Even Better Than Eden: Ch. 5, Bridegroom, Reading Discussion
If you haven’t noticed already, Eden wasn’t meant to be a vacation paradise where Adam and Eve could luxuriate and stroll around sniffing flowers and plucking fruit as they wish.
Rather, God created humanity in His image and left them in the world as His representatives, tasked with the job of extending His borders until His glory reached the ends of the earth.
That’s a mighty large assignment. There was no way Adam could do this alone.
And so God formed Eve. This was no mere marriage of convenience or business. It was a relationship rooted in love for one another but faced outward.
It’s a marriage with a mission.
Unfortunately, however, all this was changed. The consequences of their choice affected these key relationships in marriage and parenting (Gen. 3:15).
But God is undeterred. Though home and family are broken, it is also the very institution that will welcome the Bridegroom many years later.
He begins laying things in place with an elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah. Through them, He promises to override their barrenness. From this line, the second Adam will come.
But the second Adam will need a second Eve. God sees to that too. The son that Abraham fathers also becomes the great nation of Israel, His bride.
Interestingly, she is not a bride you might pick. She was small, weak, and adulterous. Despite the great care she received, she preferred her lovers and slavery instead.
But her husband, who is her Maker (Is. 54) is faithful still. He sends the prophet Hosea to visually demonstrate what He will do—pursue her, buy her back from slavery, and bring her back home to Him.
You would imagine she would be grateful. However, while cured of her adulteries, she is now passionless. She is legalistically faithful, but devoid of true relationship.
When the time is right, it is into this scenario the Bridegroom appears.
He makes himself known—no surprise—at a wedding, doing what faithful bridegrooms were expected to do—provide wine. (John 2)
He pursues His bride—and from the most unlikely people possible. Samaritans, tax collectors, the broken.
As he does so, he is forming the church, His Bride. In love, He laid His life down for her, that she might be freed from her slavery to sin, so that she may one day wear white for her wedding.
Now, he has gone ahead of us to prepare our future home, as good bridegrooms do. One day, He will come back for the wedding.
Until then, it is time to get ready! To prepare, we grow in love with our Bridegroom. We also join him in His mission.
Though our human marriages will not last forever, this sure event can help one another prepare for the future. As we grow in love and in mission together, we help one another get ready to love our Bridegroom.
Is that your mission in your marriage?