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Friday, May 20, 2011

Beulah Land

I last posted about Ruth and the symbolism of the Kinsman-redeemer, and how it all foreshadows the relationship of the believer with God.  Today, I was thinking about that further, since I will be attending a wedding tomorrow, and I know of several others that will be happening in coming weeks.  It is a wedding weekend, so let's talk about the wedding day, that is, the day the Bridegroom returns!

In Isaiah, the prophet writes,
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.  The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.  But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.  As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:1-5 NIV 2011; Hephzibah means his delight is in her; Beulah means married)
  This was written before Israel's exile to Babylon, but Isaiah was already predicting the joyous re-entry into Israel many years later.  Looking beyond that still further, it seems to be a prophecy about the last days, when Christ will return in glory and fight the last battle at Megiddo, near Jerusalem, and enter the New Jerusalem a triumphant King, with the church, His bride, by His side.
Deserted and Desolate, but not for long!

Today, it may seem that we are living in deserted and desolate spaces, where no one loves the Lord, or truth, or anything honorable, and there is no vindication when we are wronged.  Despite how things look, this prophecy is an example of how even before the offense comes, God has planned the ending, and His plans are both good and thorough.

Not only will mockers and troublemakers be silenced, but also they will have to acknowledge their wrongs and follow God's rules as He dictates them--calling us by a new name, not smeared with derision, and blessing us for our obedience.

This is what it means to be the bride of Christ: We are to be not merely provided for or admired for one day, but honored, protected, even doted over for the rest of our days!  And God has promised us eternal life, so this is an enduring promise of goodness and joy.  It is better to be the bride than to be those who have rejected and divorced Jesus.  They will regret their choice soon enough.

So let us endure the temporary pain of waiting for Christ's return, so that we can enjoy the glory of being the bride when He comes back.  It is going to be wonderful!  Let us prepare our hearts for His return, so that no harbored sin could come between us and Christ.  He could be here any day now.

Next time, I want to talk more about the "Glorious Appearing" that everyone has been talking about, that is, the Rapture of Christians.  I believe what Jesus said, that not even He knows the day or the hour when He will return to this Earth to take His people away (Matthew 24: 36-44), so all of this talk about the end of the world being tomorrow is not convincing me.  However, if Jesus does come back tomorrow, I welcome it whole-heartedly.  What a blessing it would be to be mocked for being a Christian today, and a bride of Christ tomorrow!  Take care, folks, and I'll see you Monday, whether here or in Heaven.


Kamal Singarapu said...

Thank you for the encouragement through this blog.