When you arrive at my house you will immediately notice something about it. It is a double level ranch—that is, a building that all the rooms are contained on one floor yet there’s two floors. It’s a structural oddity. When you enter you will notice that the foyer resides on a central meeting place of two staircases…one that goes up and one that goes down. That strange structural feature would surprise you in a hospital or an office building but it doesn’t surprise you so much here. Especially since you can see the upper living room is right above your head on the other side of an oak wood railing.
You might be impressed by the pattern of the oak on the stained wood stairs or the artwork on the walls which at first doesn’t mean anything until you enter the upper living room and see the same elements. One occurrence of a design element is merely an interesting detail but that same element repeating makes it a pattern. You will notice as you pass into another structural feature of the home (the dining room) that although the one pattern of the flooring has stopped, the pattern of artwork continues.
Subsequently you might head down the hallway towards the bathrooms and bedrooms. Here you would discover that the wood flooring and artwork continues down the hallway but immediately stops at the bedrooms. There the flooring is carpeted, the colors are a brilliant blue and although there’s artwork it’s of a different sort: teddy bears and space ships.
The strange colors and patterns would tell you something about the strange owner but you can rest assured. The structure and something else allow you to remain confident that you are still in a house.
For, the Structure tells you how the residence is put together and which rooms are what. The structure tells you where you are within the building and might even hint at what type of building you are in. If you had come into the building and seen no wall dividers yet cubicles instead of rooms you would have thought you were in an office building…despite the dual-level ranch exterior.
The pattern of the floor and the patterns of the artwork within the different structural divisions of the building told you something about the owner of the building. What they liked or how they.
Yet one thing connected everything together and told you what the building was for: this driving idea which stood behind structural divisions and was further accentuated by the strange owner who decorated it to personalize the place. It was the flow of thought that the place is A Home.
Books are like buildings. Structure divides them letting you know where you are in the book; patterns color the material reinforcing what the author thinks is important; but thought-flow drives the book forward and connects it all together. Thought flow is the uniting element of overarching importance while structure and pattern tell you where you are and what signifies importance.
The Bible, made up of books, is no different. Structural elements tell you where you are in any given book, patterns adorn the material and the author’s flow of thought is evident throughout the pages uniting the content of each book. If you will the entire Bible is a city made up of many buildings.
To understand those buildings we must examine the structure, the patterns and above all, the flow of thought within all of them.