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God's Marriages With Israel

 

In my sermon, Biblical Marriage, I discussed the pattern of Biblical marriage, both family marriages and as applied to Jesus Christ, Yeshua ha Mashiach. In both we saw a pattern of the match, the betrothal period, and the culmination or consummation.

 

Today I want to continue that theme, but this time look at the several marriages the LORD has had with His chosen people over the years. Again, we will try to identify each by the pattern of the match, the betrothal period, and the culmination or consummation.

 

Letís read again the scriptures that tie one of the LORDís early marriages with the future marriage of Jesus Christ, Yeshua ha Mashiach. Please turn to Jeremiah 31.

(Jer 31:31-33 NKJV) "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; {32} "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. {33} "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

(Jer 3:14-20 NKJV) "Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. {15} "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. {16} "Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days," says the LORD, "that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. {17} "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. {18} "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers. {19} "But I said: 'How can I put you among the children And give you a pleasant land, A beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?' "And I said: 'You shall call Me, "My Father," And not turn away from Me.' {20} Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," says the LORD.

(Isa 54:5-17 NKJV) For your Maker is your husband, The LORD (H3068 - Jehovah) of hosts (Heavenly hosts) is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God (H430 - Elohiym) of the whole earth. {6} For the LORD has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God. {7} "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. {8} With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you," Says the LORD (H3068 - Jehovah), your Redeemer. {9} "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. {10} For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. {11} "O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires. {12} I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones. {13} All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. {14} In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you. {15} Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake. {16} "Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy. {17} No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.

I guess it is time to ask, "Who is the LORD?" (In these verses, the LORD is identified as Jehovah or YAWEH, H3068.) I believe that the LORD is the individual who was to become Jesus, the Messiah, the spokesman for the Father. Why do I believe that? Letís look at some New Testament scriptures:

(John 5:37 NKJV) "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

Now, if we have neither heard the Fatherís voice at any time, nor seen His form, what do we make of Exodus 24:10, Exodus 19:19, and Exodus 33:23? Since no man has seen the Father nor heard His voice, these scriptures in Exodus must be talking about He who became Christ.

(Exo 24:9-10 NKJV) Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, {10} and they saw the God of Israel. . . .

(Exo 19:19 NKJV) And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

(Exo 33:23 NKJV) "Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."

In addition, I might mention Genesis 18 where Abraham not only saw and heard the Lord but even sat down and had a meal with him. And how about the person Jacob wrestled with all night? And what of John 1 and Colossians 1:16 and 17, where everything was made by Jesus (Yeshua)?

But His marriage covenant with the Israelites at Sinai was not His first covenant. His first recorded contract was with Noah. Turn to Genesis 6.

(Gen 6:18-19 NKJV) "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark; you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. {19} "And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

God made a covenant with Noah concerning the ark. And in verse 22 we are told that Noah fulfilled his part of the contract.

(Gen 6:22 NKJV) Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

(Gen 8:15-16 NKJV) Then God spoke to Noah, saying, {16} "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

(Gen 9:1 NKJV) So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

(Verse 8-17 NKJV) Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: {9} "And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, {10} "and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. {11} "Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." {12} And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: {13} "I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. {14} "It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; {15} "and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. {16} "The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." {17} And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."

But this contract or covenant with Noah does not appear to have been a marriage covenant. God simply told Noah what he was to do, Noah did it, and God announced how He would bless Noah and his descendants for his obedience to the contract.

The first marriage contract or covenant appears to be the one He made with Abram. Turn to Genesis 12 to read about this application of the marriage match.

(Gen 12:1-5 NKJV) Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. {2} I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. {3} I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." {4} So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. {5} Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

God, acting as father of the groom, made a contract with Abram and through him to his seed, who were to become the bride. He told Abram, the father of the bride, "You leave your country and move to another and I God will make you a great nation, and bless you, and make you a great name, and you will be a blessing." Abram fulfilled his part of the contract. He moved to the new land. This was the marriage match: Abram and God.

