Foreshadowing

Text: Genesis 22:1-14

 

I.         A mark of a good writer is his use of foreshadows to give the reader a hint of what is to come later in the story

            A.        It gives a sense of unity to a book, but it is difficult to do well. Small details must be tracked and placed just right.

            B.        The Bible is an unusual book in this regard

                        1.         It was written by about 40 writers over a period of 1500 years

                        2.         The writers come from diverse backgrounds, have a variety of occupations, and lived in different cultures.

                        3.         For the most part, it is a historical account of the world

                        4.         Yet it contains subtle foreshadows that exceed the abilities of the great writers of the world.

                        5.         Imagine adding to a book that was started centuries before you and taking advantage of small details to present a unified whole.

II.        The sacrifice of Isaac - Genesis 22:1-14

            A.        Abraham was asked to offer his only son to God.

                        1.         This was the child Abraham had waited 25 years for during his old age.

                        2.         This was the child God had promised to bring great blessings upon Abraham.

                        3.         What should give us pause though is the simple fact that God abhors human sacrifice - Deuteronomy 12:31

                        4.         It is a hint that there is something more here than the simple obvious facts.

                        5.         It is a foreshadow of the later sacrifice of God’s only son

            B.        Isaac was called the lamb for the offering

                        1.         Jesus too was called the lamb of God - John 1:36

                        2.         Redeemed by the blood of a precious lamb - I Peter 1:18-19

            C.        They traveled three days to the place of sacrifice

                        1.         Why so far?

                                    a.         Some see this as part of the test of Abraham’s faith. He was given plenty of time to change his mind

                                    b.         Yet, perhaps there is something more here

                        2.         The place they went was a mountain in the land of Moriah, known as Jehovah-jireh (The Lord will provide).

                                    a.         Moriah is only mentioned one other place in the Bible. It was the mountain where the temple was built - II Chronicles 3:1

                                    b.         Jesus died outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem. The city where the temple was located. Jesus died on a mountain of Moriah.

                        3.         Abraham’s sacrifice began the day he left home.

                                    a.         He had given up his son Isaac for three days before he actually placed Isaac on the altar – before God restored his son to him by halting the sacrifice.

                                    b.         Jesus spent three days in the grave before God restored him to life.

            D.        Such subtle play on events would be beyond the dreams of most writers, let alone writers living centuries apart.

III.       Note the similarity of David and Jesus’ betrayals (courtesy of Joe Works)

            A.        When David was betrayed by his son, he crossed the brook of Kidron - II Samuel 15:23

                        1.         As Jesus was being betrayed by Judas, he crossed the brook of Kidron - John 18:1

            B.        David prayed that God’s will be done - II Samuel 15:26

                        1.         Jesus prayed that God’s will be done - Luke 22:42

            C.        David went up, by the Mount of Olives - II Samuel 15:30

                        1.         Jesus went to the Mount of Olives - Luke 22:39

            D.        David wept while there - II Samuel 15:30

                        1.         Jesus was in deep agony while there - Matthew 26:37-38

            E.        Those with David also wept - II Samuel 15:30

                        1.         Jesus’ disciples were overcome with grief - Luke 22:45

            F.        It is revealed that David’s friend, Ahithophel, was advising those who sought to kill him - II Samuel 15:31

                        1.         It is revealed that Jesus’ friend, Judas, was advising those who sought to kill him - Luke 22:47

            G.        It appears that David had lost his kingdom to his enemies.

                        1.         It appears that Jesus lost his kingdom to his enemies.

            H.        David’s betrayer, Ahithophel, hangs himself - II Samuel 17:23

                        1.         Jesus’ betrayer, Judas, hangs himself - Matthew 27:5

            I.         King David returns to his throne - II Samuel 19:39

                        1.         King Jesus returns to his throne - Matthew 28:18

IV.      The Bronze Serpent - Numbers 21:4-9

            A.        The people had sinned.

                        1.         Their punishment was death by the bit of a serpent

                        2.         They acknowledged their sin and begged Moses for relief

            B.        Moses had a bronze serpent made and raised for all the people to see

                        1.         Those who looked there were healed.

                        2.         Just as Jesus was lifted up - John 3:14-15; 12:30-33

            C.        Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins

                        1.         Sins inflicted upon us by Satan, that old serpent - Revelation 12:9

V.        Foreshadowing is often done through similarities, but it can also be present through contrasts - Romans 5:12-19

            A.        Adam introduced sin into the world. Jesus introduced salvation.

            B.        By Adam’s sin, death entered into the world. By Jesus’ death, life was brought into the world - I Corinthians 15:20-23

            C.        The action of one affected the lives of many.

            D.        Each did similar things, but the result of Adam and Jesus’s lives differed significantly

VI.      There is even foreshadowing in the lives of people. Moses and Jesus had similar lives, but Jesus was the greater of the two men - Hebrews 3:1-6

            A.        Both of their births involved the death of infants - Exodus 2:2-10; Matthew 2:14-15

            B.        Both had radiant faces - Exodus 34:35; Matthew 17:2

            C.        Both had 70 helpers - Numbers 11:16-17; Luke 10:1

            D.        Both gave up worldly riches - Hebrews 11:24-26; Philippians 2:5-8

            E.        Both brought in a new law - Hebrews 9:18-20; 9:11-15

VII.     Truly the Bible is an unusual book

            A.        The subtle unity of a book written over a vast period of time is overwhelming

            B.        But it should not surprise us. It may have had many scribes, but in reality it had only one author - Hebrews 12:1-3

            C.        There is no other book like the Word of God - II Timothy 3:16-17