Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Doctrine of Scripture Series: Jesus In The 66 Books of the Bible - Joshua through 2 Chronicles


    In our last post here, we began to consider how we find Jesus in the sixty-six books of the Bible. We looked at the first five books, assigning them the overall purpose of showing us the pattern of Christ. In our explorations of Genesis through Deuteronomy, we noted the following:

1. In Genesis, we see Jesus as the Creator       
   and Sustainer.

2. In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.

3. In Leviticus, He is foreshadowed as our 
    High Priest.

4. In Numbers, we Find Him as our Guiding 

5. In Deuteronomy, we discover Jesus as the 
    life giver.

    It is truly exciting when exploring Christology (the study of Jesus Christ in the Bible, including His Person, natures, work and offices). It is the preincarnate Christ whom Adam and Eve would come to know as that voice and Christophany in the Garden. It was He who would appear to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees (see Acts 7:3). He was that mysterious man that wrestled Jacob in Genesis 32 ( compare Hosea 12:4). 

    The patterns revealed by the Books of the Law would persist. Genesis 22 would give us a picture of the Son and the Father enacting the Son going to the cross, as seen with Abraham's offering of Isaac. Joseph in Genesis 37-50 gives us the fullest pattern of Christ in the life of Joseph. We see in Exodus the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night. The God who appeared on the mountain to Moses (perhaps a Theophany of the Father) is by nature the Redeeming God that guided the people of God day and night in a Christophany pattern. God's revelation of the Tabernacle in Exodus, which we didn't even mention, has dozens of foreshadowings of Christ's person and work. 

    Then in Leviticus we see not only the priestly ministries of Aaron and his sons, but the sacrifices presenting a pattern of Jesus as our substitutionary atonement. Numbers, which we noted was titled in the Hebrew "in the desert", gives us a pattern of Christ as that Shepherd. One pattern we note in Numbers is the number forty. It was forty years of time in which the Jews wandered in that dry land. The number "forty" would signify a time of testing or a period for growth and development. Moses himself had three such forty year periods in his life. Jesus of course would be tempted of the Devil in the wilderness for forty days. Then we saw Deuteronomy, and how in that book, Jesus is that life giver, both physically and spiritually.

    In today's post we want to now look at what are called the "historical books". These books stretch from the conquest of Canaan in 1400 b.c. to the time of Queen Esther in 380 b.c. History truly is "His-story", meaning that God's providence guides the wills of men, the course of nations, the physical creation, and flow of time in bringing forth His glorious purposes. It is for this reason I assigned the general theme of the historical books as anticipating the Lord Jesus Christ. Due to the size of this section of the Old Testament, today's post will look at how we see Jesus from Joshua to 2 Chronicles.

The Historical Books (Joshua-Esther) = Christ is Anticipated.

Joshua = Jesus, the Captain of Salvation.

    We find that the author of this sixth book of the Bible, Joshua, has the same meaning in his name as Jesus. Joshua and Jesus both mean "Jehovah" or "Yahweh is salvation". Joshua would lead God's people through a 13 year conquest of the Canaanite nations to lay claim on the promised land pledged by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Book of Joshua historically speaks of the settling of God's people into their land. Exodus portrays the Christian's salvation, with Leviticus and Numbers giving ussome illustrations of what can be the fits and starts that come with the early days of Christian growth.

    When we come to Hebrews 3-4, we dicsover that Joshua's spiritual emphasis portrays the Christian taking responsibility and living out the Christian life and fighting the good fight of faith. The Christian life is not only about my position before God in saving faith, but also about me taking possession of the "land" of my Christian walk in continuing faith. 

    Certainly, Joshua shows how God would initially fulfill the land grant He pledged to Abraham, with its full realization yet to be accomplished in Christ's future earthly reign. Jesus Christ is that Captain of the Lord of hosts met by Joshua in Joshua 5. He leads God's people in their pilgrimage through this world to their heavenly home (see 1 Peter 2:9-12).

Judges = Jesus is our Deliverer.

    If the book of Joshua pictures the Christian life lived out before God in obedience and dependance, then Judges gives the mirror opposite of what occurs when the Christian backslides. We encounter a specially called people designated "judges", tasked by God to deliver the Jewish people from nations that subjugated them. Throughout Judges, we find the refrain: "the people did what was pleasing in their eyes". Despite the unfaithfulness of the nation of Israel, God kept His Word. The deliverance wrought by God through the imperfect judges points ahead to the Perfect Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ruth = Jesus is our Kinsmen Redeemer

    Ruth would become the maternal ancestor of King David, who in turn would figure prominently in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:1-17). Ruth's story centers around God's providential leading of her (a Moabitess) to become the wife of Boaz (a prominent Jewish man and ancestor of King David). The pivot point of the plot of Ruth would involve a certain law that required a near relative or "kinsman" to marry a woman whose husband had died to carry on the family bloodline. 

    The nearest relative of Ruth's first husband refused to perform his role, thus leaving Boaz as the next kinsmen. So much could be said, but suffice it to say, Ruth pictures the bride that none wanted, an outsider. Boaz portrays to us a kinsmen willing to redeem this unwanted bride. Boaz would take on Ruth's debts, the scorn she would undoubtedly had retained as a Moabitess, and the reputation of having been an outsider. Boaz redeemed Ruth for His own, much as Christ would redeem His church for His own - the Kinsmen Redeemer.

1 & 2 Samuel = Jesus our King

    As we move onward through the historical books, we come to meet two important kings: Saul in 1 Samuel and David in 2 Samuel. David is God's choice man, a man afater God's own heart. Saul and David are contrasts of one another, setting up a wonderful example of how the historical books anticipated Christ. Saul in many respects was like the first Adam, failing in his duties before God who had called him. 

    What was needed as a better King, a "second Adam-like figure". God told Samuel the prophet that in rejecting Saul, he had chosen David (see 1 Samuel 15-16). The covenant God would make later with David in 2 Samuel 7:13-16 would provide a key covenant promising the eternal kingship and throne for the Lord Jesus Christ (see also Psalm 110).

1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles = Jesus our Sovereign Lord.

    Although these four books may seem upon first glance to cover the same ground, they present the history of God's people in different respects. 1 & 2 Kings gives the sequel of what occured following the death of David. Solomon his son would become the final king of the United Kingdom. Eventually, Israel would divide into two kingdoms (Israel to the North, Judah to the South). By the time it was all said and done, each kingdom would experience 20 kings, mostly evil, and with only the Southern Kingdom of Judah having a handful of Godly Kings. By 722 b.c. the Northern Kingdom would be sacked by the Assyrians. Later, in 586 b.c., the forces of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy Jersualem in Judah and carry of the people to exile.

    It is in 1 & 2 Chronicles that we find the entire history of mankind rehearsed, with the narrative quickly getting us to King David and what would follow in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. I define these four books as having to do with the Sovereignty of Christ, since the winding paths of God's Providence guided the bloodline of the kings of Judah, as well as the destinies of the Jews who went into exile, to become the cradle that would bring about the humanity of our Lord through the virgin Mary. In the Hebrew Bible, 1 and 2 Chronicles are the final books. They help us to see how all of history flows in one ultimate direction towards what would be the incarnation and arrival of the Son of God into our world.

More next time....

No comments:

Post a Comment