Wednesday, January 8, 2014

P2 The Wedding you must not miss: God purposes in presenting the Son as the Divine Bridegroom for His people

Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Introduction & Review:
The opening scripture above has God describing Himself as being a "husband" to Israel. In yesterday's post we did an overview of the theme of God's redemptive marriage to His people through all the major sections of the Bible. In today's post we will look more closely at this theme by seeing how it all begins in the Old Testament through God's Divine purposes and how those purposes aim in Presenting the Son who will be a Groom for the people.  But before we get to seeing how this theme begins to unfold, we first of all need to see how particular Bible passages in the Old Testament state God's redemptive agenda to be about the relationship between God as The Divine Groom/Husband and His people as being the bride/wife. 

The Biblical Foundation of the Divine Wedding Between God and His people 
The event of God's wedding to His people is defined as occurring in the sequence of events surrounding God's deliverance of the Jews out of Egypt, across the Red Sea and eventually to the place where they would encamp around the base of Mount Sinai in Exodus 12-20. The wedding of Yahweh to Israel required planning that incorporated God's eternal intentions, usage of history from Adam to Noah to Abraham, and of course His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

As the planning for this event by God led to the Presentation of Himself to His people, clearly the focus of the Divine wedding ceremony at Sinai was on the Groom. Per the ancient customs of Jewish and ancient Oriental weddings, the Bridegroom, rather than the bride, determined the day and focal point of the festivities. The goal was for the groom to be united to His bride and for them both to enter into married life. 

Passages such as Psalm 45; the entire book of Song of Solomon, and the prophecies of Hosea utilize the marriage customs and ceremonies of the Jews as picturing God's relationship to Israel. Other prophets by Divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost expound in the most eloquent way possible this theme of God as the groom or husband, and His people as the bride or His wife. Consider the following examples:

1. Psalm 45:6-9 "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
8 All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir."

2. Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker,Whose name is the Lord of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth."

3. Ezekiel 16:9 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I alsoswore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God."

4. Hosea 2:19-20 “I will betroth you to Me forever;Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In loving kindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord."

The theme of God's Marriage to His People as an outline of God's revelation of redemption from the Old Testament into the New Testament
Truly in order to get the vision for Systematic Theology, one first has to do the preliminary work of Biblical theology that traces God's progressive unfolding of major themes. With the key Old Testament Bible passages established for this theme of God's marriage to His people, we can now see how God takes this theme and develops it. The Divine marriage theme describes His main intentions for redeeming His people from their lost condition. God's redemptive dealings with Israel is a microscopic view of what His intentions are in wanting to redeem believers from every nation that He intends to save. As we begin to explore this incredible metaphor of God the groom and His people the bride, we discover the following:

Purposes of a Sovereign, Loving Savior
Entrance by God into covenant with His people
-God in the Old Testament revealed Himself as the Savior of His people by way of His Personal Covenant name Yahweh in Exodus 3:14. Later on passages such as Isaiah 43:10-11 reinforce the truth stated numerous times throughout the Old Testament: that Yahweh is God, and God alone, the only Savior. God planned to redeem for Himself a people was revealed in the Covenant of Grace with Eve, repeated to Noah and made a Promise to Abraham. Isaiah 54
Yahweh's purposes included "marrying" or entering in Covenant with His people at Sinai. The prophetic scriptures above reveal that the events of Sinai are likened unto a formal Jewish Wedding ceremony and festivities.
Jeremiah 31:31-32

Experience of Pain of a broken marriage 
-Yahweh's purposes included the pain of experiencing the unfaithfulness of Israel which would lead to a divorce. This surprising twist in the Divine marriage theme introduces an element of shock that will prompt prophecies about the restoration of the Divine marriage. As will be seen later, how God will bring about such a restoration is even more surprising from an Old Testament standpoint. Please compare Isaiah 50:1-2; Jeremiah 31:32

Emphasis of a restored marriage
-Yahweh reveals the promises of the New Covenant that contain His promise to restore His people unto Himself.  We can understand God's redemptive purposes as likened unto restoring a broken people.  Isaiah 62:4-5

As you arrive at the end of the Old Testament revelation, the promises of God to restore His people to Himself are affirmed in what Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah reveal to be "The New Covenant".  This revealed truth and the prophecies of the coming Messiah will be orchestrated by the Person of the Father in the sending forth of His Son into the world, Who shares co-equally in His fully Divine nature. (John 1:1-4; 3:16)  In the Old Testament the reader is told "what God will do" in restoring His wife and His people unto Himself, however God does not reveal the "how". It is not until the Four Gospels that we are told the ultimate aim of God the Father's purposes in the Old Testament, namely...

Presentation of the Son as the Bridegroom for His people in the Gospels.
For now let the reader note that the wedding that must not be missed included Divine purposes revealed throughout the Old Testament that lead to the Presentation of the Son for His people in the Gospels. Tomorrow we will continue on through the scriptures regarding this theme of God's marriage to His people by noting how it is developed in the New Testament. 

No comments:

Post a Comment