Since God is going to marry an entire nation, a great amount of time will pass before the actual marriage can take place. The marriage contract was formalized in Genesis 15 after Abram performed his part of the contract.

(Gen 15:1-17 NKJV) After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." {2} But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" {3} Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" {4} And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." {5} Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." {6} And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. {7} Then He said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it." {8} And he said, "Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?" {9} So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." {10} Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. [The halved animals lay on each side of a path and the parties walked between them.] {11} And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. {12} Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. {13} Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. {14} "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. {15} "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. {16} "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." {17} And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.

If either party should break the covenant, they expected to be divided in half like the animals.

God here "signed" His contract with Abram by passing through the split carcasses. But it was a one-way contract. Only God walked the path so only God signed it. Abram was asleep. What God was saying essentially was, "I am making these promises of great blessings to you and your descendants. You have already done your part." This too was part of the wedding match.

(Gen 15:18-21 NKJV) On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates; {19} "the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, {20} "the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, {21} "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

The wedding betrothal begins in Genesis 17.

(Gen 17:1-14 NKJV) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. [The word ďblamelessĒ means having integrity -- Strongs #H8549].{2} "And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." {3} Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: {4} "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. {5} "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. {6} "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. {7} "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. {8} "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." {9} And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. {10} "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; {11} "and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. {12} "He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. {13} "He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. {14} "And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."

As a sidelight to verses 10-14, many believe the British throne is a continuation of the throne of the Kings of Israel (Jer 33:17). If this is true, are we seeing the end of this earthly Israeli Kingdom and the return of a resurrected King David to his throne? Prince Charles is circumcised. His sons, Princes William and Harry are not.

Circumcision involves the taking of blood. The blood symbol is later replaced by the cups of wine by the bride and groom during their proposal. As long as the wife arranges for the circumcision of the child, the wife agrees to be the wife of the LORD.

(Gen 17:19 NKJV) Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.

(Verse 21 NKJV) "But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year."

Those descendants who carried the sign of the covenant, the circumcision, would be married to God according to the contract or covenant God made with Abraham. Neither party could back out without the death of one of the parties. And true to promise, in Exodus 12 we see the carrying out of the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 15:13.

The covenant was reread to Isaac and Jacob. The practice of circumcision appears to have been carried out in Egypt because the covenant was still in force. But the bride was now learning the way of her new father in this sinful land. Satan had become the spiritual adoptive father. But Israel continued to circumcise as she looked for her real spiritual father to come and redeem her.

The two witnesses of God, Moses and Aaron, were sent to negotiate with the father of the bride (Pharaoh) for release of the bride. Eventually the Pharaoh was so desperate to release the bride that he put up the bride price himself. Then the LORD comes at night and steals His bride from the adoptive fatherís house.

(Exo 12:40-42 NKJV) Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. {41} And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years; on that very same day; it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. {42} It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

(Gal 3:16-18 NKJV) Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ. {17} And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. {18} For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

This verse appears to apply to Genesis 22:18.

(Gen 22:18 NKJV) "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Now letís discuss the wedding.

The adoptive father later decided he wanted the bride back so he went after her. But he was destroyed in the Red Sea.

Exodus 19 describes the instructions God gave to His bride at Mt. Sinai.

(Exo 19:5 NKJV) 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

If Israel will keep the covenant, God will make her a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

(Verses 10-13 NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.{11} "And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. {12} "You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. {13} 'Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain."

(Verses 16-18 NKJV) Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. {17} And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. {18} Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

God put on a great spectacle for His wedding.

On Pentecost, the wedding contract of the ten commandments of Exodus 20 was written. In verse 1 God, the husband, began to read the wedding contract to the bride.

(Exo 20:18 NKJV) Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.

The people did not want God to speak to them. They no longer wanted to speak to their husband. They wanted their witness, Moses, to do the speaking.

The people signed the wedding contract with the words, "I do" in Exodus 24.

(Exo 24:3 NKJV) So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the LORD has said we will do."

