God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people.
Col 3:12 (CEV)
Bridal imagery is a metaphor used throughout the Bible. It takes something unfamiliar, our spiritual relationship with Jesus, and compares it to something familiar that is easier for us to understand. We can relate to the idea of falling in love, never wanting to be apart, committing ourselves to exclusive relationship, and spending the rest of our lives together.
However, the scriptural bridal metaphor is even more meaningful if you know the ancient Jewish Wedding customs that existed during the time that the Bible was written. Jesus taught, "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son.” Jewish weddings were arranged; the father would choose his son’s bride. The search usually began locally. But if a suitable match was not found there, “a friend of the bridegroom” was sent to search for and select the bride elsewhere. After locating the potential bride, he would describe the proposed groom, his family, and the potential marriage. If things went well, the friend of the bridegroom would finally ask the young lady if she was willing to become a bride.
This is symbolic of the method God uses to search for and select a bride for his Son Jesus. He looks outside his own community (heaven) by sending “friends of the bridegroom” to find willing brides. This explains why John the Baptist in the New Testament referred to himself as “the friend of the bridegroom.” He was using common bridal imagery to explain to people the mission God had given him.
Moses is another example. Moses was given the authority to search for and extend a proposal from God to his chosen bride: the Israelites. Insecure about his communication skills, he begged God to let Aaron, his brother, go with him and do the speaking. God agreed. When the two met with the Israelites (the potential bride), they described God and the potential marriage: “Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.” They repeated God’s words: “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey.”
God’s proposal, if accepted, would require the Israelites to “leave and cleave”: they would leave Egypt and Pharaoh who was holding them against their will as slaves and cleave to a God they didn’t know. Initially, when presented with this proposal from Moses, they were reluctant to believe it was possible. One generation after another had grown up oppressed and mistreated by their powerful captors. They had been unable to save themselves and questioned if anyone else could do it either.
The Israelites needed to know more about God before they wanted to make a commitment. Carrying a shepherd’s staff, Moses threw it down to the ground and it turned into a snake! Then he grabbed its tail and it turned back into the shepherd’s staff. “Then the people of Israel were convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.” They were willing to become a bride after they had witnessed God’s power.
How many Sistahs out there are like the Israelites and need to witness God’s power before accepting his proposal? Many of us have stories of how God has done the impossible in our own lives. When shared, God can use them to help others become a willing bride. Our Sistahs team believes this so strongly that every week on Wednesdays we post a testimony. Sharing our stories reveals God’s power, and helps others know Him better.
Through the years Mrs. Galbreath, a friend of the bridegroom, and I would run into each other. Each time, the memory of the role she played in my life sparked overwhelming thankfulness. I can’t imagine going through life without knowing Jesus, and she introduced me to Him. She’s in heaven now. I bet she got quite a commendation from God for her beautiful feet!
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Rom 10:10-15; NLT
Sistah, do you want to have beautiful feet? Share your own story about God’s power in your life. Speak it out! Send it to us!! God wants to use it to encourage others. In this way, you too can be “a friend of the bridegroom” and have beautiful feet.