God uses his relationship with Israel as a comparison for the meaning of biblical marriage as He designed it. As we know from Genesis 2, the first marriage here on earth was between Adam and Eve. God did not think it was good for man (Adam) to be alone and created woman (Eve) to help him. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were not only unable to display God’s intent of perfect marriage, but they have also made way for sin and death to enter the world. God decides to create a new picture of marriage between Him and His chose people Israel. The book of Isaiah is a great resource in the Old Testament for a look into the design of marriage.
Isaiah 54:5 shows us God’s grace to the nation of Israel. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” God is the Husband of Israel just as Adam is the Husband of Eve. Even came from Adam just as Israel came from God (Husband=maker). The nation of Israel began as a virgin and became the harlot who was eventually conquered by Babylon. In Isaiah, God builds up His nation, His love, His bride; and clothes her (Isaiah 61:10) with righteousness. Israel then chooses to pull away from her bridegroom and falls away from Him.
God finds Israel and She becomes His Queen. In Exodus 19 God Brings his people out of Slavery and “proposes” to them (v 1-6) by proclaiming that if She will obey His voice and keep His covenant, She will be a special treasure, a holy nation and a royal priesthood. In verses 7-9 Israel accepts and must begin preparing for Her wedding! The ten commandments as we know them are later given to the bride as Her marriage covenant. There are several trials in this marriage that are made clear in the bible. After they marry on Mount Sinai, The bride strays away from Her groom and makes false idols in Exodus 32:1-10. God gives a new covenant in Deuteronomy 28 God tells his bride that there will be blessings when they follow and obey Him and curses when they do not.
God moves his bride to Her new home and helps them to conquer the Canaanites so that the land would be all their own. God continually asked Israel His bride to submit to Him as he took care of His bride. She continually went on to worship other Gods and seek love elsewhere, So the bridegroom often allowed Her to fall and cry out for help and sometimes He would not answer. Israel had commit adultery in God’s eyes by worshiping other Gods when He was to be their only God. God was honest from the beginning about His jealousy when he proposed to His bride.
The book of Hosea, the illustration of marriage and God’s unwavering love for His bride is displayed in a much different way. “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” This is strange because God often spoke to...