with the Israelites, there were some references to his divine plans and purposes for blacks shown and sown in some specific dealings/relationship with some blacks. Just as he brought the gentile Rahab and Ruth into the lineage of Christ, coded in his biblical dealings with some black persons in the old and new testament are insights of the end-time plans for the blacks, as we enter the third day (third millennium) of revival, restoration and fellowship prophesied in Hosea: After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him
1. KETURAH (meaning incense, perfume), the second legal wife of Abraham, married after the death of Sarah (Genesis 25:1).
In 1 Samuel 8;l3, the incense is described as a rich perfume used in sacrifices to call the attention of God, open the door into his presence and as a vehicle to carry prayer along (See Exodus 30:7-8, Ezra 6:10, Malachi 1:ll, Rev. 8:3-4). Perfumers were also defined as those responsible for mixing spices for the anointing oil and the incense to be burnt on the altar.
Four major ministry calling could be attributed to incense and perfumes
(i) A ministry of praise, worship and intercession (Rev. 5:7, 8:3-4, Ezra 6:10 and Exodus 30:8). The queen Esther typifies a woman that understood her ministry well. Contrasted to the willful Vashti, she knew the proper time and procedure (Ecclesiastes 8:2-6) to get the king to do the right thing even if he was on the wrong course already. Likewise Zipporah (Exodus 4:24-26) knew what to do to save her minister – husband’s life, even when God was about to slay him.
(ii) Creating a pleasant atmosphere at home. Ps. 45:7-9, Songs of Solomon 1:12, 3:6 and 4:10-11 describe the fragrance spread at home by the woman. Pro. 27:9 tells us that perfumers and fragrant oils (incense) bring joy to the heart (makes a man happy). When a woman functions in the ministry of the perfumery, she creates a happy pleasant, joyous atmosphere for everyone at home. A contentious woman on the other hand causes a man to stray from his home (Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, 25:24, 27:8, 27:15).
(iii) Another function of the perfumer is the preservative aspect. Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of James and Salome anointed Jesus’ body with spices and fragrant oils (John l9: 40, Matt 26:12 Luke 23:55-56) to prevent the body from going bad.
(iv). Closely related to the burning of incense is the lighting of the lamps (Exodus 30:7-8, 35:28). The ministry of praise, worship and intercession also opens the door for the illumination of God’s word and the knowledge of his will. Revelation of the word will come easily
Playing on the meanings of Keturah’s name, this speaks of God raising a generation of Keturahs in our age- an intercessory group of black women, who as Abraham’s second legal wife will see to it by prayers, praises and intercessions, that the Abrahamic covenant comes to pass on their descendants- black race- who are also of the ‘seed of Abraham’ (Romans 4:13, Galatians 3:29).
2. JETHRO, the Medianite priest, (Moses’ father-in-law), a refuge and the wise counselor (Exodus 3:16-21; Exodus 18). Also known as Raguel or Reuel and Jether (meaning excellence (Cruden’s). Without the counsel of Jethro, Moses would certainly have failed in his divine assignment. God will raise Jethros in our ‘third day’ generation, black men of excellent spirit, who will replace the foolish counselors of Zoan, who have led the Presidents of black nations to political and socio-economic ruin so far (see Isaiah19:11-15)
3. ZIPPORAH: daughter of Jethro, the interceding Ethiopian wife of Moses Exodus 4:18-26)
If Moses would have failed in his divine assignment without the wise counsel of Jethro, He would not even have started without the intercession/intervention of Zipporah, Jethro’s daughter:
Exodus 4:24 – 26. And it came to pass by the way in the inn that the LORD met him, and sought to
kill him Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it
at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.
Numbers 12:2 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
Although the intercessor black women could be despised by our white brethren, like Rosa Parks was despised in the bus in America, God will not take kindly to the despise ( see Numbers 12).
