What are a pattern in the Bible?
Imagine me taking a pencil and a piece of paper and drawing a square. Above the square I put a thigh that touches the upper two corners. Then I draw a small rectangle in the right half of the large square and next to it I place an upright rectangle. What did I draw?
I think you suspect it already. My drawing is an abstract representation of a house. Such an abstraction can already be done by a preschool child and that's really amazing.
With such patterns God describes many things in the Bible.
The patterns are templates, models, examples, paradigms and abstractions. The stories and descriptions in the Bible are all such patterns. The judges Barak, Gideon, Jephta and Samson are a pattern and each point in his own way to the Messiah. Of course, the other judges are also a pattern, but I pick out the four mentioned because only they are mentioned by name in the Letter to the Hebrews and then in reverse order. (Hebrews 11:32) What is the apostle trying to tell us? The four judges are prophetic pointers for us and tell us where we stand in the history of salvation. Gideon comes prophetically before Barak, and Samson's story happens prophetically before the things described by Jephtha's story.
The narratives of the judges are all models for properly describing and correctly interpreting the signs of the times and thus for recognizing the invisible action of the Messiah.
The Philistine is also such a pattern. She represents, from the prophetic vision, the Jewish people after the Rapture. For all are uncircumcised, in heart and ears. But it is also a pattern for each one of us, for we too are uncircumcised by nature, both literally and figuratively. Samson spoke to the heart of the Philistine, thereby opening it to him, and Samson could say to his father and mother, "She has been sincere to me, and therefore do I speak her righteousness. The Lord also seeks us and follows us, talks to us two or three times. He wants to say of us, as well as of the Philistine, that we were sincere in his eyes and justified through him. The necessary condition for this is that we must admit before Jesus that we cannot be justified by ourselves. With this we would have overcome the first hurdle. Only the second hurdle is sufficient, i.e. we must admit our guilt from the heart. With this we would have fulfilled the most important condition.
If we go to Jesus with our guilt, then we must know that He wants to forgive us, because for this He once suffered on the cross. And after we have reconciled ourselves with Jesus, he can say in the Father's house: He or you are just in my eyes. And Jesus helps us to make it visible for the rest of our lives.
The comrades of Samson can also be applied to us as patterns. We are by nature curious and playful. This gives us the chance to solve the riddle. But also we don't include the narrator when we try to solve the riddle, so we won't be able to solve the riddle like the journeymen couldn't solve it. Their reaction is like ours, we don't want to give away our dirty, i.e. sinful things.
Samson remains faithful and so does the Messiah. Nevertheless, Jesus loves us. As long as we live, we can leave our dirty clothes with him and receive fine and pure clothes.
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