Posted by: forfreedomalone | 26/01/2014

The Much Loved Bride.

 I have been studying the ancient Hebrew marriage covenant. It is the fourth in the Hebrew covenants and is a long and complex process.

A marriage is agreed upon and at that point is seen as a done deal. The girl can say no at any point, but if she agrees, although they are not actually married they are considered to be so.
Should the bride be seen to be in disgrace, after a marriage is agreed upon, the groom has the option to have her stoned to death, be put away in disgrace or to assume her punishment himself. In which case he has become her kinsman redeemer.
This is the situation Joseph was in when he discovered that Mary was pregnant. Joseph redeemed Mary.

As I studied this I saw the bride, shame filled, up to her ears in debt, no way to repay her debtors, alcoholic, anxious, fearful, a prostitute, the police after her for crimes uncountable. You name it, I saw it on that bride.
Seeing her groom look at her with undying love and saying “You are beautiful, I love you. I will take your punishment in your place, but fear not, for my father will return me to you”, did not improve her view of herself one iota, but her view of her groom was indescribable in magnitude.

If he could love us in that state, and he is an express image of his father, then whether he came to reveal his father or not, he was doing it anyway. This is the kind of love God has for us, but we have to respond to it. This bride is not going to be dragged away by this loving groom. She has to be willing.
In ancient Jewish marriages she could say ‘no’ right up to the moment of consummation; she could leave at any time, she was never forced into a marriage. So once the marriage was consummated, the point at which they were actually ‘married’, it was a union of two willing and equally engaged people.

Some people will tell you that what you need to do is to see who you were meant to be and you will change into that person. If only you can understand who you were created to be you will turn from a life which prevents you from being that person.
Seeing who she can be, who she was created to be, would fill that bride with more shame and guilt than ever.She was not who she was created to be, nor could she ever be that person. The depths of depravity I saw the bride in was impossible to be recovered from by knowing who she was SUPPOSED to be. It wasn’t even important.
What mattered was HIM and how much he loved her. She only had eyes for HIM and if that changed her, fair enough. She might even become the person she was created to be, but he and he alone was all that mattered.

The overwhelming point was he sees us AS WE ARE, not as we are supposed to be, and loves us into becoming who we were supposed to be. 
When we are focused on who we are supposed to be, we have shifted our sight from the grace of God for change, to change for the grace of God. From Jesus as our saviour to us as our saviour. It will NEVER work. 

You cannot get yourself out of quicksand, you need to be rescued and your rescuer is calling from the bank “Take hold of this rope. I love you and I will rescue you, take hold of this rope”.

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