Study of Types—Types of Christ—Leprosy a Type of Sin Bible Cliaracters—Meaning of Names.
ANOTHER way of studying is to take five great divisions—History, Type, Prophecy, Miracle, Parable.
It is a very interesting thing to study the types of the Bible. Get a good book on the subject and you will be surprised to find out how interested you will become. The Bible is full of patterns and types of ourselves. That is a popular objection against the Bible—that it tells about the failings of men. We should, however, remember that the object of the Bible is not to tell how good men are, but how bad men can become good. But more especially the Bible is full of types of Christ. Types are foreshadowings, and wherever there is a shadow there must be substance. As John McNeill says, "If I see the shadow of a dog, I know there's a dog around." God seems to have chosen this means of teaching the Israelites of the promised Messiah. All the laws, ceremonies and institutions of the Mosaic dispensation point to Christ and His dispensation. The enlightened eyes see Christ in all. For instance, the tabernacle was a type of the incarnation of Jesus: John 1:14, "and the word was made flesh, and tabernacled amongst us." The laver typified sanctification or purity: Ephesians 5:26, "that he might sanctify and cleanse the Church with the washing of water by the word." The candlesticks typified Christ as the Light of the world. The shewbread typified Christ as the Bread of Life. The High Priest was always a type of Christ. Christ was called of God, as was Aaron; He ever liveth to make intercession; He was consecrated with an oath, and so on. The Passover, the Day of Atonement, the Smitten Rock, the sacrifices, the City of Refuge, the Brazen Serpent— all point to Christ's atoning work. Adam was a beautiful type. Think of the two Adams. One introduced sin and ruin into the world, and the other abolished it. So Cain stands as the representative natural man, and Abel as the spiritual man. Abel as a shepherd is a type of Christ the heavenly Shepherd. There is no more beautiful type of Christ in the Bible than Joseph. He was hated of his brethren; he was stripped of his coat; he was sold; he was imprisoned; he gained favor; he had a gold chain about his neck; every knee bowed before him. A comparison of the lives of Joseph and Jesus shows a startling similarity in their experience.
The disease of leprosy is a type of sin. It is incurable by man; it works baneful results; it is insidious in its nature, and from a small beginning works complete ruin; it separates its victims from their fellow-men, just as sin separates a man from God; and as Christ had power to cleanse the leper, so by the grace of God His blood cleanseth us from all iniquity.
Adam represents man's innate sinfulness.
Abel represents Atonement.
Enoch represents communion.
86 Bible Characters.
Noah represents Regeneration.
Abraham represents Faith.
Isaac represents Sonship.
Jacob represents Discipline and Service.
Joseph represents Glory through suffering.
Another good way is to study Bible characters— take them right from the cradle to the grave. You find that skeptics often take one particular part of a man's life—say, of the life of Jacob or of David— and judge the whole by that. They say these men were queer saints; and yet God did not punish them. If you go right through these men's lives you will find that God did punish them, according to the sins they committed.
A lady once said to me that she had trouble in reading the Bible, that she seemed to not feel the interest she ought. If you don't keep up your interest in one way, try another. Never think you have to read the Bible by courses.
Another interesting study is the meaning of proper names. I need hardly remark that every name in the Bible, especially Hebrew names, has a meaning of its own. Notice the difference between Abram (a high father), and Abraham (father of a multitude), and you have a key to his life. Another example is Jacob (supplanter), and Israel (Prince of God). The names of Job's three daughters were Jemima (a dove), Kezia (cassia), and Keren-happuch (horn of paint). These names signify beauty; so that Job's leprosy left no taint