TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
In 1 Samuel chapter 30 we
have the record of David’s recovery of the city of Ziklag; and here, as so
often in Scripture, beyond the earthly victory achieved by one of His
servants, God bids us see a symbolic picture of the great victory won at
by His perfect Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was to a ruined Ziklag,
whose inhabitants had been carried away captive by the Amalekites, that David
came on the third day, verse 1. Here we have a picture of the world to which
Christ came two thousand years ago. It too was a ruin, desolated by Satan, of
whom the Amalekite is but a type. The captivity of the inhabitants of the
city is an OT foreshadowing of humanity’s spiritual bondage.
David’s weeping, verse 3,
surely recalls the Lord’s weeping at the grave of Lazarus; and over Jerusalem,
Lk 19:41, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.”
“And David’s two wives were
taken captives,” verse 5. May we not see in these two women, dear to the
heart of David, the representatives of the two great divisions of humanity,
Jew and Gentile, dear to the heart of Christ?
“And David was greatly
distressed; for the people spake of stoning him,” verse 6. Who will fail to
see in David’s distress a foreshadowing of the Lord’s anguish in Gethsemane,
where, “... being in an agony he prayed the more earnestly: and his sweat was
as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,” Lk 22:44; or at
Calvary when He cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mt
David’s distress was related
to an evil intention that was not fulfilled, “The people spake of
stoning him,” but didn’t. Christ’s was related to an evil intention carried
out, “Let him be crucified,” Mt 27:22. “And when they were come unto a place
called Golgotha .... they crucified him,” Mt 27:33-35.
“But David encouraged
himself in the Lord his God .... And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall
I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them?” vv.6-8. David’s refusal to
act apart from the Word of God reminds us of the perfect obedience of Christ.
He never took a step, never uttered a word contrary to the Father’s will. His
obedience was, “unto death, even the death of the cross,” Php 2:8; His
statement, “I thirst,” as He hung on the cross, being, “that the scripture
might be fulfilled,” Jn 19:28.
God’s response to David’s
inquiry was, “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail
recover all,” verse 8. The same assurance accompanied Christ on His way to
Calvary. Scripture foretold His victory.
The inability of the two
hundred to follow David over the brook Besor, reminds us that when the Lord
engaged the forces of darkness, He was alone, for, “They (the disciples) all
forsook him, and fled,” Mk 14:50. And to emphasize in the type that it was
Christ alone Who won the victory, it is recorded that though four hundred men
did accompany David, exactly the same number of the enemy escaped, vv.10,17.
The feasting and dancing of
the Amalekites, verse 16, is also significant, reminding us that when the Lord
won the victory at Calvary it was while the human accomplices of the powers of
darkness kept the feast of Passover and rejoiced in His death.
In v.17 the Divine Artist
adds yet another significant brush stroke by recording that, “David smote them
from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day,” this reference to
darkness reminding us that Calvary’s victory was won while there was darkness
over all the land from the sixth to the ninth hour, Mt 27:45.
The completeness of the
victory, and the recovery of more than had been lost, are the symbolic
reminders that the type had its perfect fulfillment at Calvary. That work
needs no repetition. Satan has received his death wound. His present
activity represents the death throes of a foe who has but a short time left.
And man has been restored, not to the precarious bliss of
Eden, lost once by disobedience, and which could be lost
again were man simply restored to the perfection of Adam’s untried innocence.
The bliss secured for man by means of
Calvary’s cross is eternal,
in heaven, and beyond possibility of forfeiture.
The picture isn’t yet
complete however, for if, in a victorious David, we have a portrait of Christ,
in the faint and feeble two hundred with whom he shared the spoil at the brook
Besor, we have a picture of ourselves. Since David’s crossing Besor once to
the battle represents Christ’s death; his victorious return crossing
represents the Lord’s resurrection. Besor means Good Tidings. It
speaks of the water of life, the good tidings of the Gospel to helpless
sinners; which brings them into the presence of the resurrected Christ Who has
secured for them every blessing that grace can bestow.
“As his part is that goeth
down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they
shall part alike,” verse 24. This is the OT foreshadowing of Ro 8:16-17, “We
are ... heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” His victory is ours.