Summary: In prophecies about the falls of and Jerusalem and (figuratively) Babylon, actually separated by centuries, the writers said that the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard any longer in each city. What did these prophecies mean?
Note: There is a companion sermon to this one, titled THE VOICE OF THE BRIDEGROOM. I preached them on two consecutive worship assemblies, with THE VOICE OF THE BRIDEGROOM being first, and this sermon following shortly afterward. Both sermons are on Sermon Central.
THE VOICE OF THE BRIDE
In symbolic language regarding the fall of Babylon and Jerusalem, capital of Judah, John and Jeremiah described the fall of both by writing "the voice of the bridegroom and the bride will not be heard in you any longer." In the first sermon in this series, we found those voices to be associated with joy and gladness, such as that normally associated with the beginning of a happy marriage.
John the Baptist rejoiced that many were heeding the voice of the Bridegroom
John 3:26-30 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ’ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
In scripture, Beulah means "married land" (Isaiah describes Israel in her future glorified state:
Isa 62:1-4 (NKJV) For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem In the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.
II. The church is the Bride of Christ Eph 5:25-29
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
In a metaphoric sense, but borne out through literal applications, Christians are the members of the body of Christ:
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
These verses show that the church is not only the bride of Christ, but his very body with its various members - eyes, hands, head, feet...and I believe we take no undue liberties in including - the voice:
III. The Voice of the Bride
Disciples of Christ, who are the bride, convey the voice of the Bridegroom to others. His design is that the message of salvation be communicated through human agents.
A. Jesus' mission
Jesus, quoting Isaiah, concerning his mission, said:
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
B. “So send I you”
The resurrected Christ said to the disciples:
John 20:21 (ESV) ... As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you....
You have a part in all the things Jesus said he was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to do.
C. Paul: "We are ambassadors for Christ"
2 Cor. 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. Ambassadors are the voice of the one for whom they speak.
D. If anyone speaks, let him speak what God has said, not what we think he should say, or what we suspect he would say.
1 Peter 4:11 (NASB) - "Let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God"
Jesus himself spoke only that which he received from God.