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The Marriage Metaphor

There is no ‘secret language’ or hidden message requiring ‘decoding’ in Scripture, but there is symbolism and metaphors that are consistently used, therefore by comparison of references a general comprehension can be achieved.

Have been saying it backwards? By portraying the union with Christ and his Bride as being ‘elite’ and an ultimate relationship. Do we exclude too many from the ‘opportunity?’ Should not the union of Christ with His Bride be taught as the ideal relation which Christ desires to have with ALL His people? ETC….

FIRST, what do we know about the marriage relationship that can parallel God’s relationship with His people?

  • Marriage is EXCLUSIVE of all others.
  • Marriage is PERMANENT (Till death do us part)
  • Marriage is a COVENANT. (agreement, vow, contract*, mutual)
  • Marriage is a RESPONSIBILITY.
  • Marriage perpetuates the FAMILY structure. (CHILDREN)
  • Marriage is preceded by a period of ENGAGEMENT. (betrothal, promise)
  • Marriage is founded on LOVE. (commitment)

Isa 62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

  • Marriage is secured by TRUST (faith).
  • Marriage is PROGRESSIVELY reached. (steps, process toward marriage, preparation)
  • Marriage is a UNION. (two become one, cleaving)
  • Marriage is a SEPARATION. (leave father & mother)
  • Marriage is just the BEGINNING of the relationship! (not an end, but a start)
  • Marriage ceremony for the Christian involves GRACE AND CHARACTER rather than PRECIOUS ORNAMENTS & SPECIAL GARMENTS.

1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Ps 45:13 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Ro 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Ro 2:29; 2Co 4:16; Eph 1:7;3:16; Col 1:11

Isa 49:18—thou shalt surely clothe thee with…[CHILDREN], as with an ornament… as a bride doeth.

Isa 61:10 ¶ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Jer 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

The Bridegroom and the Bride

Jer 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.

Jer 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

Jer 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

Jer 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

Joe 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Re 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Re 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Re 21:9 ¶ And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

Re 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

You will go out into eternity knowing you had opportunities to be saved and were not saved.

Contract yourself a debt.

You have the promise of being born again, all that is you have a promise.

Espousal, Betrothal

2 Corinthians 11:2 — For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Mt 1:18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:27 — To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 2:5 — To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. {taxed: or, inrolled}

Marriage and Marriage Feast Distinction

  • "To the Marriage"

Matthew 25:10 — And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

- gamov: of uncertain affinity; nuptials:--marriage, wedding. (Matthew 22:2, 3,4,8,9,10,11,12; 25:10; Luke 12:36; 14:8; John 2:1,2; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 19:7,9)
  • "Return FROM the Wedding

Luke 12:36 — And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. [KJV]

- The main idea of Luke 12:35-40 is the "Watchful Servant"
- Servants Waiting for their Master's return **from the wedding** in Luke 12 & Virgins Waiting for the Bridegroom to come **to the marriage** in Matthew 25.
  • "Marriage Supper/Feast"

Revelation 19:9 —

- deipnon [1173]: from the same as 1160; dinner, i.e. the chief meal (usually in the evening):--feast, supper. (Matthew 23:6; Mark 6:21; Mark 12:39; Luke 14:12,16,17,24; Luke 20:46; John 12:2; 13:2,4; 21:20; 1 Corinthians 11:20,21; Revelation 19:9,17)