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GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 16~ ~ – Genesis 29:20. ~ ~ “ And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.”

Jesus continually made it clear that He did what the Heavenly Father told Him. He did all things that please the Father.

John 8:29

And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

In a Jewish wedding, the groom’s father is in charge of everything from start to finish. The first on the agenda was that the Father picks the bride for his son. Compatible with that, Jesus told us this:

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

In those days, the area near the city gates would be like our modern day court house. It’s where disputes were judged, and official business was done. The biggest legal part of the marriage was the betrothal, or, what we would call the engagement. It wasn’t a quiet informal slipping on of a ring like we’re used to. It involved the entire city, and was legally done. In everyone’s eyes, there was nothing that could stop the pending wedding. That’s why Joseph was in such a quandry when he found that Mary was pregnant. It would be a huge uproar in the town.

On the day that the father of the groom picks for the betrothal, it is announced in the streets, and everyone from everywhere, stops what they’re doing, and follows the couple to the city gates, celebrating as they go.

At the city gates, an agreement was written up and read aloud to all the city residence that were present, stating the names of the couple who was to be married, as well as other details. This was then ratified by the elders of the city.

Spiritually this would be the covenant that God made with the chosen race, calling them His bride.

Hosea 2:19-20

“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”

Hosea refers to it in the future, because it won’t happen until after Christ’s resurrection.

Paul refers to that betrothal in the past tense after Christ’s resurrection:

2 Corinthians 11:2

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Isaiah 54:5 says

“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.”

These original verses refer to the Jewish nation as Christ’s future bride. But when that bride turned her back on God, and time and again worshipped false gods, He graciously included the sheep of another fold, which is the gentiles, ~ ~ us ~ ~

John 10:16

“ And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

So He grafted us into the olive tree of the Jewish Nation, His chosen people. In Romans chapter 11 Paul explains this, and impresses on readers that the blindness on the Jews is NOT permanent, but temporary so that the gentiles (we) can be saved. He will open the eyes of the Jewish nation in His perfect time. That’s why we need to stand by them, because God gives a special blessing to those who stand by His chosen people! That is part of the reason for the judgment of America, as this administration has severed ties with Israel and in fact, working behind the scenes directly against them.

In Romans 11:7-10 Paul says:

 “What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

This is still on. Very few Jewish people understand the New Testament, but that time is coming soon, that they, too, will call Him their Messiah, and we will be true brothers and sisters with them.

Then together, we will be the Bride of Christ.

More of the betrothal ceremony tomorrow

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