The Fundamental Importance of an Adequate Apprehension of Christ (continued)
The Patriarchal Section
In the patriarchal section of the Old Testament, we find seven outstanding personages, who dominate the scene. Seven, as we know, is the biblical number for spiritual fullness or completeness; and, if we rightly understood the significance of these seven men, who were Divinely and sovereignly chosen for this very purpose, we should see that in them God has outlined seven features of His Son, which give a complete spiritual portrait of Him. It is not my intention to follow that out in detail, but I take it up in a general way in relation to our present specific purpose. Here are the seven dominating characters of that period: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jocob and Joseph. Every one of these represents a distinct feature in the drawing of the portrait of Christ.
Abel: the door of Heaven had been closed to Adam, but re-opens to a man who was prepared to let go everything in this life in order to serve the thought of God. Cain tried in his own way to get through the door of the garden, but found it closed and barred to man - there was no access. To Abel the closed door of Heaven re-opened: Abel got through because he was prepared to let go everything in this life, and even life itself, in order to correspond to the thought of God. Here we can see an outstanding feature of the Lord Jesus.
Enoch: the man who alone walked with God on this earth when everyone else walked away from or far from God. The Lord Jesus did that, and He was probably the only man who did that in His day. He walked with the Father, as no one else did. And so, when everyone else was walking apart from God, or away from God, Enoch walked with God.
Noah: the man who lived in the light of a coming day of judgment and renewal, and worked in relation to that day. That is a brief and very comprehensive statement. The whole life of Noah was a long-drawn-out business. Tested by time; tested by all appearances which seemed to contradict and deny the line that he had taken; tested perhaps supremely by his utter loneliness, yet he lived and worked through a long life in the light of a day to come - a day of judgment, and a day beyond judgment in renewal. Is not that a picture of the Lord Jesus?
(continued with # 4)