The importance of types in scripture

A few weeks ago, I began teaching a class on types in scripture.  By types I mean that an Old Testament story is somewhat of a mirror to a scenario today. We often don’t associate or connect the Old Testament and the New Testament together this way, but we really should. There is much to be learned by “things written aforetime” (Rom. 15:4).

There are several types portrayed in scripture between the time of Adam and the Law of Moses. I would like to expound on five. First, God’s action toward Adam and Eve in the garden as he made provisions for his people and gave them purpose.  This is something he does for us in Christ today. Christ was our provision and we have a purpose in our life that centers on doing his will. Second, even when God put Adam and Eve out of the garden, he taught them a lesson on the consequences of sin. Because of their sin, something died. Physically, God shed blood from animals to cover their sin. This practice would continue until Christ died on the cross. Many bulls and goats died because of the sins of God’s people. And all that blood could do is what it did on Adam and Eve’s exodus from the garden – cover their sins.

Third, Cain and Abel is one of the oldest lessons in the bible as it relates to man. Abel’s offering was based on God’s revelation; Cain’s offering was based on man’s imagination. This lesson is played out every Sunday as so-called religious people attempt to worship the Father “their” way and not God’s way. Many are responding to the gospel by man’s imagination instead of God’s revelation. This is a powerful lesson that man must learn before Jesus returns.

Forth, Enoch, the bible says, was translated so that he didn’t see death and it was all because of his faith. Our faith works exactly the same way in that Col. 3:13 tells us that we are translated into the kingdom of his dear son because of our faith. Enoch’s testimony will always serve as a wonderful type for us today in that it was said of him before his translation, that he pleased God. We then learn, in  Heb. 11:6, that without faith it’s impossible to please God. Enoch was a man of faith and because of his faith he was translated. And today because of our faith so are we.

Fifth, we have to say a bit about Noah. There are so many types when we discuss Noah. My favorite is the comparison of the Ark to the Church. Both places work much like the inn in the story of the Good Samaritan. The inn was the place where Christ would keep his souls saved until his return. The ark served that purpose and the Church today does as well. Do you see any other types in the bible during the time spanned between Adam and the law Moses gave?