Previously we looked some more at God’s representation of His relationship with Israel as being that of a husband and wife. We’d read the description of Israel’s birth and salvation by God in Ezekiel 16 and how she subsequently joined herself with other pagan nations, being a faithless and adulteress wife. We also learned about the prophet Hosea’s married life with a prostitute being a mirror of the faithlessness of Israel toward God. In both prophetic passages, God promised to eventually restore His wife to Himself. We also read about Israel’s repentance, restoration and fruitfulness in Hosea 14.
We finished off mentioning the woman in Revelation 12, described as being clothed with the sun, the moon and 12 stars in her crown. She’s pregnant, gives birth to a son who will one day rule the nations with a rod of iron, but at His birth, Satan as a dragon, attempts to destroy the child but fails. We’ve talked about this woman before, but it’s really important to get this understanding right because it’s foundational in understanding the relationship that God has with His people Israel and why the likeness of the marriage relationship is so sacred.
Revelation 12:1-5, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labour and in pain, to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
Who is this woman?
Scripture always interprets Scripture – context is the key. Some believe that this woman is the church but if that’s the case then there is a big, big problem. The church is supposed to be the virgin bride of Christ, pure and without spot and blemish. The marriage of the Lamb hasn’t taken place yet, so if this woman is the church then she’s in a dreadful predicament because she’s pregnant, and that means she’s guilty of harlotry!
The baby is obviously Jesus the Son of God who was born and who will one day rule the nations with a rod of Iron. Satan tried to destroy Him but God protected Him. The point is that the church did not give birth to the Messiah. The church didn’t begin until after the Messiah arrived.
From which people was the Messiah born? He came as a direct descendant of the Jewish people, both His parents, Joseph and Mary, are in the direct lineage of King David himself.
Joseph, the son of Jacob had a dream in which he saw the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to him, and when his father Jacob heard about this dream, he rebuked Joseph and said, “What is this dream that you’ve had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” (Gen 37:10)
Jacob right there declares that the image Joseph saw in his dream of the sun, moon and stars was a picture of himself, his wife and his sons. They represent the very forefathers of the nation and people of Israel, whom God chose as His wife, from whom was born the Son of God, who will redeem all who would believe in Him, and one day, rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Satan’s attempts to kill Him failed, because He rose & is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Israel is Ya’hovah’s wife, Jesus is Ya’hovah’s Son who is the Redeemer of mankind.
The reason God chose the relationship of marriage in Eden was to be a living picture to reflect the kind of relationship He wanted to have with His people – the nation of Israel who were to be a light to the nations, taking the truth of God to them and being an example before them of what it looks like to live in a close relationship with God.
To reach the nations required a Redeemer who could destroy sin and pay the penalty for the guilt of every individual.
The Redeemer came from the relationship between God and His wife Israel and in turn, the Son – the Redeemer – paid the bride price for His bride whom He would make spotless and without blemish.
When we downgrade marriage to a casual relationship that we can slip in and out of or can be made up of various gender combinations, we demolish and corrupt and minimalise the picture and design of God’s relationship with His wife and Jesus’ relationship with His bride.