He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature ….
In ancient times in Israel when a young man wanted to marry, he first consulted with the local matchmaker. He then went to the prospective girl’s father or guardian and agreed to a price. The agreement was then sealed with a glass of wine, which allowed the young man to go and ‘prepare a place’, or build a house for them to live in. This period of betrothal was as binding as marriage itself. A ketubah was also written. A ketubah is a legal document written in beautiful calligraphy. This document outlines the bride-price paid for the girl and incorporates all the conditions of the marriage, especially the responsibilities of the groom towards his bride-to-be. It serves as a prenuptial agreement and deterrent in case the husband would leave her as it also makes mention of the money owed to the wife in case of divorce, unless of course the divorce was due to the wife’s marital unfaithfulness. During the ceremony held under a ‘chupah’ which is a cloth held by four poles above the couple, the terms of the ketubah/contract are sealed again through the sharing of a glass of wine. The glass is then placed on the floor for the groom to smash with his foot saying, ‘thus be done to me if I do not honor the words of this contract’. The ceremony is usually followed by a celebration with music, dancing, entertainment, and a copious banquet.
When the Almighty wanted to marry Israel He was His own matchmaker. He also had already prepared a place for them: The Promised Land of Israel. He brought His prospective wife to a solitary place under the 'chupah' of Mt. Horeb's shade so He could have her full attention and bare His heart to her. After the Heavenly Bridegroom made His proposal, Israel agreed and said, ‘all that God said we will do’. The engagement was then rendered valid. Moses along with seventy-three other people (witnesses) climbed Mt. Horeb to get the ketubah/contract written in stone by the finger of Hashem Himself. The whole thing was sealed in blood and followed by a meal with the Almighty Himself (Exodus 19-24).
When God took Israel.as a bride, He entered a covenant with everlasting legal promises. Whereas it can be agreed that the marriage has been ‘rocky’, Hashem is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19), and unlike many men, He is compassion and forgiveness itself; He repents from the evil He wants to do to His people. We Israel need to cling tightly to that ketubah, to the term of the marriage found in the Torah. We need to study it so we can hold our Bridegroom to His terms and to His promises.
We need to be a faithful wife and hold to our terms of faithfulness and obedience. A very wise mother one day instructed her kingly son in the choosing of a wife and said, An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10). In his search, her son ended up with almost a thousand women. As Israel, let us put on the regeneration offered by the Righteous One, Yeshua the Messiah and become the excellent wife so sought after by the Almighty God.