Nathan Jones: For the past several months, our television program Christ in Prophecy has been going through a book-by-book Bible series highlighting Jesus in the Old Testament. Beginning in Genesis, we have been looking for appearances of our Messiah — either in pre-incarnate Christophanies, or in types, or as symbols — that point forward to Jesus Christ.
Tim Moore: We knew from the beginning that this series would be an ambitious one as we could only scratch the surface of each book. Our goal then was to introduce you to revelations of Jesus found in places you wouldn’t expect to find throughout the Word of God, as well as to whet your appetite to make you hunger to learn more.
I’ve long believed that there is much more to each book, chapter, page, and verse of the Bible than we often realize. Sometimes that’s because we simply haven’t studied enough. And, sometimes it’s because the Holy Spirit has not yet revealed certain truths to us. I’m sure that you’ve experienced that yourself?
Nathan Jones: Most Christians have experienced a time that as we were reading the Bible, then all of the sudden, a passage that we’ve overlooked many times just kind of lept off of the page, grabbed our hearts, and really convicted us. Having such a series has really helped open my spiritual eyes more and more to finding the pre-incarnate Jesus either there physically in person as He was say with Abraham or Gideon as the Angel of the Lord, or through typologies using different symbols such as say the Ark of the Covenant or a biblical personage’s life. They all point to the Messiah being Jesus Christ.
Tim Moore: It’s amazing how many types point to Jesus Christ and the Gospel!
The Genealogical Example
Tim Moore: Here’s a particular example of the beauty that often eludes us until we dig deeper into the Word of God. In Genesis 5, Moses records the genealogy that led from Adam to Noah. The men cited lived and died thousands of years ago and had names that are sometimes hard to pronounce. When you explore the meaning of certain names, though, you’ll come to realize that God has woven an incredible truth into His Word pointing to Himself and His Good News for mankind.
For example, Genesis 5 lists the genealogy of ten men: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. What do their names mean?
- Adam = Man
- Seth = Appointed, or Anointed One
- Enosh = Mortal, or Man
- Kenan = Sorrow
- Mahalalel = Blessed God
- Jared = to Descend, or Descent
- Enoch = Dedicated, or Teaching
- Methuselah = Man of Death, or Man of the Spear
- Lamech = Despairing, or to Make Low
- Noah = to Bring Relief, or Comfort, or Rest
So, if you stitch all of these names together it appears that the Lord is providing a summary of His whole Gospel story as revealed in Scripture. Together they mean:
“Man is appointed to be mortal and live in sorrow, but the blessed God shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing comfort and rest.”
While these names can obviously stand on their own, there are reasons why God puts what He does in Scripture. I find great beauty and gain insight from this example. I’ve actually carried a page listing this example in my Bible for many years now as a reminder that meaning can be found in every aspect of God’s Word.
Nathan Jones: This lineage of names and meanings serves as one of the great arguments for the Bible being the very Word of God because it shows the uniformity of theme and purpose as found throughout the Scriptures. The very fact that you can have an entire line of genealogy where each name adds up to a message that points to the Messiah who would come and what work He would — and example all based on names — well that rather blows my mind!
Not to mention, the Bible is filled with chiastic structures, Christophanies, typologies, and so forth that all point to Jesus Christ. The argument could be made that everything in the Bible inevitably points to Jesus. It’s like God has given us a giant neon sign that’s flashing: “Mankind, look at My Word! You need My salvation so that your sins are forgiven. Come to my Son, Jesus Christ, for He died for your sins so that you can be saved.”
We are reminded that all of human history from Genesis, when Adam and Eve walked and talked and had fellowship with God, to all of the way to the end of Revelation when mankind is once more walking and talking and having fellowship with God — the whole Bible is one unified theme that demonstrates a future restoration of mankind to God.
Tim Moore: I believe knowing this thematic aspect of the Bible is so very important for Christians to understand.
People often ask, “Where do you get your information? Do you watch CNN or MSNBC or Fox News or some other source?” We all know that each of them contains bias because they are presenting a particular worldview. We may have our favorite news stations and the shows that we like to watch, but are we really askings ourselves, “Where do you get your information?” I know people who leave their television sets on all day long to listen to the news, then they wonder why they are discouraged and sometimes despairing. How much time does each of us spend getting our news from the Word of God? Are we asking the Lord to illuminate our hearts with truths that He has revealed?
And, how many people read the book of Revelation and take its promise literally that if you read and heed Revelation you will be blessed? That same truth applies to the entirety of God’s Word, for if you read it you are promised that you will be blessed.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely right! God has a redemptive plan for mankind. Therefore, should He want to hide it, as some people believe? Does He want to obscure it? Do you have to spiritualize the interpretation of the Bible in order to get to its conclusion? Not at all! A literal interpretation of the Bible will provide you with God’s meaning. God wants to redeem a remnant of mankind to dwell with Him forever in perfect love. He didn’t create robots who are forced to obey and worship Him. Even the angels got to choose the Lord or not.
And so, the Bible is meant to openly declare its unifying theme about the redemption of mankind, but all for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God. Scripture is all about setting that relationship right where we mortals are the creation that worships the divine Creator.
Tim Moore: So, even as we study the history that is contained in some of these narrative books, such as 1 Kings, we really are talking about His-story — God’s story — of revelation to mankind. The Bible exists to point people to and bring glory to God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
In the second part of this series “Finding Jesus in the Era of the Kings,” we’ll start with a historical overview of the falls of both Solomon and Rehoboam as told in book of 1 Kings.