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. Once this agreement was sealed by a glass of wine, the young man went to ‘prepare a place’, or build a house for them to live in. During that whole time the validity of the union was as solid as marriage itself. A ketubah was also written. A ketubah is a legal document written in beautiful calligraphy which outlines the bride-price paid for the girl and incorporates all the conditions of the marriage, especially the responsibilities of the groom towards his wife. It serves as a prenuptial agreement and deterrent in case the husband would leave her as it also mentions of the money owed to the wife in case of divorce, unless of course the divorce was the wife’s fault due to her 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 through the sharing of a glass of wine. The glass is then placed at the foot of the groom for him 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 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 then brought His prospective wife to a solitary place under the shading of Mt. Horeb so He could have her 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 God Himself. The whole thing was sealed in blood and followed by a meal with the Almighty Himself (Exodus 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’, God is not a man that He should lie, 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.
On the other hand, we also 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 the Israel of the end, 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.