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Week 2 June 2023, Devotion Part 2

Come, I will show you the Bride… Revelation 21:9

In 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 he [Paul] helpfully writes, “I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” In Ephesians 5:25-32 Paul explains more thoroughly what makes our Bridegroom so precious and our union with Him so desirable. “For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”

The Apostle John, who recorded God’s “revelation of Jesus Christ,” was present as His beloved disciple when the Lord likened the kingdom of heaven to a king’s marriage feast given for his son. In the parable (Matthew 22:1-14) the bride is totally invisible, but the “perfect” wedding garment emerges as an absolute must. The consequences of non-compliance are terrible. Is Jesus so precious to us that we heed His wooing as well as His warning? In return He offers the most glorious “happily ever after.” (Part 2 of 2)

Comment: The “hard sayings” of this writer may bug the fans of the “holey” fashion she has publicly disparaged. The “hard sayings” of Jesus had followers grumble and leave Him (John 6:54-66). As His believing “Easter people” who partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are drawn to Jesus precisely because He sacrificed His “flesh and blood” on Calvary to secure our eternal salvation. The “hard sayings” in Matthew 22:1-14 apply to people we know and live with. Let’s not call them “non churchgoers,” since some sitting in the pews may be just as unmoved by God’s wooing and warning.

Time to take a deep breath and note that bachelor Paul relied on the Book of Hosea to define marriage as a match made in heaven. At first it was embroiled in scandalous adultery. You can bet tongues were wagging that a prophet would sully his flawless reputation by marrying a prostitute – at God’s command. Gomer had no intention of staying put and playing “housewife,” but continued to ply her trade all over town. More shockingly perhaps, Hosea was commanded by God to go after her repeatedly and pay the price of her redemption. He was hammering home, of course, the enormity of Israel’s spiritual adultery. Hosea “wrote feelingly what he lived achingly,” but tied up the loose ends by presenting a love story of stupendous magnitude. God vows to “allure” the harlot Israel in the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. “Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord” (Hosea 2:14;19-20). Revelation:21


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