Essential Wedding

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God loves weddings. Not just it’s experience but it’s purpose. HIs heart is all about relationship. 

His written Word begins with a wedding (Genesis 2:22-24) and ends with one (Revelation 21:9). His Son even performs His first miracle at a marriage celebration. Maybe we should step away from the festivities and see why He has a passion for weddings.

Genesis 1 begins with God creating and it being good. Six times He created and six times He was satisfied. But in the midst of perfection, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good’’’ (Genesis 2:18). What happened? Man was alone. Had the Master Craftsman slipped-up in His plan? Did He miss the fact that man needed companionship?

No, God didn’t scramble to come up with Eve. What seems to be a “blip” in His creation is actually emphasizing His point. In the same way that it was not good for man to rule the earth alone, God didn’t want His Son to reign the Kingdom alone either.

Think of it. We were created in God’s image to be His Son’s eternal companion. Just as Abraham was concerned with finding a wife for his son (Genesis 24), our Father God desired a bride for His Son (Revelation 19:7). Eve’s creation is a precursor of what the Father planned for His own Son. 

We read that Eve was created to be Adam’s “helpmeet.” Traditionally when we read this English translation, we may think this is a subservient role. Yet, the original Hebrew words (there are two) illuminates a far different depiction of her purpose. 

The first word, “ezer,” is used only twice in scripture when referring to a woman. Far more often however, ezer is used either to in reference to a military ally (3) or to describe God (16 times – check out the Strong’s Concordance at the bottom of the link). In Psalm 115, God is mentioned three times as being our ezer and our shield, giving the image a definite warrior-like feel. Astonishing, huh?

Neged, the second descriptive word, is used 23 times in the Hebrew text. The meaning refers to an idea of being a front, or part opposite.  You know, someone very close-by. 

When we combine these two descriptors, we find that Eve was created to stand militantly-strong by Adam’s side no matter what life threw at them.

As eye-opening as this depiction of the role between husband and wife, the implications of our role as the bride of Christ is even larger. We have been created to be Christ’s betrothed bride, destined to be the wife of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9). Like Eve, we were not created as a subservient bride, but a strong, powerful partner who represents His Kingdom well “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15). 

On the one hand we have already been given everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Yet on the other hand, we see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). Although we have the reality of His Spirit living within (Ephesians 1:13), we also are in a time of waiting for our full destiny (1 Corinthians 15:51). We, like Esther of old, are in the days of our beautification (Esther 2:12). so that “He may present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27). 

Our beauty regimen isn’t cosmetic, but spiritual. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Part of our spiritual spa is simply spending time with our Fiancé, His Father and His Spirit. “Everyone who has hope fixed on Him purifies himself” (1 John 3:3). The part we don’t like of our inner beauty treatment is actually pain and suffering. “But if when you do what is right and suffer for it, you patiently endure, this finds favor with God” (1 Peter 2:20). Hard words but true. 

The key to endurance is knowing the One to Whom we are betrothed. As we read His love letter, we hear His heart for us, His bride. “You have made My heart beat faster, My sister, My bride; You have made My heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes” (Song of Songs 4:9). He romances us with joy, love, and rejoicing (Zephaniah 3:17), making us glorious within (Psalm 45:13). Only Divine Love has the power to turn what is meant for evil into good (Genesis 50:20) and we have our Betrothed One’s powerful promise toward that! (Romans 8:28).

Respond in prayer to such love. We can tell Him our hopes, dreams and sorrows because we are acutely aware of His care (1 Peter 5:7). As we grow in our knowledge of the Betrothed, He reveals the enormity of the Kingdom we share (Romans 8:17). We share His throne and from this vantage point, can glimpse of our new home of light and splendor (Ephesians 2:6). In prayer, He teaches us how to pull the heavenlies we experience into our world around us. Don’t you want the land you live in now to be fitted with the decor of Light?

Paul Billheimer sums up our glorious reality in his book, Destined for the Throne: “We have underestimated the supreme importance of the church in God’s economy. She is the motive of all His activity from all eternity. He does nothing solely for His own sake. She is included as full partner in all His plan. The church is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all things everywhere. He is not full or complete without His church, which is His body. This is true only because of God’s voluntary self-limitation…He has chosen voluntarily to limit Himself in order that the church may share His reign.” 

May we long for our upcoming wedding as much as our Holy Fiancé does. Even so, Lord Jesus, come.