Deborah: A Type of Christ’s Bride, Pt 1
Old Testament stories may not be just a record of historical events. They may be far more than that. Deep study and the revelation of the Holy Spirit will disclose much more to us than we had previously thought. If we will study the New Testament examining Jesus’ method of teaching and then apply his use of allegory to portions of the Old Testament, our eyes will be opened to see wondrous things we never imagined were lying just beneath the surface waiting to be discovered. Webster defines allegory as “a story in which people, things and happenings have a hidden or symbolic meaning: allegories are used for teaching or explaining ideas, moral principles, etc.”
It is not inconsistent with God’s ways to view this account in Judges Four not only as history but also as an allegory. The Holy Spirit will reveal the precise meaning of each character, place and event as a result of thorough deep study that takes us through the entire Bible. There is no guesswork here. It is not my opinion but revelation that is absolutely accurate based on its usage in all of Scripture.
Our study should also be done in context. A biblical story may have been recorded as an entire chapter or perhaps more; therefore, if we want to study the entire event, we will be working in depth on one or more complete chapters. Our understanding of each verse leads to the revelation of the next. This method of contextual study adds greater validity to our revelation. All types must remain consistent throughout the study.
The way to uncover the truth of the allegorical types is to find out absolutely everything about a person, place or thing from Genesis to Revelation. Study all available information from the Greek and Hebrew dictionaries including the definitions and derivatives of all proper nouns. Then use a good dictionary of the English language to make sure you actually understand the exact meaning of important English words. Once you have studied a word as deeply as possible, the Holy Spirit will reveal the spiritual type to you.
This kind of study requires pouring over the Scriptures for hours daily over a period of a year or more. For example, I studied Judges Four and Five for over a year thoroughly examining each word. Slowly a spiritual interpretation began to emerge. I did some writing about it and then left it for a different study. Actually I needed a break from Deborah so I could return to it with deeper insights. This is the way the Lord works with me. I study something for several months to a year, leave it for a different study and then come back a year or so later and do the study again. Sometimes I go through a passage three or more times before the full revelation comes.
There is more to revelation than diligent study. It requires the working of the Holy Spirit in our personal life. The Lord has been cutting away more of my flesh, refining and cleansing me on ever-deepening levels resulting in a closer walk with him. I believe revelation comes via relationship. What a delight study has been in my life! I used to have such deep hunger for more of God, I would go around to special church meetings, read other people’s books etc., but always there was this deep longing for more of God. Intense daily study satisfies that longing. The Lord seems so close! I hear him much more clearly. Daily his Word draws me and each morning I am excited to see what more he has to show me. The Word I’ve studied in the morning stays with me throughout the day. If I have to wait in the grocery store line, for example, my mind can go back and meditate on the study I had that morning. When I lie down at night for sleep, I talk over in my mind with the Lord some questions raised by that day’s study. His answer almost always comes in the morning.
I had previously thought Deborah was a sort of manual on inner healing, but actually it is far more than that. It is about the Church coming into the fullness of Christ and His second coming. In order for us to be prepared for this great event, we have to deal with the sinful responses we’ve made to life’s pain and disappointments. Jesus is coming for a Bride without spot or wrinkle. As we shall see in Deborah, we will not be perfected instantly but through a process that requires our cooperation.
One principle we need to follow for deeper revelation is to see outward accounts involving people, places and animals, etc. as actually being about inward realities in the human soul and spirit. Andrew Jukes reveals this thoroughly in his book, Types in Genesis. Jukes was a prolific author and teacher who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who drew heavily from the church fathers—Ambrose, Augustine, etc.
…the development of Adam or human nature in the great world without, has its exact image and counterpart in the little world within; I call it “little,” though indeed it is not little; for if “the kingdom of God is within us,” there must be room enough. And what confusion it seems: life and death, evil and good, love and hate, and pride and meanness everywhere: men praying, cursing, blessing; palaces and hovels, churches and armies, schools and markets, jails, cities, asylums, unions; such are some of the fruits of old Adam, in whom all this was before it was seen, and is only seen without because it was and is within him. (Types in Genesis, p. xv).
In light of this, all the characters and places in Judges Four will be seen as various aspects of our own inner being and spiritual journey towards wholeness (being conformed to the image of Christ). Deborah will represent the person in whom all the action is taking place. Barak will be seen as a type of Christ working within to prepare his Bride for his return. This account will show how the two work together to vanquish our enemies—our flesh and our natural mind.
Since Deborah judged Israel from under a palm tree, each Deborah article (10) will feature a picture of a palm tree.