TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
The first reference to this
man whose name means seasonable speaking of God, is in Joshua 15, where
he is presented as the nephew of the faithful, whole-hearted Caleb.
Caleb, having vanquished the
three sons of the giant, and having secured his own inheritance in Canaan,
encouraged others to do likewise, that encouragement being expressed in his
promise to give his daughter Achsah, meaning to tinkle or anklet
as wife to the man who would capture Kirjath-sepher city of the book.
His nephew Othniel captured the city, and received Achsah as his wife.
It doesn’t require any great
stretch of the imagination to see in this man whose name speaks clearly of
witness for God, a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ Who was God’s perfect
Witness, being Himself, “God ... manifest in the flesh,” 1 Tim 3:16. Nor is
it difficult to see in his taking Kirjath-sepher from the hand of the enemy, a
picture of Christ wresting the world from the hand of Satan, the battle for
Kirjath-sepher being but a foreshadowing of the battle fought at Calvary, not
only for a groaning creation, but for your soul and mine.
And his being given Achsah as
his bride is a symbol easily deciphered: she represents the Church, the Bride
given Christ by the Father as the reward of Calvary’s travail. Nor should we
miss the significance of the meaning of her name. The tinkling ankle ornament
speaks of testimony, for the foot is the Biblical symbol of the walk or manner
of life. As her steps were accompanied by the tinkling of the anklet, so are
the steps of those who constitute the Bride of Christ, to be accompanied by
the sound of testimony. As was the bridegroom so was the bride. His name, as
we have noted already, is synonymous with testimony, and so is hers. It is
God’s desire that the spiritual reality should be the accurate fulfillment of
the type. As Achsah was the perfect complement of Othniel, so is the Church
to be of Christ. Her witness is to be the continuation of His.
It is to be noted that Judges
1:12-15 is a virtual repetition of Josh 15:16-19, the repetition, very
obviously, being to emphasize the importance which God attaches to this
symbolic picture. It is as though He has written it twice for the benefit of
those who might have overlooked it the first time. We do well to examine
carefully what God has taken the trouble to set before us twice.
The beginning of Judges,
however, introduces us to a scene far different from that presented in
Joshua. With Joshua gone, Israel quickly lapsed into flagrant idolatry, so
that instead of enjoying blessing, they languished under chastisement; and the
type has been all too accurately fulfilled. As Joshua bequeathed to Israel a
vanquished Canaan which they had but to take and enjoy, so did the true
Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, bequeath to men, a kingdom won from the hand of
the enemy, a kingdom they had but to enter by faith and enjoy. But as it was
in the type so also is it in reality. The Church, instead of fulfilling the
type of Achsah, has fulfilled instead the type of disobedient Israel - and
with the same result: as the one groaned under the yoke of the foe they should
have exterminated, so does the other. The world that should have been subject
to the Church, has become the master, and those who should have walked in the
enjoyment of blessing, groan instead under Divine chastisement.
But God’s chastisements are
not capricious. Their purpose is to produce repentance. As soon as Israel
turned from her folly, and cried out to God, He heard her cry, and “... the
Lord raised up a deliverer (savior) ... who delivered them, even Othniel....”
The very same one who had
fought to give them Canaan, is he who now rises up to deliver them from the
bondage into which their sin has brought them.
The type is fulfilled in
Christ. He Who first secured our inheritance, is He Who lives today to
deliver us from the bondage and misery into which our disobedience so often
brings us, so that we might, even here on earth, walk in the enjoyment of all
that has been secured for us by His victory at Calvary.