The bride accepted the wedding contract and it was sealed in blood. Ezekiel describes the zeal and passion of the LORD for His people in and after Egypt in Ezekiel 16.

(Ezek 16:6-14 NKJV) "And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' {7} "I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. {8} "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD. {9} "Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. {10} "I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. {11} "I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. {12} "And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. {13} "Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. {14} "Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD.

But despite His love and generosity, the wedding contract didnít last. Beginning in the very next verse, we see what ancient Israel did with the blessings of their marriage with the LORD.

(Ezek 16:15-17 NASB) "But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing. {16} "And you took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors, and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen. {17} "You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them.

No, neither ancient Israel nor modern Israel, including the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, remained loyal to their Husband, the LORD who poured out every gift upon His bride. They started in abject slavery to the evil world, were delivered from that horrible life by a God who loved them, were married to that God and received of Him every blessing, then played the harlot with every worldly false god, every false philosophy, and every carnal sin imaginable. And it didnít take us very long to descend to that level, either in the days of Moses or in the history of our own era. Thatís where we are again today.

In Exodus 32 we see the people, whose mediator, Moses, was not with them, worshiping the golden calf, an act of adultery against their true husband, the LORD.

(Exo 32:1 NKJV) Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."

But the LORD remembered his contract with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He continued to send the people to the land He had promised to give them. But notice one thing: He was so upset with them, He sent an angel to lead them instead of leading them Himself.

(Exo 33:1-3 NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'To your descendants I will give it.' {2} "And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. {3} "Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."

But when they got to the promised land, they refused to go with their husband into the new land. You can read of their refusal in Numbers 14. They did not trust their husband and follow Him, in faith, to their new home even after all the miracles He had done for them. Like all husbands whose wife refuses to follow them, He was furious. Thirty nine years later they went to their new home. During those 39 years no circumcision took place. This is the brideís refusal that she is the bride of God.

(Gen 3:16 KJV) .your desire shall be to your husband and he shall rule over you.

(Eph 5:22 KJV) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.

(Josh 5:2 NKJV) At that time the LORD said to Joshua, "Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time."

Now the bride again accepts the mark of the marriage covenant.

But even after they were in their new homeland, they committed adultery with other gods.

(Jer 3:6-11 NKJV) The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: "Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. {7} "And I said, after she had done all these things, 'Return to Me.' But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. {8} "Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. {9} "So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. {10} "And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense," says the LORD. {11} Then the LORD said to me, "Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

So God divorced Israel and they gave up circumcision and their identity. But even though Judah was worse than Israel, God did not divorce Judah. Why? Genesis 49 gives us the answer.

(Gen 49:8-10 NKJV) "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's children shall bow down before you. {9} Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? {10} The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh (the Messiah) comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

Judah would have a line of kings. But more important, Judah would remain married to God so the Messiah could be born of them. He took on the brideís sins and died for her. Now Judah, too, was without a husband. But a new marriage is now available for Jews, Israelis, and gentiles.

God had promised Israel many blessings in his original contract. He had to live up to His promises if there should be a divorce, as there was.

Israel still receives blessings. The standard of living in the US, Northwestern Europe, the British Commonwealth, etc. are all proofs of those blessings. Many nations have come out of Abrahamís loins, and many nations have been blessed by their association with these nations. These nations have possessed the gates of their enemies. Other nations still bow down to their power. They still receive blessings but donít know anything about their contract with God. They think they have accomplished their successes by their own efforts. God blesses nations and they prosper above all other nations. He curses nations and they fall to a level far below all other nations. Israel has a history of blessings and cursings. The mark of the marriage covenant with Abraham was circumcision. But Paul points out in Romans 7 that the law of the marriage contract involving Judah and circumcision ended with the death of Jesus Christ.

(Rom 7:1-6 NKJV) Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? {2} For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. {4} Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another; to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. {5} For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. {6} But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

So Christ is now able to marry His saints. We who are Christís now serve in the Spirit. When Christ returns He will marry His saints, but spiritually. The marriage will not be based on physical promises to a physical bride. It will be based on spiritual promises to a spiritual bride. It will be a better marriage. The law is not done away. It is written on the hearts of the spiritual bride.

