2Cor 11:2 Engaged to the Lord
2Pt 1:4 Promises of God to escape worldly corruption and to partake of divine nature
Gen 24:50-58 Rebecca’s betrothal (engagement) to Isaac
When any person – whether Jew or Gentile – is born-again through repentance and faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, he enters into a new, covenantal relationship with God as Father, who gives him/her the Holy Spirit, and the believer knows that he is joined to the Lord.
God gives us His great and precious promises not only to realize them in the world to come, but also to affect our lives here today: that we would set them before us and allow the living hope of them to work in us to transform and cleanse our souls and our lives. These promises are not for any particular individual alone, but rather to all members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
One of these wonderful promises God gives to those in Messiah is to become His Bride! We become engaged to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, when we believe on Him as Savior and Lord. This is a profound mystery: the union of Messiah and the Church (all Christians collectively), of which Adam and Eve – the first man and wife (woman) – are a type.
I am convinced that one reason in God’s wisdom for leaving us in this world after we have believed the gospel and been saved is in order that our love for our Man, the Lord Jesus, becomes ‘hot’, so that on the wedding day we are truly prepared to be His holy bride and wife. The Holy Spirit works in our lives that we would love Him whole-heartedly – He who is love and who is perfect.
Let’s consider briefly some pre-marital counseling. (This same counsel will help also in our present relationships of husband and wife.):
As I already said, the Holy Spirit works with us so that we will be a suitable helpmate for our husband-to-be, the King, the Lord Jesus; in other words, He teaches us to be a good wife and worthy Queen! Before our conversion, we did not appreciate nor love Jesus – nor, for that matter, God and His people. Even afterwards, we may think and say and do things which indicate still a lack of proper honor or love towards Him. But the Spirit works to increase our knowledge of Him so that we will be willing – no, yearning – to be with Him! We must, therefore. . .
—spend time together with Him who would be our husband during the period of engagement.
–by reading the Scriptures, which all speak of Him and of His Kingdom, and by meditating on His word
–through prayer, being in communion (fellowship) and communication with God for the glory of His Son Jesus
—fellowship with others who know Him and love Him – with other family members and friends – this Man who takes common sinners and brings us into His royal house (Ps 45)
—growing in personal knowledge of one another’s character traits. We learn more of what God is like as we walk with Jesus, and we learn more about ourselves. We learn what He likes and what He does not. By taking hold of this great promise, we allow ourselves to become more and more the ‘woman’ He wants – even though He took us ‘as we were’. The Man and His woman identify more with one another and become more compatible. He has eyes for you only, and His bride has eyes and heart only for Him.
–the third aspect is that we recognize that there are mutual responsibilities in becoming the wife of the King of Glory. He is the Head of the house, yet He gives us to manage many of His affairs – in accord with His will and pleasure (Pr 31). He has so loved us and gives us so much about which to feel good and secure that we want to do only what pleases Him and what becomes Him (is worthy of Him). It is in Him, my Husband, that I find my true and whole identity: my whole self (1Cor 11:3).
God has created male and female together in His image and after His likeness, and it is in the marriage relationship – of the woman being [re]-joined to the man – that we become one flesh, and, in Christ, one spirit also.
When we agree to receive Christ as He is presented in the gospel, there are three results from these three aspects (spending time together; personal knowledge of one another; mutual responsibilities) of building and developing our personal relationship in preparation for a happy and enduring marriage:
- We must send away all other lovers who have any claims on us. Our husband will have no other competitors or partners. He is jealous for His holy name and for His bride. The names of the “baalim” must be taken out of Israel’s mouth and then YHVH marries her (Hos 2:16-20 Eng; 18-22Heb).
Some will love father or mother or sons or daughters more than they will love their spouse; some love their work or their ministry more than they love their spouse; some love their books or their sport or their food and drink more; some love themselves more than they love their spouse. Yeshua loves His bride as He loves Himself.
The Holy Spirit works to bring us to where the first and great commandment will be true in us: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – and to where our heart’s desire is that our Lord, our Husband, should come for us quickly.
2. We must like His law as well as His love. Messiah will not be Husband where He will not also be Master or Lord. We are to be as daughters of Sarah and know our husband as having authority over us in the Lord. He (Jesus) is the perfect one, and as we give Him His place to rule over us, then our desire grows for Him, even as YHVH God spoke to Eve concerning her relationship with her husband Adam.
3. We must take our Christ/our husband for better and for worse – with His cross and with His crown to suffer for Him as well as to reign with Him – to identify with Him in His shame as well as in His glory.
To summarize: there are three aspects to building a marital relationship:
1. shared time together
2. personal knowledge of one another’s character traits
3. mutual responsibilities.
From these will be three results to assure a good marriage and household peace:
1. We will allow no one and no thing to interfere with or separate us from or trouble us in our love and faithfulness towards our spouse;
2. We will accept his authority as well as His love;
3. We accept and stand with him in good times and in bad, in prosperity and in hardship.
What response do we find in our own souls towards Messiah Yeshua when we hear of Him from God’s servants? Is it ‘hot’ enough that we will do whatever He asks or requires of us? Would we rather die for Him than live without Him? Are we exhorting and encouraging one another in His claims upon us and and upon our lives? Are we telling others of the glad tidings – of our Savior and Beloved Jesus who desires us with His whole heart?!
What is your reply to the telling of God’s Word concerning Christ by Hi servants to the question put to Rebecca, when she was asked concerning taking Isaac for a husband?:
“Will you go with this man?” (Gen 24:58)
Blessed is the soul who believes the promise of God to take Messiah’s hand in marriage! (Ps 33:12):
“Blessed is the nation whose God is YHVH, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance!”