August 31, 2019

The Bridegroom and the Bride

Isaiah 62:1-5

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

—  Isaiah 62:5

Marriage is a metaphor often used in the Bible to describe God’s love for his people. Certainly “treasures in heaven” has rich meaning, and the Lord often uses that phrase to express the infinite value of salvation and eternal life. But in Isaiah 62 and other passages, we also find word pictures describing the Lord as a bridegroom rejoicing over his people as his bride. It is a deeply personal metaphor.

Isaiah prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem, the people’s exile to another land, and, later, their restoration. The promise of salvation is pictured this way: “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah [‘My Delight is in her’], and your land Beulah [‘Married’].” And “as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”

Revelation 21:2-3 describes the “new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” And a loud voice says, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people. . . . They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

We eagerly await that day. The new Jerusalem will shine “with the glory of God, and its brilliance [will be] like that of a very precious jewel” (Revelation 21:11). And “the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” (22:17).

Our hearts overflow with joy at the promise of our eternal inheritance, that you, Lord, will live with us forever. We give you thanks. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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