The Bridegroom and His Bride
(Psalm 45, Rev. 21:9, Eph. 5:22-33)
The Lord has caused us to know that the church is His bride. In the reference to Revelation, John was specifically told, “Come I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” She is not the wife of the lion, but the wife of the Lamb. The Lamb is the One who lays down His life for the sheep. This is the One to whom we are joined by the Spirit. This is the One we are made one with. Marriage is the ultimate earthly picture of our unity with the Lord. Following that verse in Revelation, John sees a city. Purposefully, the Spirit changes the picture as He does frequently throughout John’s experience. Recognize that we are His dwelling place, we are His city built as living stones upon the foundation of the apostles.
All this is expressed as we read through the entire chapter in Revelation. Yet I am again focused on His people as His bride. Recently, our Sunday morning gathering was opened with a brother reading Ps. 45. I recalled much that had been opened to me years before. The publisher’s/translators’ heading of the Psalm reads, “The Glories of the Messiah and His Bride.” That is Jesus Christ and us, as we follow the Lamb wherever He leads us. Do you find yourself in a tough, perhaps impossible, situation? Has the Lord led you there? Or do you find you have wandered off? The Lord Himself is after something. He wants all of us. When we say we commit our lives to Him, heaven rejoices. At times, many times, it is for us to consider it joy that He is refining us to be members of His bride, fit for a heavenly joining with Him.
The passage of verse 10-15, has always been precious to me. That beauty is refreshed now. The daughter is addressed and told to listen carefully. She is called to leave her people and her father’s house. I think of Abraham. “When he was one I called him,” the Lord said. The Lord made of him a great nation and all the nations have been blessed through his seed, Christ Jesus. Consider Rebekah. Abraham’s servant was sent to relatives to call and bring another out from her father’s house. She heard of Isaac and she left all to meet her bridegroom. And Ruth left her Moabite people to go with Naomi to another people, the Lord’s own. And there, Boaz takes her as wife. The Lord’s purpose goes forward through Ruth’s loving obedience.
It is the same for us. Jesus said to his disciples that the one who loves father and mother more than Him is not worthy of Him. We must leave people, places, things behind to follow Him. This never means neglect of family responsibility. This often requires wisdom and a seeking the Lord for His thought on the specifics. It often requires an increase of our faith. We get stretched. I love how the writer expresses the thought that she is all glorious within. In verse 13, translators have added the words “the palace”. I think they missed the meaning. Within her, in in inner self, she is all glorious. As she leaves her earthly attachments to know the Living God, her spirit glows with His life. So we let it shine out. Don’t hide your light, Jesus said. It is so very simple. The psalmist continues, her robes are gold and of many colors. It sounds like some of what John saw in Revelation. He saw this at the throne. See verse 9. The queen, His bride is standing at His right hand. As we follow Him, we know, we experience that we are seated with Him in the heavens.
As I write, this, I am aware of the distance I still must go in overcoming every trace of my flesh. Those things that distract and trip me up; that reveal my fallen humanity. As His bride, we wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. It’s wonderful to hear the Lord Jesus say, as He did to Peter, “You are clean by the word that I have spoken to you.” He was washing Peter’s feet and that man wanted to be sure he was completely clean. Jesus, the perfect servant, does the same for each of us as we follow Him.