His Name Revealed – Husband, Bridegroom

The Name 

God is not content to be known merely as Creator, Lord, or even Father. Incredibly He reveals Himself also as Bridegroom or Husband. The Hebrew Scripture contain numerous allusions to Yahweh as Israel’s divine Husband, and the New Testament presents Christ as the church’s Bridegroom. He is the Holy One who did not cling to His divinity but left His Father’s house to dwell among us, calling us to become one with Him in the most intimate way possible. To all of us, male and female, Christ offers Himself as our provider and protector, the One who has forever pledged Himself in faithfulness and love. 

Isaiah 54:5-7 – For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. 

Revelation 19:6-9 – And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 

Lord, You left Your Father’s house to come to earth and claim me as Your own. Thank You for showing me what love is by the way You lived Your life. Preserve me from both worldliness and weariness as I await Your coming. I pray that on that great and terrible day, I, along with all Your people, will be ready, eagerly awaiting your return as our Savior and our Bridegroom. 

Understanding the Name 

Marriage in Israel was generally considered sacred, the only acceptable state of life for men and women. Despite polygynous practices, whereby a man could marry more than one wife, monogamy was the accepted pattern throughout most of biblical history, especially after the patriarchal period. 

Most marriages were arranged by parents. The minimum age for girls was twelve and for boys was thirteen. The period of engagement or betrothal usually lasted a year and was considered so binding that a man who had intimate relations with a virgin betrothed to another man would be stoned. For the year following the marriage, the husband was exempt from military service. This practice prevented the bride from becoming a widow in her first year of marriage and it also allowed the man to devote himself more fully to his wife at the start of their marriage.

Though the marriage ceremony itself was brief, the celebration surrounding it could be elaborate, consisting of seven and sometimes fourteen days of feasting and celebrating. During the festivities, dating from the time of Solomon, both bride and groom were crowned as king and queen and their virtues were extolled in song and poetry. 

The Hebrew Scriptures did not hesitate to describe the relationship between God and His people in the most intimate of terms: Yahweh was husband and Israel was his not-so-faithful wife. By referring to himself as the bridegroom, Jesus was clearly linking Himself with Yahweh. New Testament writers presented the church as the bride of Christ. Nymphios is the Greek word for “bridegroom” or “young husband” while aner can be translated “man” or “husband.” 

When the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus why his disciples did not fast, Jesus replied that it was not possible for the guests of the bridegroom to mourn as long as He was with them (Matthew 9:14-15). John the Baptist used similar imagery when he referred to himself as the “friend who attends the bridegroom” or the best man (John 3:29). 

What does the passage from Isaiah reveal about God’s character? What does it reveal about the nature of his relationship with his chosen people? How does the passage from Revelation compare and contrast with the passage from Isaiah? What do you think it means that Jesus is the Bridegroom?






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