THIS Study and several succeeding Studies will present the antitype of Judges 6: 1-8: 12, which focuses on Gideon. We know that Gideon is a typical character because St. Paul speaks of him (Hebrews 11: 32) among the heroes of faith, and states (Hebrews 12: 1) that we are encompassed, surrounded as a type surrounds its antitype, by these heroes of faith as by a cloud of witnesses, shadowy or typical witnesses. Gideon’s battles with the Midianites are directly stated as types (Isaiah 9: 4; 10: 26) (Psalm 83: 9, 11, 12). Since Gideon was the leader of typical Israel, he clearly types Jesus, the Leader of antitypical Israel. God’s people of the Jewish and Gospel Ages are the antitypes of Israel in Judges 6, 7 and 8. Midian means strife, and the Midianites represent errorists who have striven with God’s people, and have oppressed them with erroneous doctrines and practices.
Gideon’s first battle types the defeat of those who taught the errors of the Divine right of kings, aristocrats, and clergy, by the Lord’s faithful people, from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916. This is also pictured by the first smiting of Jordan, the confessing of the sins over Azazel’s Goat, and the binding of the kings and nobles in executing the judgment written.
Israel began to be oppressed in 607 B.C. by those who taught the Divine Right doctrines. The seven years (Judges 6: 1) of Midian’s oppression represent the seven symbolic years – 2,520 literal years – of the Times of the Gentiles. Israel’s captivity, 607-537 B.C., was the beginning of these times of antitypical Midian’s oppression. Both Fleshly and Spiritual Israel’s sins brought this oppression upon themselves. In this oppression (Judges 6: 2) the errorists injured both of God’s Israels by putting their false teachings into practice; and this oppression caused God’s people to resort for safety to secret methods and dealings.
Verse 3 shows that every time the true people of God of Fleshly and Spiritual Israel would produce some fruit in their fields of labor the errorists would take it away from them. These errorists fought (verse 4) against the Lord’s people until they overcame them. Verse 5 shows how this was accomplished. Verse 6 brings us to the opening of the Christian Age, at which time all Israelites indeed were in expectation, longing and praying for the coming Messiah to deliver them from the yoke of Rome. The Lord heard these cries for release and began to prepare deliverance for His people (verse 7).
Verses 8-10 picture the ministry of John the Baptist, whose preaching emphasized God’s goodness to Israel, His Covenant with them, their violations of this Covenant, and the necessity of repentance and faith in order to obtain from the Messiah their deliverance (Matthew 3: 1-12).
Our Lord’s Ministry in the Flesh
Verses 11-24 typically refer to our Lord’s preparation for, and execution of His ministry while in the flesh. The angel that instructed Gideon types the Word of God that made clear to our Lord His mission. The Word of God first made clear to Jesus, and that before His consecration, that He was the One especially favored by God, upon whom the Lord would use to help the people. He then began (verse 13) to enquire as to why God had permitted evil. Next, He wondered about the deliverance of God’s people from the Empire of Satan. Verse 14 types how God intimated to Jesus through His Word that this deliverance was to accomplished by Him, through: (1) His dying for the world, then leading God’s people in holy warfare, and (2) His utterly routing the forces of error, sin, selfishness, and worldliness.
Verse 15 describes our Lord’s deep humility, which He felt when it became clear to Him that He was the Divinely chosen Deliverer of God’s people. He felt: (1) His lack of means to accomplish the work; (2) the lowliness of His ancestral position; and (3) the ill-repute of His supposed illegitimate birth. Verse 16 shows how God comforted Him (Isaiah 49: 6-9) with the assurance that the Lord would give Him all the help and strength necessary to carry out His mission. By these promises our Lord (verse 17) was enabled to consecrate Himself to God for the carrying out of His mission. He asked (verse 18) for the Lord’s presence with Him, and the Lord assured Him that He would be with Him, and not leave Him.
Verses 19, 20 type the events connected with our Lord’s consecration to God. Thus before His baptism He understood that by His baptism He was symbolically to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3: 15): (1) which was done by His satisfying the demands of the Law for the life of the world, through His death, pictured by His being put under the water; and (2) by His satisfying the demands of the Law for the obedience of all under it, through His complying with all its requirements, walking in newness of life, symbolized by His rising out of the water.
Verses 21-23 represent our Lord’s three and a half years’ sacrifice of Himself. His Gethsemane and Calvary experiences were severe trials for Him, but the Father comforted Jesus. This strengthened Him unto the completion of His sacrifice.
(to be continued)