4. HOBAB: Hobab, the brother of Zipporah, Moses’ wife was an Ethiopian (Numbers 10:29, 12:1). His father Reuel (also known as Jethro) was the Priest of Median, and a descendant of Keturah. Hence Hobab was of a priestly upbringing. When the Israelites needed someone to be their eyes and guide in the wilderness, Hobab was the ready choice. He was literarily begged to go along with the children of promise. Today God is raising an “Issachar Company” (1 Chronicles 12:32) from among the blacks, to provide direction and insight to the Church worldwide, as Hobab did.
5. THE KENITES (1 Samuel 15:6)
The Kenites were direct descendants of Hobab, who guided the Israelites into the Promised Land. When the Lord tested the obedience of Saul in the matter of the Amalekites, and Saul was found wanting, the Kenites in simple obedience moved away from among the Amalekites, and was spared destruction. We expect such obedience among the black church today.
The black women are not left out. Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite was the person who nailed Jabin, the usurping oppressive King of Canaan (Judges 4, 17, 5; 24-27). In the spiritual battles of these age, the Jaels of the black church will join forces with the Deborahs and Baraks, to deal the Siseras and Amalekites of this age, rendering their spiritual mothers
childless, and their satanic wise ladies foolish (Judges 5 26- 30, 1 Samuel 15:33).
7. THE EGYPTIAN SERVANT OF THE AMALEKITE
Like Hobab, the black Egyptian boy was the guide to David, in his quest to
recover all that the Amalekites plundered.
Today, the blacks have been abandoned sick by their plundering colonial
Masters. But in this third day (millennium – 2 Peter 3: 8), we are being
revived (Hosea 6:1-3) to provide guidance to the church to recover all that the Amalekites plundered- beyond mere “debt relief”!
8. CUSHI (Meaning Ethiopian, black, blackness, heat), THE ETHIOPIAN RUNNER ( 2 Samuel 18).
In this third day, a generation of black men bearing good tidings in their mouth (2 Samuel 18:25) will arise and run with the gospel to report to King Jesus, as Cushi declared to King David .
And Cushi answered, the enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt; be as that young man is.(2 Samuel 18:32).
And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still. (2 Samuel 18:30)
King Jesus is telling the white Ahimaaz to turn aside for Him to listen to the gospel report of the Blackman (Luke 10:17). He sits on the right hand of the Father, waiting till all his enemies are made his foothold. Like the Ethiopian runner, it is the black gospel carrier that will bring the final report of Psalm 110. Amen
9. EBED-MELECH THE ETHIOPIAN (Jeremiah 38)
Even though regarded merely as a eunuch in the king’s service, Ebed-Melech was the intercessor that saved the prophet Jeremiah’s life. As the Babylon spirit engulfs the western world, God will raise Ebed-Melechs in these countries, who by intercession and their actions, will rescue and preserve the (sources of) the true word of God (Jeremiah 38:1-13).
Despite the engulfment of the Babylonian spirit in the western world, the Lord will deliver the black Ebed-Melechs in their midst because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 39:15-18).
10. SIMON OF CYRENE, who was forced to carry the cross of Jesus to Golgotha (Mark 15:22-23). ‘Walking from the fields into the city”, the black race will be forced to be responsible for carrying the last leg of the cross of Christ.
11/12. SIMEON (THE NIGERIAN?) AND LUCUIS OF CYRENE (Acts 13:1).
Just as there were men from Cyrene (black Libya) on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-10), some were there among the prophets and teachers who commissioned the first missionaries (Paul and Barnabas), at Antioch (where the disciples were first called Christians- Acts 11:20-26).
One hundred years after the ‘second Pentecost’- the Azusa street revival pioneered by a Blackman, -a ‘third Pentecost’ is at hand, that will commission a new generation of Antioch missionaries who will take the gospel not only to the Jews but also the “Greeks” (Acts 11: 19-20: read also Romans 9-11).
Dr Tayo Babalobi