by Jerry Shugart

VI. The Divine Design of the Typological Relationship

The Lord gives us various "typological" relationships in the Bible and each has its own design. For instance, certain Bible characters are "types" of the Lord Jesus. The record of their history is evidently given to teach us of Him whose coming they foreshadowed. But besides these typical characters there is another very important class of types, types where the record of the history of the "nation" of Israel serve as illustrations of the blessings received by the "individual" believer. That is the subject which Ada R. Haberson addresses here:

"It is very important to understand what is meant by a type. In I Cor. x. we are told concerning the various wilderness experiences of the children of Israel, that 'all these things happened unto them for types' ; and Paul explains that the record of these events is given to us in the Bible for a special purpose, viz., to teach us certain lessons. This passage seems to cover all that befell God's redeemed people in their journey from the place of bondage to the land of promise; and we may also conclude from it that other portions of their history are given to us for a similar purpose" (Habershon, Study of the Types [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993], p. 11).

In the following verse we can see that the experience of the "nation" of Israel's in regard to her redemption is stated in nationalistic terms:

"And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?" (2 Sam.7:23).

L.S. Chafer certainly understood the difference between Israel's "national" redemption and the redemption of "individual" Jews, writing that "They went down into Egypt a family, they came out a nation and Jehovah redeemed them as a nation unto Himself both by blood and power. It was not an individual redemption since it was not restricted to that generation; but Israel remains a redeemed nation throughout all her history" [emphasis added] (Chafer, "Dispensationalism," Bibliotheca Sacra 93 [Oct., 1936], p.411).

It is widely recognized that the history of the "nation" of Israel in regard to her redemption is a "type" which illustrates or pictures the antitype, the redemption of the "individual" believer. Here Sir Robert Anderson explains this typological relationship:

"The narrative of Genesis closes by recording how the descendants of Abraham came to be sojourners in the land of Egypt. As we turn the page, the opening chapter of Exodus tells how they had lapsed into a condition of hard and degrading servitude. This is the point at which the history of Israel in its typical character begins. Man's condition by nature is that of slavery in the house of bondage. He is absolutely dependent on a Divine deliverer....The deliverance of Israel by the blood of the Passover was accomplished 'in Egypt' in the very scene of their bondage: God saves the sinner 'in' his sins - as he is, and where he is. Then the Israelites were delivered out of Egypt, and permitted to see the destruction of the power which had held them in servitude: God saves the sinner 'from his sins' and teaches him that sin has no longer the power to enslave him" [emphasis added] (Anderson, The Bible or the Church? [London: Pickering & Inglis, Second Edition], p.179,187).

Who can fail to see the divine design of this typological relationship? God has given us a picture of redemption where He uses the things in regard to the "nation" of Israel to illustrate this blessings which the "individual" Christian receives.

In a lecture addressed to Dallas Theological Seminary on the subject of Typology Charles Fritsch stated that "the exodus, the deliverance of a nation, becomes a type of the redemptive work of Christ--also clearly adumbrated in the exile--where the individual is brought to realize his own tremendous guilt and need of redemption" [emphasis added] (Fritsch, "Principles of Biblical Typology," p.220).

The same typological design applies to the New Covenant promised to national Israel:

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah" (Jer.31:31).

George Eldon Ladd understands that the salvation of Israel in the OT is corporate in nature, writing that "in the Old Testament the eschatological salvation is always pictured in terms of the national, theocratic fate of the people of Israel" [emphasis added] (George E. Ladd, ,The Last Things [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1978], 8).

In regard to the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant Roy E. Beacham writes that "these spiritual benefits find 'universal application' with the enactment of the new covenant. These blessings will not be the experience of 'some' Israelites, as they were under the old covenant. These blessings will be the experience of 'all' Israelites under the new covenant: 'No longer must each man teach his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know Jahweh,' for all of them will know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them' (Jer. 31:34)" [emphasis added] (Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant, ed. Mike Stallard [Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Books, 2012], 116).

Progressive Dispensationalist Bruce A. Ware writes that "it is clear from Jeremiah 31:31 that Yahweh promises to make a new covenant with 'all' of Israel, that is, 'with the house of Israel and the house of Judah'...the new covenant is uniformly...directed to the nation of Israel" [emphasis added] (Blaising & Bock, Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1992], p.70,73).

Rodney J. Decker writes that "the parties of the New Covenant are God and Israel. 'I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah' (Jer. 31:31). The promise speaks of one covenant and one people, even though the nation was divided and the Northern Kingdom was exiled at the time of this prophecy. The covenant anticipates a reunited and restored Israel as a national entity. This same theme is reiterated in verse 33: 'they will be my people' (singular). The covenant is not promised to any other group or nation. The Old Testament is unanimous in stating that the New Covenant will be made with Israel" [emphasis added] (Decker, "The Church's Relationship to the New Covenant," Bibliotheca Sacra 152 [July-September 1995]: p.294).


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