Typology is one of the ways that God reveals the unity of the Bible. Although sometimes abused, when understood properly typology shows us the beauty of Christ and the gospel.
Let’s begin with a quick overview of Judges. The opening section describes Israel’s military and religious failures (1:1-3:6), introducing us to the cycle of rebellion, retribution, repentance, redemption, and rest. The heart of the book then shows this cycle working itself out in the lives of the various judges (3:7-16:31), Over time the judges become less and less successful, culminating in Samson’s failure to deliver Israel. The final section give a series of incidents that exemplify Israel’s failure (17:1-21:25), with a key refrain repeated: “In those days there was no king in Israel” (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
When read in light of the whole canon, Samson emerges as a type of Christ. Both in the good that Samson does and his failures we can see Christ foreshadowed: Read through the story of Samson (Judges 13:1-16:31), and then consider the following:
- We have a king who wasn’t merely born from a barren woman, but one was born of a virgin.
- We have a king who wasn’t merely born to rescue Israel from the Philistines, he was born to save his people from their sins.
- We have a king who wasn’t merely dedicated by his parents as Nazirite, but live an entire life of perfect purity.
- We have a king who wasn’t merely empowered by the Spirit on occasion, but was empowered by the Spirit for the entirety of his life and ministry.
- We have a king who wasn’t merely empowered to kill wild animals and defeat armies, but a king who was empowered to defeat Satan, cast out demons, heal the sick, feed the hungry, still the storm, and raise people from the dead.
- We have a king who didn’t merely speak in riddles to annoy his enemies, but a king who spoke in parables to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
- We have a king who didn’t merely bring moments of relief to the Israelites, but a king who brings eternal salvation to all his people, Jew and Gentile alike.
- We have a king who didn’t merely defeat his enemies through his self-sacrificial death, but a king who offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins and rose triumphantly from the dead three days later.
- As if that is not enough there’s more! That king that we so desperately needed ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father. Then he poured out the same Spirit who empowered him to live a life of perfect obedience to live inside of his people to empower us to obey.
- As believers we have a Spirit-empowered king who has defeated our greatest enemies of sin, death, and the devil.
- We have a king who not only rules over us in righteousness, who also lives in us to empower us to walk in obedience just as he did. And his name is Jesus Christ.
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the sermon below: