In the Bible, God’s wisdom is manifested in that He not only used language to communicate with man; He repeatedly utilized teaching tools such as: object lessons, types, shadows, parables, similes, metaphors, allegories, oxymorons, and other types of figures of speech (there are 217 “Figure of Speech” in the Greek language – see E. W. Bullinger’s famous book so named).
Object lessons are teaching aids that reinforce lessons and insights God is teaching by utilizing such techniques as using the drama of people’s lives, events, situations, relationships, names, place names, titles, and other real life understandings. This type of teaching tool creates depth and can make the lesson easier to understand and remember than conventional teaching tools. When God created physical existence, He ordered creation in such a way that it resembles (types, shadows, allusions) things in the spiritual (heavenly) realm (diminution).1
God habitually uses object lessons by orchestrating men’s lives to play out and illustrate His message; hence, they are living lessons.
Living object lessons go beyond words, beyond language, beyond perception, beyond culture, beyond time, beyond the limitations of audio-visual experience; to impact people in a deeply spiritual manner. Examples of this can be seen in the life of Joseph were there are over 100 examples of Joseph being the type of the Redeemer (in redeeming Israel out of Egypt, a type of the world, and Pharaoh as a type of the antichrist), a foreshadowing of what was yet to come in the person of Jesus Christ. This can also be seen in the sacrifice of Isaac, and as the Kinsman Redeemer and Boaz in the book of Ruth.
Jesus often used stories to emphasize His point, as well as creating a tool of remembrance.
However, many of His stories are mislabeled as parables. We understand from a Matthew 13:34-35; that parables were used to hide truth from the unbeliever, and Jesus used them in fulfilling Isaiah 6:9-10, according to His own words.
In the Old Testament a concept God used to communicate Himself and His relationship to Israel was the titles that He used for Himself. These titles reflect insights into God’s personage and character and are extremely insightful to the believer.
Yet it should be understood that the following titles are simply that, titles, simply meant to be points of identification in understanding as compared to names which are personal and intimate recognition’s of existence.
In Exodus 3:15, God2 announces his name, YHWH, which is a word of only 4 letters, all consonants with no vowel in order to facilitate pronunciation. In the English transliteration of the Hebrew in order to facilitate pronunciation many times it is spelt Yahweh, however this is just a guess, as we do not know what or if there were any vowels originally presented in the name.
It is believed that the vowels were taken out by the translators in order to preserve the Majesty of God’s name; to righteous for man to pronounce. And that the true name of God has been hidden away, in such a way to display respect so that God’s personal name was never stated arbitrarily. It is further believed that God’s personal name was pronounced only once a year by the High Priest on Yom Kippur when the Temple was standing in Jerusalem. This 4 letter name is referred to as the Tetragrammaton, which in the Greek means: “a word having four letters.” This name occurs over 6800 times in the Old Testament.
However, in order to present Himself in the form of a living object lesson, God uses different titles to display diverse aspect of His character and Being. It is these titles that should teach us something about who God wants us to relate to concerning Himself, they are:
Jehovah (LORD) Shamma (Is Here and Ever-present) ~ Hebrews 13:15
Jehovah (LORD) Rophe (My Healer) ~ Exodus 15:36
Jehovah (LORD) M’ Kaddesh (My Holiness) ~ Hebrews 12:14
Jehovah (LORD) Rohi (My Shepard) ~ Psalms 23:1
Jehovah (LORD) Jireh (My Provider) ~ Genesis 22:14
Jehovah (LORD) Nissi (My Banner) ~ Exodus 17:35
Jehovah (LORD) Tsidkenee (My Righteousness) ~ Jeremiah 23:6
Jehovah (LORD) Shalom (My Peace) ~ Judges6:24
1. General examples are: fathers and sons as an insight into the relationship of God the Father and Jesus. Kings, servants, and slaves are representatives of God, believers, and fallen man’s natural state. Sin and the entropy laws. Reciprocity and sowing and reaping. Specific Examples: Christ and the church’s relationship as typified by husbands and wives, and the human body as well. In addition, we see in the book of Ruth, the relationship between Boaz and Ruth; Christ as the Kinsman-Redeemer, Boaz and the church as the redeemed, Ruth. There are many other examples ranging from the feasts of Israel to the dreams of Daniel to the symbols of gold, silver, brass, blood, wine, water, fire, thorns, and much more.
2. God is a descriptor of deity, not a name; the same as man is a descriptor of humanity and not a name like, John.