Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
It's been a sublime truth only dimly comprehended and kept in the background for millennia: the divine Son of God loves the corporate body of "Israel" as one man loves one woman. It surfaces in the Bible occasionally.
Ezekiel 16 details Israel's "life" from abandonment as a baby at birth to Christ's adoption of "her" and His loving upbringing of her; then the paternal love metamorphoses into marital love as she becomes a stunningly beautiful woman. All the centuries of Israel's existence from Jacob to Ezekiel are the life span of one woman personified. Her infidelity is powerfully portrayed.
Then there is Hosea: the poor man is captive to the love he has for the lady Gomer. He can't help himself--that's the nature of the love that "is as strong as death, ... Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it" (Song of Solomon 8:6, 7). The prophet is driven back to that one woman in spite of her repeated addiction for infidelity. At last her heart of hearts is won for him, and her love becomes the holy respect ("reverence," KJV) for a husband that Paul describes in Ephesians 5:33. The tragic sounding plot ends in the major key.
And Jesus also cannot help Himself: He loves His bride-to-be. He describes His second coming as a Bridegroom coming to a wedding (Matt. 25:1-13).
Finally, at the end of the last book of the Bible, the Revelator describes the climax of the cosmic Day of Atonement as a love alienation finally resolved. The very dilatory bride is conscience-driven to "make herself ready" to recompense the faithful love of her long-disappointed Bridegroom (19:7, 8).
It's a New Covenant story; now it's time for us to be concerned that our Savior receive His reward. That's what the Day of Atonement is all about.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 11, 2006.
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