The Bride of choice. But who’s choice?
You, precious one, have been chosen.
You are considered the precious Bride of Christ, for God said, “For your Maker is your Husband” (Is. 54:5 NKJV), and the Bride of choice.
According to the traditional Hebrew/Jewish betrothal process, Hebrew fathers thought it their duty to provide a bride for their sons in imitation of God, as Father, who provided a wife for Adam.
When a son came of age to marry, the father, or sometimes the father and mother, chose a bride for their son from their own clan.
Now and again, the father would send a trusted servant, known as the agent of the father, as a type of best man, to search for the prospective bride, though the final choice belonged to the father.
On rare occasions, the son searched for his wife. Rarer still, the parents consulted with their child to see if their choice met with the child’s approval.
In certain instances, as in the case of Laban and Moses, the groom assimilated into the wife’s family, known as a beena marriage.
This first step of selecting the Bride is called shiddukhin, or the match, and is a pre-arranged agreement.
As the bride became part of the husband’s family, it was essential to choose a maiden who would fit into the family unit and work well with her future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law.
In this period of history, the family existed as the father’s own little kingdom, in which he ruled absolutely, for the head of the household also carried a religious significance.
As God’s representative, the father acted as the priest of his household in order to carry out God’s purposes. Not only responsible for the religious life of his family and the maintenance of the family altar, he held the duty of protecting his household. Those within the family accepted the father’s actions on their behalf as though done for them by God Himself. Well, usually.
When a female married, she transitioned from the authority of her father and brothers to the headship of her husband and his father.
Just as the father in this betrothal tradition arranged the marriage for his son, God the Father arranged the marriage between His Son and the church as the Bride.
Even though the Father has chosen her, the Bride comes of her own free will, accepting the Bridegroom’s proposal and choosing to be betrothed to Christ – or not. If she accepts and says, “I do,” she is, as Paul said, “‘married,’ so to speak, to the One Who rose from the dead.” (Rom. 7:4b TLB)
Paul told the Ephesian church of this very thing, “Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love,” (Eph. 1:4a Msg) and “[In His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ,” (Eph. 1:4a Ampc) “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:6 NKJV)
Accepted, endued with special honor. Pursued with grace. Honored with blessings. Encompassed with favor.
You, my friend, are the Bride of choice. The one valued more highly than you realize and loved more than you will ever know.
Questions to ponder: The Bridegroom is coming soon for His Bride. Do you know the Father has chosen you? Do you know you are betrothed to the Bridegroom?
May you always know you were chosen for and with great Love…Lynn
***If you’d like to follow along on this Hebrew betrothal journey, part one, Come…I will show you the Bride, can be found here.