(Jer 31:31-34 NKJV) "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; {32} "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. {33} "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. {34} "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

The law is the first five books of the Bible. Judaism calls it the Torah. Verse 33-34 shows that this has not all happened yet. The house of Israel does not today have this law written in their hearts, but His Saints have.

His Saints are and have been waiting for the groom to return and take them away from the house of their father, Satan, who rules the earth. They have been waiting a long time, almost two thousand years. Thatís a long betrothal period. But today we see more and more signs that the long wait is about over. Letís turn to 2 Timothy 3.

(2 Tim 3:1-7 NKJV) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: {2} For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money [greed], boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, {4} traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God [apathetic], {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! {6} For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, {7} always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

American government is based on the adherence to law and the constitution. Today in the countries of Israel, we see an increasing confrontation between the forces of good and evil. The principles and actions of those who stand for virtue are under increasing attack by those who hate the good. And at the present moment, the forces of good seem to be in full retreat. We see it in Israel with world-wide pressures to give away more and more of Godís covenant land. We see it in northwest Europe with the movement to create a European army outside the administration of NATO. We see it in the United States with political attacks by the immoral, the unprincipled, their minions, and their supporters, political and otherwise, against those wanting to retain the mores of society and the principles of equal justice in the constitution. These attacks will become stronger. There are public figures (such as Judge Bork, Ambassador Keyes, and others) who are even now warning of the end of society as we know it. Without governmental protection, the Saints are about to find themselves alone against the attacks of the evil and misguided of this world. Will we be able to stand up against it? Is this what Christ was talking about in Mat 24?

(Mat 24:9 NKJV) "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

Is this what Isaiah was talking about in Isa 30?

(Isa 30:8-11 NKJV) Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come [in the margin, "the latter days"], Forever and ever: {9} That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; {10} Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. {11} Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us." [Shades of Sinai]

Does this parallel the conditions of the Israelites in Egypt? Remember that God was betrothed to the Israelites in Egypt just as He is betrothed to the Saints today. Letís read from Exodus 3:7.

(Exo 3:7 NKJV) And the LORD said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

In Isa 33:15, is God giving encouragement to us who live in the last days?

(Isa 33:15-17 NKJV) He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: [How about evil on TV?] {16} He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure. {17} Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off.

Can we see these parallels? Are we alert to what is happening around us? Are we ready for the destruction of the secure life we have known? Are we prepared for the troubles that lie ahead? Are the Saints able to keep their thoughts and confidence focused on the groom who will take them out of this evil world? Or will we be horrified and discouraged by the destruction of all that is good by the proponents of evil? We need to recognize this world, this government, this society for what it is and what it is becoming, then let this recognition be the stimulus for keeping our sights on the return of our betrothed groom and the new home He will provide.

 

In summary, Godís marriage to Israel consisted of:

He who became Jesus or Yeshua (The LORD), made a covenant with Abraham. The covenant stated that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be circumcised and be His bride. Their descendants then fell into idolatry and slavery by their adopted father, Pharaoh. God married Israel at Mt. Sinai when she agreed to His marriage contract. She immediately committed adultery with the golden calf. She then refused to go to her new home with her husband. Thirty nine years later, with a new generation, she did go to a new homeland. After repeated adultery with other gods, God divorced Israel and they gave up circumcision, the covenant of marriage. In the process they gave up their identity. Judah, who committed worse sins than her sister Israel, remained married but only so the Messiah could be born. He took on the brideís sins and died for her. Now Judah too was without a husband. But a new marriage is now possible between the resurrected Messiah and Judah, Israel, and even the gentiles which want to have a part in this marriage. This marriage will be between the Messiah and His saints.

Portions of this sermon were adapted, with permission, from Hebrew Roots magazine.

 

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

8 September 2012

 

 

Copyright 2012, Wayne Bedwell

 

 

 

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