Summary: Throughout the bible God's relationship with his people is often referred to as a marriage relationship. He is our husband, we are his bride. So, what kind of husband is God? Let's find out.
1) Betrothed. The first part of a Jewish wedding ceremony is the betrothal. We would liken it to an engagement. However, unlike a modern-day engagement that can simply be broken off, a Jewish betrothal could not. In essence the man and woman were married-it’s just that there was a period of time that elapsed before the consummation of the marriage took place.
For us, our ceremony was our baptism. That was where we accepted the proposal and officially betrothed ourselves to Jesus. Rom. 6:3-5, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”
At our baptism we were united with Jesus. At our baptism we became a new creation and we took on a new name. Like in a traditional wedding ceremony where the bride takes on the name of her husband, we too have taken on a new name-the name of our husband-Christ. We are now Christians.
Our baptism is where we clothed ourselves with Christ. Gal. 3:26-27, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” At our baptism we have put on our wedding clothes.
Isaiah 61:10, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” At our baptism we put on the marriage garments. We are now recognized as betrothed, taken, belonging to our husband-Jesus Christ.
2) What kind of husband is God? The bible talks about God being a jealous God. The first and second commandments talk about not having other gods in our lives and that God is a jealous God. But it’s not jealousy in the way we think. When we think of a jealous husband we think of someone who’s controlling and paranoid. God’s jealousy stems from his holiness and his love. Any husband has this regard for his wife-he doesn’t want her having anyone else but him. He won’t tolerate his wife carrying on relationships with other men. So it is with God. He won’t tolerate us putting anyone or anything else before him. He won’t play second fiddle; nor does he deserve to.
God isn’t jealous of, he’s jealous for. God has no reason to be jealous of any other so-called god. God’s jealousy is for us; he doesn’t want to see us get hurt, he doesn’t want to see us lose out. He loves us; he wants to protect us from harm. God is a loving and forgiving husband.
As you go through the OT you will see many references to Israel and Judah being the bride of God. But, unfortunately, God’s bride was unfaithful. But even in their adultery God wanted them back.