LET us now begin a consideration of the antitypical fulfillment of Judges 7:
In verse 1 the two hosts, those of Gideon and those of the Midianites, are marshalled against each other. The names applied to Israel’s leader type our Lord acting as the Opponent of Satan (Jerubbaal), and as the Destroyer (Gideon) of his works. From the beginning of the Harvest onward God’s true mouthpieces contended against the errorists.
Verse 2 shows God teaching and impressing upon His people that the glory of delivering them from error, sin, selfishness, and worldliness should not be claimed by His warriors. God impressed this lesson in part by limiting the privileges of engaging in the battle to a very small number compared with that of their adversaries, and by rejecting from His army a large number compared with the number that He retained. 32,000 men were in Gideon’s army, but the number had to be reduced further to prevent Israel from boasting. These 32,000 men represent all who had enlisted on the side of Truth and Righteousness – all the tentatively justified and all the consecrated.
In verse 3 the proclamation, “Whosoever is fearful and afraid,” etc., types the call to consecration, and that those who lack a consecrating faith should not make a consecration. 22,000 left and 10,000 remained, showing that the majority who began the battle for Truth and Righteousness gave up because they lacked a consecrating faith.
Yet the privilege of sharing in the great victory could not even be given to all the consecrated, but only to the Very Elect. Separating the 10,000 into two companies (verses 4-8) types how God took away the crowns from the measurably unfaithful, and thus made them the Great Company. In the type the separation was made by how they drank the water, so in the antitype it was based upon the way the new creatures acted toward the Truth.
The Divinely Ordained Test
Jesus applied the Divinely ordained test (verse 5). In the type the division was based on whether the drinkers would stand and lap water with the tongue as a dog laps it, or whether they would bow down upon their knees to drink it. The former was put into one company, and the latter into another company. Those who, while standing, lapped with their tongues: (1) Stood upright as they drank; (2) raised the water to their mouths by their hands; (3) used their tongues in appropriating it; (4) looked up as they drank; (5) lapped vigorously, like a dog, to get enough; (6) lapped frequently with the tongue; and (7) lapped in a way that was more conducive to satisfying thirst and to nourishing the body than the large amounts gulped down by the other method.
These thoughts suggest things in the antitype which enabled one to be of the Very Elect: (1) The upright position types how the Very Elect maintained the true dignity and nobility of sons of God and refused to bow down in human servility to the earthly dispensers of the Truth. (2) Raising the water to the mouth by the hand types that the faithful exerted their activity with zeal to gain the Truth. (3) Natural food is better prepared for digestion by salivation, so the Truth by spiritual salivation is better prepared for digestion by thoroughly studying it. (4) Looking up while drinking types recognition of God as the Source of the Truth, trust in His provision of it, and gratitude to Him as its Giver. (5) Lapping vigorously, like a dog, symbolizes great energy exercised in gaining the Truth. (6) Lapping implies a frequent application of the tongue to the thing lapped, typing that appreciation of the Truth must be continual. (7) Lapping was more conducive to satisfying the thirst and for nourishing the body than was gulping, so lapping types that the faithful more thoroughly satisfied their thirst with Truth and nourished the graces of their hearts better than the measurably unfaithful did.
On the other hand, bowing down upon one’s knees implies several things: (1) One assumes a servile position; (2) is leisurely in his drinking; (3) is lazy in his drinking; (4) scarcely tastes or salivates the water that he drinks; (5) looks downward instead of upward while drinking; and (6) gulps the water down in large quantities unprepared for digestion.
These thoughts typed such actions toward the Truth that disqualified New Creatures from the Little Flock: (1) Bowing down to drink types how some New Creatures became servile to their Truth teachers. (2) Leisurely Christians lacked diligence, vigilance, steadfast zeal, and energy. (3) Bowing down on one’s knees to drink types the lazy Christian. (4) As those that bowed down to drink were scarcely permitted to taste or salivate the water, so their antitypes were those who had very little appreciation for the Truth, and who did not prepare the Truth for digestion by proper study. (5) Looking downward while drinking types that God was not appreciated as the Source of the Truth; that He is not trusted to provide it as due; and that He is not thanked and loved heartily as its Giver. (6) Gulping down the water in large quantities unprepared for digestion types the action of those who swallowed the Truth instead of thoroughly proving it to be Scriptural, reasonable, and factual. The number of them that lapped the water was 300, whereas 9,700 bowed down to drink the water. This indicates that a large majority of the consecrated were of the Great Company.
Verse 7 types a statement made by Jehovah to Jesus which proves that They knew who had lost and who would retain their crowns by the Fall of 1914. Verse 8 types how the faithful would possess themselves of the Truth by making it their own, and how they armed themselves with it as an implement of war.
(to be continued)