The beauty of a spider web cannot be appreciated if only one single strand thereof is seen; nor can only one piece of a jigsaw puzzle make the whole thereof understood. It is only when all the pieces are fitted that the significance and importance of each part can be appreciated.
Even so the covenant that God established with Abraham has its prelude far in the past, and its development and consummation reach far into the future. The whole of the picture is essential to even just glimpse the incomprehensive nature of God’s love, longsuffering, patience, and His persistence in reaching the goal that He had predetermined. Then we can also appreciate His message through the profit Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9).
It is because of this that we have the old saying “Scripture explains Scripture”. This means that, where there is uncertainty, we can look to the wider context in Scripture in order to understand what we are reading at present. A very good example of this is that we read in 1 Cor. 10:2 that all the Israelites were baptized into Moses in the events relating to the cloud and the sea. Now, if we read the story of the exodus from Egypt, it is clear that there was no physical ritual or ceremony relating to baptism, but what is seemingly a contradiction is clearly solved by the rest of Scripture. In the apostle Paul’s other letters he makes it clear that he wanted to convey the fact that the Israelites identified with Moses by following him through the sea and after the cloud, as described in Ex. 13:21-22 and 14:15-31.