A “Type”

We are participating in a 30 day Bible Study using a guidebook based on the TV miniseries The Bible. Daily 20 minute reading. Discussion and video clip on Sunday. Changed my understanding of the Bible on Day 2.

A “type” in the Bible is a “story or personality that points to a future reality.”

Type: God told Abraham and his 90 year old wife Sarah that they would have a son. Isaac.
Centuries later, an angel told Manoah whose wife was unable to have a child, that she would give birth to a son. Samson.
Nearly a millennium later, an angel named Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth would be blessed with a child. John the Baptist.

Future reality: An angel appeared to Mary and told her she was to give birth to a son. “That angelic announcement heralded the birth of one who would fulfill and surpass all the promise and greatness of Isaac, Samson, and John the Baptist put together. He would establish the New Israel, as Isaac had founded the old. He would deliver the oppressed and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1), more than the strength of a thousand Samsons could have achieved. And he would bring a sinful and hurting humanity to the Lord their God, and ‘bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’ (Isaiah 61:3a).” p. 89-90, The Bible by Bob Hostetler.

There are so many more examples from the temptation of Adam and Eve; Noah and the ark; Abraham, the father of religion; David and Goliath.

This study has changed my life. I see the old familiar Bible stories in a new way. I hunger for more.

Suffering

Today marks the anniversary of my cousin’s death.

My husband and I count the years since a cancer diagnosis.

We feel hope when an estranged family member reaches out.

Each situation upon initial occurance causes suffering. The despair over a tragic death. The immediate rush to fear when we heard the C word. The questions and guilt and self doubt over the causes of a break in relationship.

Looking back, it took a while for me to recognize God’s compassion in my suffering. It’s as though I was in a deep dark well. Hands out feeling around for direction. Eventually I looked up and there it was. The light or voice or Spirit of God comforting me, guiding me. He was there from the beginning, I just didn’t hear Him.

My lesson, I am never alone in suffering. God is always there to hear my call. Let me imitate Him when I see suffering around me. Let me listen and comfort.