From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Nineteen, Day Five
God is not content to be known merely as Creator, Lord, or even Father. Incredibly he reveals himself also as Bridegroom or Husband. The Hebrew Scriptures contain numerous allusions to Yahweh as Israel's divine Husband, and the New Testament presents Christ as the church's Bridegroom. He is the Holy One who did not cling to his divinity but left his Father's house to dwell among us, calling us to become one with him in the most intimate way possible. To all of us, male and female, Christ offers himself as our provider and protector, the one who has forever pledged himself in faithfulness and love.
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! Revelation 19:9
Promises Associated with His Name
Think of the most troubled marriage you know of. Living in such a marriage must be miserable, nearly intolerable. Maybe that's how God felt about his relationship with his people, who had repeatedly responded to him like an unfaithful wife intent on pursuing affairs with other men. But rather than suing for divorce, God made the most gracious gesture imaginable. He came himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, to call his people back. Just like a Jewish groom, Jesus left his Father's house to come and pay the bride price for his beloved. But instead of paying in so many coins, Jesus secured the marriage covenant with his own blood.
Some of us are so familiar with the gospel that we are dulled to the shocking evidence it contains — that God loves us as a bridegroom who is passionately in love with his bride. Let us pray today for the grace to understand the lengths to which God has already gone to unite us to himself. And let us heed the voice of Jesus who tells us not to let our hearts be troubled as we wait for him, but to take heart because he is preparing a place for us — not on the margins or outskirts of heaven, but right inside his Father's house.
Promises in Scripture
As a young man marries a maiden,
so will your sons marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.
Hosea 2:19 - 20
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1 - 3
Continued Prayer and Praise
Read this extended poem as an image of God's love for his people. (Song of Songs)
Delight in the Lord for he delights in you. (Isaiah 61:10 - 62:5)
Remember that God is a husband who is always faithful. (Jeremiah 3:14 - 17, 20)
Consider God's mercy toward his bride. (Hosea 2:13 - 3:1)
Be ready for the coming wedding feast. (Matthew 22:1 - 14)
Consider the freedom you have because you belong to Christ. (Romans 7:1 - 6)
Understand the kind of husband Jesus is. (Ephesians 5:15 - 32)
Picture what God has for you. (Revelation 22:1 - 17)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.