I will take you to be my wife forever. I will take you to be my wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion. I will take you to be my wife in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord (2:19-20 CSB).
The hope (confident expectation) that God gives his people includes a new and better relationship (2:16-20) with him. This is expressed by the word husband (2:16-17)
In her early days, Israel had called the Lord baal, which simply meant “owner”, “master”, “possessor” or “husband”. But in Canaan, Baal was the chief god of the evil Canaanites, and Israel had forsaken the Lord to worship Baal. The true God no longer wanted such confusion to exist.
Therefore, the Lord chooses another word for husband, ish. This word is used in the first account of marriage in Genesis 2:23-24. The Lord wants his people to relate to him, not in a context of slavery and fear, but in a context of love, peace and joy. What characterizes your worship? Do you want to be in God’s presence? Do you approach him with gladness? This is only an illustrative question. You might confess that God loves you, because the Bible tells you. But do you think that God likes you? What I hint at is that the love of God has been trite, commonplace, to Christians. We’ve lost the wonder of being in an intimate relationship with the true and living and unlimited God. It’s like someone says, “God loves you,” and we nod our heads and think, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before.” We’re not profoundly moved by the love of God. But we think, “Would God want to hang out with me?”
It is expressed in assurances of peace and safety (2:18). Study the blessings and cursings of the law covenant (Deuteronomy 28) to grasp the importance. God acts to bring about two kinds of peace in his creation.
- For nature to be at peace with humanity (Isaiah 11:6-9).
- For people to be at peace with each other (Micah 4:3).
It is expressed in a new covenant (2:19-20). Compare Jeremiah 31:31-34. The Lord gives a beautiful wedding gift to his bride.
- Righteousness – We are right with God because of the gift of Christ’s righteousness.
- Justice – It is satisfied at the cross of Christ. See Romans 3:25-26.
- Love – God’s covenant, unfailing lovingkindness
- Compassion – The Lord is deeply concerned about us. This was another reversal (cf. 1:6)!
- Faithfulness – God will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Are you delighting in your Lord? A bride who delights in her husband will love him for every gift of his love and will glorify him for his gifts to her. How do you speak of your Lord?
Grace and peace, David