Suppose someone were to ask you the question – What do these six men have in common, Isaac, Solomon, Josiah, Cyrus, John the Baptist, and Jesus? What would you say? The clue may be found by looking at the following references.
Gen.17:19 And God said, “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed, and you shall call his name Isaac, and I will establish my Covenant with him for an Everlasting Covenant.”
1 Chron.22:9 The word of the Lord came to me [David] saying, “You have shed blood abundantly and have made great wars. You shall not build a house unto my name. . . . Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about, for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give him peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.”
1 Kings 13:1-2 There came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord, Behold a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon you, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon you.”
Isaiah 45:1-4 Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus . . . . “I will give you the treasures of darkness, the hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel, . . . I have even called you by your name, I have surnamed you, though you have not known me.”
Luke 1:13 The angel said to him, “Fear not, Zachariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John, and you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.”
Matt.1:20-21 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit, and she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.”
Have you found the clue? It’s not difficult to detect, is it? In each case a prophetic word was given as to the name of a child yet to be born. These are in fact the only six occasions in the Bible when such naming is given, and there is more to learn from these Six Particular Men.
Let me present the information in the form of a Structure, which will show at a glance a hidden truth, showing in yet one more wonderful way that the Bible has “Intelligent Design”, to use a phrase much in the news just now. Here it is.
A1. Isaac. (Laughter) Sacrifice. Covenant. Sign of Circumcision.
B1. C1. Solomon. (Peace) Great King. Wisdom. Temple building
D1. Josiah. (God heals) Cleansing and Judgment
B2. C2. Cyrus. (The Sun) Great King. Wisdom. Temple rebuilding
D2. John. (Beloved of God) Cleansing and Judgment
A2. Jesus. (Saviour) Sacrifice. New Covenant. Sign of Baptism
In each case there is a significant New Beginning attached to the work and ministry of these Six Men. I could expound at some length on the correspondences shown in the above Structure, but will hold fire, because I would rather leave it to my readers to indulge in that pleasant task.
However, I’ll close on this note. In the Book of Revelation, (3:12) Overcomers are given this promise –
“To him who overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he shall go out no more, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the City of my God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my New Name.”
But Overcomers are also given individual promises (2:17) –
“To him who overcomes will I give to eat of the Hidden Manna, and I will give to him a White Stone, and upon the Stone a New Name written, which no one knows saving he who receives it.”
The subject matter contained in the lives and ministries of the Six Particular Men is rolled together into the great blessings promised to God’s Overcomers.