Much controversy has been made over the topic of marriage and who has the right to be married. I see so many people posting on social media about their own situations, mostly being alone and wanting desperately to share their life with another. Having been married now for more than 25 years to the same gal I feel like I know a little about it. She may say differently…wink wink. However, I do know that YHVH knows all about marriage. My marriage, your marriage, all marriages! He told the woman at the well in John 4:18 “For you’ve had five husbands”!
The “theme” of the Bible can be directly related to marriage, from the joining of Adam & Eve, to the covenant at Mt. Saini and finally at the Revelation when Jesus returns for His bride. Jesus manifests his first miracle at the wedding in Cana and His two most significant parables are about weddings.
We know that Yeshua represents the perfect husband. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. So what does the role of the bride look like?
The ancient wedding ceremony YHWH gave to the Israelite people was to teach us about the wedding of the Messiah and consisted of 12 steps.
1. The selection of the bride. The bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom. The father would send his trusted servant, known as the agent of the father, to search out the bride. An excellent example of this can be seen in Genesis 24. Abraham wishes to secure a bride for Isaac and sends his servant Eliezer to do this task.
Parallels in this Chapter: Abraham ~ YHWH, Servant/Eliezar ~ Holy Spirit, Isaac ~ Yeshua, Rebecca ~ the bride of Christ, 10 camels ~ 10 tribes of Israel, Laban & Rebecca family ~ much of Christendom. This will help to example the difference in being the bride of Christ to that of the wedding guest.
Genesis 24:10 ” And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.” This is a 500 mile trip by camel through the desert. On average a camel can travel 20-25 miles per day, making this trip from 3 to 4 weeks long!
We can see the power and importance of prayer as Eliezer asks of YHWH for the helpmeet to Jacob. “And he said O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.” Gen. 24:12-14.
It is the role of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and lead them to YHWH (John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”). Just as the bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen by YHWH (John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain”). The father chose the bride, the bride accepts the groom and he lavished his love upon her and she returned his love.
This can be seen in Ephesians 5:25, as it is written, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself of it.”
In Genesis 24, Rebekah consented to marry Isaac even before she ever met him. Today, the believers in the Messiah Yeshua consent to become the bride of Messiah even though we have never seen Him. First Peter 1:8 speaks of this, as it is written, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
Her reply is an action marked only, and fully, by faith: Verse 58 “And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.” She must be willing to leave behind all that she knows and go into a land (way of living) that she will be shown (Torah). She must be led by the Holy Spirit to follow the instructions and what will be revealed to her. This is what many people deem to be “blind faith”.
Jesus examples this for us in Matthew chapter 22 in the parable of the marriage of the king’s son. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” This is our role as followers of the King of Kings, to invite people to the wedding. To which Jesus tells them “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
One of the “perks” of being the chosen includes a supernatural protection in the tribulation. Mark 13:20 “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.” With all of this “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” as it states in Ephesians.
2. A bride price was established. A price would have to be paid for the bride. The agreed upon price was called a mohar in Hebrew. Genesis 24:51-53 “Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.”
Jesus, being our bridegroom, paid a very high price for His bride, the body of believers. The price He paid was His life.
1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:20 it is written, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Our example and reminder is Passover: Exodus 12:27 “That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel (the chosen) in Egypt (bondage to the worldly prince – Satan), when he smote the Egyptians (evil strongholds), and delivered our houses (set the people free). And the people bowed the head and worshipped.”
This is what is explained to us in the words of Jesus in Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Jesus was the visual and physical example of all the law/instructions, to them in that day and to us today, of the Passover and fulfilling the role of the bridal price.
3. The bride and groom are betrothed to each other, unlike our modern day tradition of engagement, breaking a betrothal was shameful and costly. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live together. The betrothal was so binding that the couple would need a religious divorce or (get) in order to annul the contract (Deut. 24:1-4).
Jeremiah 2:2 says “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.”
Also Hosea 2:19-20” And I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.”
When did Isreal do this? At Mt. Saini … When did you do this? When you accepted the sacrifice of Messiah, you became betrothed to Him while living on the earth. The period is also called – kiddushim – meaning “sanctification” or “set apart.” This word really defines the purpose of the betrothal period; it is a time in which the couple are to set side to prepare themselves to enter into the covenant of marriage.
4. A written document is drawn up, this betrothal contract is called, in Hebrew, “ketubah” means “that which is written.” The groom promised to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in truth, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to live together with her as husband and wife.
The ketubah was the unalienable right of the bride. The ketubah must be executed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believer’s ketubah. All the promises that YHWH provided for the believers in the Messiah are legally ours, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen….”
YHWH established in his law (Torah or instructions) all of the components of a covenant relationship and as we are bound by these, so too, He is bound by these. YHWH has already made the commitment to work for, to honor, to support, and to maintain his bride in truth, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to prepare a place to live together forever!
5. The bride must give her consent, the personal application is called “halacha”.For those who desire the marriage covenant, one has to accept His invitation, to do so, is by faith through grace. We see in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”
This is the believers “I do”: As it is written in Romans 10:8-10: “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.”
This is your opportunity, right here, right now, if you are watching this you are being chosen by God to hear the truth, and if you have not accepted the free gift of the atoning blood of the Messiah Jesus then do so now. Take the words you just heard from Romans 10:9-10 and confess your need before YHWH. In 1st John 1:9 the apostle tells us “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You can become a bride to Christ.
If you are on the journey or new to the journey I pray that you seek Him while he may be found….. look for part 2 of this series …The bride and her covenant