The pattern of seven throughout scripture holds more merit than I believe most of us have been aware.
Countless ones over the ages have studied the numerology of the Bible and unveiled hidden treasures in the Word. Many a mind has thrilled over discoveries that touched deep places of their soul, serving another dose of confidence and wonder into the heart of a child of God. Much has been shared and taught, written and disclosed – and the Body of Christ has been made the richer for it.
The number seven in scripture has commonly been known to reflect completion, fullness, perfection. Innumerable instances of the number seven throughout scripture have not been hidden from us, and the application of its meaning has increased our appreciation for God’s purposed plan of completion. Perhaps, like me, you have held closely the following beautiful promise as we live this life we are given:
And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.
Philippians 1:6 (TLB)
What happens, then, when the number seven in scripture and the pattern of seven are united in our understanding? When what is related is unveiled and made obvious, it is nothing short of powerful. Like anything sourced from the Lord Himself, the aha! draws us into deeper riches of His glory.
Lists of Seven in Scripture
It has been noted that careful study of the scriptures has already revealed upwards to 100 lists of seven, as Arthur Burk describes in a brief introduction noted below, provided for your listening convenience.
For background on Arthur Burk’s introduction to and identification of the Seven Redemptive Gifts (in the early 2000’s), I share with his blessing this (under 5 minutes) free audio download clip.
Biblical interpretation depends on a biblical foundation. There is a lot of doctrine and theology based upon man’s interpretation of the scriptures. As I have stated elsewhere, I am not a theologian; however, when I, just as Arthur describes in the audio clip, was made aware of the pattern of seven and its significance throughout the entirety of the Word of God, another door of understanding opened up. (For me personally, it was akin to a Revelation 4 experience of new comprehension about to unfold).
I liken it to a three-way light bulb that initially switched on can be turned up more for enhanced clarity. But, know this. The Word of God and the illumination that Holy Spirit lifts from it to our human senses, is a three-way light bulb of magnificent, glorious proportions of Father, Son, and the Sevenfold Spirit of God*.
When God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man(kind) in our image, according to our likeness…”, He did exactly that for the purpose that humanity would glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In his Genesis commentary of this passage, Matthew Henry commented, “Thus holy, thus happy, were our first parents in having the image of God upon them. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! May the Lord renew it upon our souls by his grace!”
It is my heartfelt belief that the Lord’s renewal and restoration is accomplished in large part through –
The Redemptive Gifts Pattern
The list of the seven redemptive gifts of Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler, and Mercy – in that order – serves as the pattern by which other lists of seven in scripture may be defined for us. Will all lists of seven that one comes across in scripture fit the redemptive gifts order? Did Solomon, in his God-given wisdom, know the extent of the pattern of seven when he penned:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
Not all lists of seven may fit the order of the seven redemptive gifts; certainly, there are many that do. Some are more obscure and require digging more deeply. Then there are others that undeniably show forth the exquisite perfection of God’s divine design in all of creation, embodied within the Word, Christ Jesus, who is the fullness of all seven redemptive gifts. Another clue to what it truly means to be “in Christ” and growing; His life being the ground on which you live, move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)
Now It’s Your Turn
The lists of seven shared here are some that are aligned with the pattern of the seven redemptive gifts of Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler, and Mercy. Look up several or all of them in your Bible, or one that particularly captures your attention, to see how each list parallels the seven redemptive gifts. A few of them include scripture reference; the majority are easily found in your study with a good concordance or your existing familiarity of common scripture passages.
Seven Days of Creation* – Genesis 1 and 2 – in my estimation, the foundation that sets all that follows
Seven Articles of Furniture in the Tabernacle* – Exodus 25 and following – brazen altar, bronze laver, table of showbread, golden lamp stand, altar of incense, ark of the covenant, and mercy seat
Seven Compound Names of God* – Jehovah-Jireh, -Rophe, -Nissi, -Shalom, -Rohi, -Tsidkenu, -Shammah (how I love this one)
Seven Voices of God – Psalm 29
Seven Trees – listed in Isaiah 41:19
Seven Miracles of Christ – in John’s gospel
Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross* – the Crucifixion passages
Seven Pieces of God’s Armor – Ephesians 6
Seven Letters to the Churches* – in The Revelation
For your viewing ease, see the five * featured on the Chart of Pattern of Seven in Scripture
Some Helpful Tips
- Make time and keep a notebook handy to record notes and thoughts as you look at the pattern
- Utilize the seven redemptive gifts checklists as a companion tool with your study
- Always, before you settle in and begin, pray and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding – especially as the pattern of seven redemptive gifts pertains to the seven portions of your spirit*
Click here for a printable PDF of this article: Redemptive Gifts – Pattern of Seven