Summary: When God decided that we would be the Bride of Christ it was not because we came spotless and pristine. No Ezekiel says that when God found us we were abandon in a field and abhorred.
Longing For The Groom
Ezekiel 16: 4-7
One of my favorite parts of being a minister is the ability to participate in weddings. I have participated in weddings in churches, chapels, beaches, backyards, and living rooms, weddings that cost thousand’s of dollars and weddings that cost $100.00. And every wedding has the same thing going for it. No matter how much planning you go through, no matter how long you have dreamed of the day there is going to be disaster.
The unity candle won’t light; the singer goes flat; CD skips; an usher forgets one of the grandmothers; ring barer leaves because he decided he would rather be playing in the nursery; someone’s hair gets to close to a candle; someone trips going up or down the stairs; some one faints; brides can’t talk because if the tears; the groom can’t remember what you just asked him to repeat.
And then there is the bride’s mother is sniffing or crying out on the front row. I was told that girls tend to marry men like their fathers, and that’s why their mothers cry at the wedding. Don’t know how true that is.
Even my wedding was marred by some unfortunate events.
Trista showed up late, not to the wedding but 2 hours past the time she was supposed to be getting ready.
Our dripless candles wouldn’t light then they dripped all over the carpet.
The bride’s cake was yellow. Just to name a few.
But that day we learned that no matter how many things go wrong at the wedding, to those who attend it is still an unforgettable moment. At the moment that the wedding march begins and everyone rises and turns their head to see the Bride, and she appears from the back beautiful and beaming. She walks down on the arm of her father and the entire gathering turns slowly with her passing.
I believe as that music swells and we enter that moment some of the most powerful emotions that can be stirred in the human mind are evoked. It marks the uniting of two lovers-eagerly pledging their lives for love and their love for life.
You often hear the young couple say to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part.
I believe the reason that this one event invokes such deep feelings is because we know, whether we realize it or not that a wedding ceremony is such a compelling picture of God’s love for us. We who have a relationship with God, know that scripture describes Him as our spouse.
There is a sense in which a “single” Christian is a contradiction in terms, for all Christians are married to God. We have offered him the ultimate allegiance of our lives in response to his unremitting love.
This wonderful portrait of God focuses us towards our three points tonight: His unrestrained love, His jealousy, and His incredible grace.
First we look at His Unrestrained love
When we think of a bride, we usually picture the society page look: exquisite white dress, jewelry, flowers, and innocent smile. "There’s no such thing as an ugly bride," an old saying claims.
But that’s where our experience here on earth is quite different from God’s experience. We are told in the Old Testament that God found His bride-abandoned in an open field. What a place to find a wife! And what a condition to find her in!
To emphasize the unconditional nature of God’s love, he reminds us of this in Ezekiel 16:4-5:
And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
Then and now God gives His love to us because He graciously chooses us. We are attractive to God because of His loving nature and desire to pour out grace, not because there is any loveliness in us. We did not catch his eye because of our appearance. As we read on we will discover that we only become beautiful after God has accepted us. Verse 6-7
And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.