Read Hosea 4:7-13; Matthew 16:1-4
Since God views His relationship with His people as a marriage, He considers it adultery when we chase other “gods”, other loves. In the Old Testament, when Israel worshipped other gods, God accused her of playing the harlot. For example:
My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. (Hosea 4:12, NASB)
Jesus took the same view. When the Jewish leaders saw Jesus’ miracles and heard His words, yet still demanded other proofs of who He was, He called them “an evil and adulterous generation” (Matthew 16:4, NASB). Their hearts weren’t satisfied with Him or with their God. They were putting their love and trust elsewhere.
As believers, we need to guard our hearts against the same danger, against the same unfaithfulness to our Bridegroom. In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul expressed his concern for them this way:
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3, NASB)
Since Jesus is the Bridegroom, we believers are engaged to Him. What is expected of us as we approach our marriage to Him?
- Like any bride-to-be, we are to keep ourselves pure, devoted to Him alone. In our hearts and in our lives, we cannot chase other loves. We are His. We are to love Him alone. All our loves for anyone and anything must flow from our one love of Him. He is now the center of all our relationships and all our desires.
- The word in 2 Corinthians 11:3 translated as “simplicity” is particularly meaningful. It has a variety of shades of meaning, depending on its context: simplicity…sincerity…generosity. But the one word that seems to sum it up is “single-mindedness”. Our groom, our husband-to-be expects us to be single-mindedly devoted to Him.
Listen and sing:
Hymn: Help Me to Love Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics
Based on Psalm 45
Believers, you are engaged to Jesus Christ.
He is the most beautiful person of all our race.
His words are always
His entire life is permeated with God’s richest blessings.
All that He is and
all that He does
are filled with the
the love, and
the holy majesty of God
With sovereign power He reigns in
truth and rightness
over all that is.
He protects and defends God’s people against
all who would harm them.
His rule is
This One is your Bridegroom.
He loves you
with all His being.
You are stunningly beautiful in His eyes,
What does your future hold?
You are about to experience what it means to be
the beloved bride of
a Great King.
You will be richly adorned in all His magnificence.
A train of attendants will accompany you
into His palace.
Cheering crowds will surround you.
His entire realm will rejoice at your wedding.
Your life will be
The love you share with Him will be
fruitful beyond all imagination.
All will give thanks for you.
Even the rich and powerful of the universe
will honor you because
you are wed to the Lord of all.
forget your past.
Put it forever behind you, and
focus on your future.
Keep yourself pure for Him alone.
Give all you are completely to Him,
What an honor,
what a joy,
to be the chosen bride of the King!
Listen and sing:
Hymn: See Christ, Your Bridegroom
Printed Music & Lyrics
from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Psalm 45:10-17
Let’s imagine that Psalm 45 was written for the wedding of the ultimate King, Jesus Christ, and His bride, the people of God. The wedding song has begun with a description of the magnificence of the Bridegroom. Now what does the psalmist say to the Bride-to-be, to God’s people, the Church?
- Don’t cling to your past (v.10). Don’t look longingly at what you’re leaving behind. Your future is infinitely better! Turn forever from what was and rejoice in what is about to be!
- The King is deeply in love with you. You are stunningly beautiful in His eyes. Honor Him as your Lord now. Give yourself completely to Him (v.11).
- Even the rich and powerful will honor you because you are the King’s bride. Your King and Husband is so important that you will be important as well simply because of your relationship with Him (v.12).
- You are about to experience what it means to be the bride of the Great King. You will be adorned with all His finest, with clothing interwoven with gold and artistic embroidery. You will have your own train of attendants, and you will all be led into the King’s palace, with cheering crowds all around you. His entire realm will rejoice at your wedding (vv.13-15).
Christ…loved the church and gave Himself up for her…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory…that she would be holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27, NASB)
This wedding song ends with a look ahead. What does the future hold for the King?
- Sons. Fruitfulness. New life (v.16).
- Honor and glory that will never fade (v.17a).
- The peoples will give thanks for You forever and ever (v.17b).
What an honor, what a joy to be loved by the King as His chosen bride! What a glorious future we have in Him!