Saturday, September 17, 2005

In the beginning...

In looking at the Bridal Paradigm, a good place to start is at the beginning, before time began.

Proverbs 8:22-31
The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.

From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.

When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.

When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
In Proverbs, the 'I' here is wisdom personified. The attributes are: eternal, being with God since before anything else was, and a master craftsman at creation. Given the New Testament, I think it's easy to interpret this as Jesus. We know Him as eternal and the agent of creation:
John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Colossians 1:15-17
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities?all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Hebrews 1:2b His Son ... through whom ... He made the world.
In the Proverbs passage, we see the Father taking delight in the Son and the Son rejoicing before the Father; a mutual glad-hearted, joyful relationship existing in the trinity. The word 'rejoicing' has the connotation of amusement, celebration, joking, laughing, making merry, playing. It's the same word David used to describe his entry into Jerusalem with the ark. (2 Samuel 6:5, 12; 1 Chronicles 13:8, 15:29) It's the same word used to describe people in the streets of Jerusalem when the Lord reigns there. (Zechariah 8:5)

We also see the Son taking delight in the sons of men. This is echoed in 'He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4).' Before creation, He knew us, loved us and chose us.

Later Paul writes 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31)' It's not that our relationship with Jesus is sort of like a marriage, but the other way around. Marriage is given to us as a shadow of the relationship that Jesus wants with his people.