Take the word ‘sin’ for example. There in Genesis we find the first mention of it with Eve and Adam. What accompanies this first account? Shame, death, separation from God, a lie, punishment, and broken relationships are all present, and these remain elements associated with sin throughout Scripture.
I tested this principle for myself using a word I thought was random—only to learn that there are no random words in Scripture. My test word was the word “horn”.
The first mention of horn is in Genesis 22:13. Abram is about to slay his son when God provides a ram that is “caught by its ‘horns’ in the thicket” (literally “entangled in the entanglement”.) The next time this word is used is in Exodus 27:2 where instructions are being given to build an altar with ‘horns’ on it. In later verses we find horn(s) used as trumpets, by Samuel when anointing Saul with a horn full of oil, when the rebel Adonijah clings to the horns of the altar for protection, in the lyrics of David’s songs about God as the ‘horn of his salvation’, and imagery in Daniel’s vision of a ram and a goat battling it out with their horns. This Hebrew word for horn is QEREN (kof, resh, nun).
I noted these elements in that first usage:
· It was a life or death circumstance.
· The ram died in place of the child.
· It was associated with a sacrifice.
· There was an entanglement.
· God provided the animal.
Following these themes into the other usages of horn in Scripture we see those usages in a fuller context. The blowing of the horn before battle or to call Israel to gather is a reminder that God is their provider, the one to fight their battles for them bringing life and safety and victory over those who threaten their lives. The blood of animals placed on the horns of the altar symbolized the provision of God for the spiritual needs of the people. As leader of the people, God was always out front, caring for the concerns of Israel. Likewise, the kings, anointed from a horn of oil, were to lead with a pure concern for the welfare of the nation. Seen in these contexts, the word becomes a much larger picture of an intimate and caring relationship between God and his people.
Not all usages of ‘horn’ are as positive, though the elements can be seen. In Revelation, the horns (kings) on the beasts there are not so beneficent. These rulers should have been offering care and concern, but, being associated with rebelliousness against God, they misuse their power and harm the people of God---making the people the sacrifice rather than giving themselves for the citizens of their lands.
Another aspect of the principle of first mention is that ultimately every jot and tittle finds itself connected with Jesus (Yeshua). It is easy to see in this case. As the animal caught in the entanglement substituted for Isaac, so Jesus took on our sins (that which so easily ‘entangles’ Hebrews 12:1) and died in our place. The lamb that was slain then is also our loving King, our Savior (one who rescues), the Gift from God. The placement of his blood on the altar is sufficient for our needs, and we join David in praising Him who has become, “The Horn of our Salvation.”
See, no words in Scripture are random. They are ALL amazing! Study some for yourself. You'll need an Exhaustive Concordance (or use one online) to accurately track them according to their Hebrew and Greek original.