The number four and groups of four connect with our sense of place in the horizontal world. Everything around us is in one of four directions: east, west, north, or south. In the worldview of the Old Testament, complete descriptions were often developed in sets of four. When the tax collector Zacchaeus expressed his practical faith in Jesus, he included a promise to “pay four times as much as I owe to those I have cheated in any way” (Luke 19:8). Jesus accepted that commitment as a sign of genuine repentance, symbolic of completeness. And there are four Gospels, a complete picture of the life of Christ.
The Gospel of Mark describes a curious incident that look place on the night of Jesus’ arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. As the mob of Jewish religious leaders and Roman soldiers started to drag Jesus away, they noticed a young man sneaking around in a linen garment. “They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked” (Mark 14:51-52).
The prophet Habakkuk was assured by the Lord that He would deal with the Babylonians after He had used them as an agent of punishment against His own people. He would make His bow “naked,” or take it out of its protective case, in order to use it against the Babylonians.
Baring the bow was a symbol of getting ready for war, just like uncovering the shield (read Isa 22:6)
HABAKKUK 3:9 –Thy [God’s] bow was made quite naked.
Marriage and the related symbols of bride and bridegroom play as large a role in Scripture as they did in real life in the ancient world. whether we consider the Old Testament picture of Israel as the bride and God as her bridegroom (Isa 62:4-5; Jer 2:2) or the New Testament picture of the church as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2, 9), the message points to a special relationship God longs to have with his people. (See also BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM.) Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)→