Having finished the Ten Commandments series, I thought it was time to pause and look at some aspects of the book Hold the Faith. It was after all, what this blog was originally created to do. However, I cannot resist making some analogies to our relationship with God.
Hold the Faith, is book 1 in the Apostle John series. Writing this series has given me a huge appreciation for the way the people lived… has kept my nose in the Bible and my computer on the internet, researching.
The novel starts with Benjamin, one of the main characters, at a Jewish wedding week celebration. Having attended the rabbi’s school with him, Benjamin knows the groom. But Benjamin is a Christian, he is not a guest and is there to work. Before he can start filling up the oil lamps and changing the wicks, he is seen by another former pupil at the rabbi’s school. This one is the rabbi’s son and he has already had too much to drink…And yes, there was some difficulty for Benjamin.
Looking at the ancient custom of the wedding week
This was the time for the bride and groom to be alone… consummate the marriage obviously, but also time to come to know each other. In those days and in that culture marriages were usually arranged by the parents and the couple may only have met once before.
An illustration of this appears later in Hold the Faith, when Deborah’s parents have arranged a marriage for their daughter, and her acceptance of the wedding cup, is her agreement.
According to tradition, when a young Hebrew man and woman were to be betrothed, the groom poured wine into his cup and invited the woman to drink of it. It was up to her. If she drank from it, she was considered betrothed to him. If she did not, no marriage would take place. There was a slight problem between Deborah and her parents – but I will not write more about that here.
Christians are in a ‘marriage contract’ with Christ.
At Jesus’ last Passover when He changes the symbols, He tells His disciples
For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:28
As we drink of His cup, we accept His invitation to be betrothed to Him.
We are living in this betrothal time with Him.
The wedding week was the last stage of the marriage, the time of the wedding feast. To continue with the analogies, this could be likened to the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’. Rev 19:9
Ending the relationship
In those days, and in that culture – after the betrothal, although the marriage had not been consummated…it took a certificate of divorce to end the marriage
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; The Joseph her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away quietly. Matt 1: 18, 19
The RSV renders that last phrase as ‘resolved to divorce her quietly’
If we have drunk from the cup of Christ, are we living in the manner of His betrothed bride?
Something to think about…
By the way…