Past, Present, and Future Romance: looking back we can better understand the present and glimpse the future. Consider, for example, the marriage customs of Jesus’ day and His teachings on His return.
Back then the custom of the day was for the prospective groom to negotiate a purchase price with the father of the women he wanted to marry. Once an agreement was made, the groom paid the price the father demanded then left to build a house for his future wife. This time period was similar to what is now considered our engagement time but much stronger: then an actual divorce was needed to break their engagement, yet no consummation had occurred yet. This was the period in which Mary became pregnant with Jesus.
There was no set time for the groom to come for his bride; only for the house to be completed. It could take months, even a year or longer, depending on the house. Knowing that with each passing hour the time of his return was nearer, the bride would ready herself for the marriage – calling her brides maids into readiness and preparing herself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, while keeping her pure physically.
Her bridesmaids did the same. Not knowing whether the groom would return during the day or the night, all kept their lamps readied, new wicks and full of oil.
When the house was ready for the bride, the groom would call his best man and assemble his friends. They proceeded down the streets towards the bride’s house, the best man announced with a loud voice, a shout, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh!” When others along the route heard this shout, excitedly they relayed the message along – “He’s coming”. As the news reached the bride’s hearing, she and her maids would quickly get their wedding clothes on and if night, trim the lamps. There was precious little time to prepare, the bridegroom was coming!
When the groom and his company reached the bride’s house they would not go inside but wait for the bride to come to meet them. Then they all proceeded back to the couple’s new house for the marriage and the feast.
The marriage was consummated and the husband presented his new wife to the wedding guests. A marriage feast was given and a long honeymoon followed.
When the people heard Jesus’ or the apostles’ teaching on His return: our purchase price being paid (I Cor. 6:20), going to prepare for us a place (John 14:2-3), being ready for His return at any time (Mark 13:32-37), having oil in our lamps (Matthew 25:1-13), returning with a cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), the voice and shout of the arch angel (I Thes. 4:16), the rapture or meeting Him in the air (I Thes. 4:17), the marriage feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9), calling us His bride (Rev 21:9), and the first mention of Jesus’ “wife” (also Rev. 21:9), they knew clearly what was meant.
So what does this have to do with romance? Sometimes it’s hard to see the love of God with everything going on around and to us. I encourage readers to study every article in this writing contest (beginning, intermediate, advance, and master categories) then add their messages together…no, multiply them for the result will be a small glimpse of the loving romance Jesus had, has, and will demonstrate to His bride – us, you and me – a past, present, and future romance. It’s all in His Word, the Bible.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!
(All scripture references from KJV)
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