Many years ago, as a young Christian just beginning to study the Bible, this word spoke to me, and I took it to heart: "Every student of the Law who is instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:52
The Gospel is my first love, and those doctrines concerning the person and work of Jesus; who he is, what his life, death, and resurrection accomplished, and what it means to be saved and reconciled with God and to follow Christ ... not only is Jesus the cornerstone of the Bible, but he is the very heart and soul of our faith and the foundation stone of our relationship with God.
But second would have to be my love of God's Law, and what it speaks to us about Jesus and about this salvation that we have been so mercifully graced with, and about the heavenly Kingdom of God. This branch of Bible study is called “Typology” – 1. “the doctrine or study of types or prefigurative symbols, especially in scriptural literature.” And the ultimate source of prefigurative types and symbols in all the Bible is God’s Law, often referred to as the Law of Moses, that law which was given to Moses and which he recorded in the “Torah,” the first five books of the Old Testament. What I love so dearly about the Law is that it gives us visible, earthly images we can, at least in our mind's eye, see and hear and touch and experience that teach us about invisible, heavenly things that we can also see and hear and touch and experience but in a way that is so far above and beyond this world of dust and ashes that they can sometimes be difficult to understand. But through these earthly types and shadows we can learn so very much about spiritual things, and indeed, that was the very purpose for which the Law was ordained, to prepare the way for, to bring us to, and to teach us about Jesus, to be our schoolmaster, “to bring us to Christ.” (Galatians 3:24) And having once come to Jesus, to learn and grow and mature in faith so that little by little we become more Christlike, "conformed to the image of God's Son," as the scripture expresses it. (Romans 8:29)
I have learned so very much about spiritual things through these earthly things. And of course first and foremost is the Tabernacle/Temple with its walls and courts and gates, its altars and furnishings and vessels, quite literally a clay model of the very courts of Heaven and why Moses was admonished by God to see to it that "the tabernacle and all the instruments thereof should be made according to the pattern shown thee in the mount," (Exodus 25:9). Moses quite literally was given a vision of the very courts of Heaven, right into the throne room of God, and the things he saw were so glorious that Moses' face was lit up from having seen such wonders! (Exodus 34:29-35) And then there is the ministry of the Temple, with its sacrifices and offerings and priestly services, all testify of the manifold mysteries and abundance of provision of that once, for all, forever sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus. There is an aura that surrounds this holy ground, and when we set our feet in this holy place, and gaze in wonder at the things we see here, we are lifted up to the very heights of Heaven, and nothing will ever be the same.
But I must confess that of all those types and figures of the Old Testament, and even with the clouds of glory that enshrine the Temple and all that pertains to it, the things that most tenderly speak joy and peace into my heart are the times and seasons of that blessed land. Perhaps it is because I come from a farming family, or maybe it's because I am a mother and grandmother and family and home hold such a special place in my heart, or maybe it's even the gardener in me that cherishes the changing seasons, each with its own blessings. Whatever the reason, these homey messages from the land and it’s times and seasons speak such a comforting message of hearth and home, of family and fellowship, of labor and rest, of peace and plenty, and they open a window for my eyes to see that "heavenly country," that sweet Beulah land to which I journey through this life and this world as a stranger and a pilgrim in a dry and thirsty land. Those humble lessons are the most precious things God has taught me about His Kingdom ... is this sweet sense of Home.
And wonder of wonders, the medium through which we have presented before our mind's eye these glorious images of heaven ... why, it is these simple pieces of paper and ink, bound together with string and glue. But oh! The power of the words written in this God-breathed book, they can give life to the dead, give sight to the blind, open the ears of the deaf, and through these words we find God.
For those who are encouraged to study the shadow of Christ and the Kingdom of God in the Law of Moses, I pray that God’s Spirit will fill you, and abide with you, and will richly bless you, and that your studies will always and forever serve to draw you closer to Him, to better know Him, to more faithfully serve Him, and to more dearly love Him. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen~