Hosea 3:1-5 (NIV) 1The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes” 2So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.” 4For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. 5Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Isaiah 54:4-6 (NIV) 4“Do not be afraid… 5For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name… 6The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit– a wife who married young, only to be rejected.”
Isaiah 62:4-5 (NIV) 4For the LORD will take delight in you, …5As a young man marries a maiden, … as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Luke 14:26 (NLT2) “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.”
Song of Songs 6:3 (NIV) I am my lover’s and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies.
2 Corinthians 11:2 (NLT2) For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.
Hosea 1:2 (NIV) When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.”
Jeremiah 2:1-2, 25, 32; 3:20, 22; 4:30 (NIV) 1The word of the LORD came to me: 2“‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me’”… 25But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them’…28Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! 32Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me… 20Like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, 22“Return, faithless people”… 30What are youdoing, O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
Matthew 1:1 (NIV) A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Matthew 9:14-15 (NIV) 14Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
Matthew 1:18, 20 21 (NIV) 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 20…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV) 4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
When you think of God being your “True Bridegroom,” what thoughts come to your mind? Write them down in your journal. Talk to a friend or discuss with your small group.
Do you normally tend to think of God’s relationship with you as that of a bride to her waiting bridegroom? Or a judge to a criminal? Why? How does each picture affect your view of God? Of yourself? What does it mean to you that the bride and bridegroom image is the one he invites us to consider in his relationship with us?
Reread Luke 14:26. What does Jesus mean when he uses the word “hate” in reference to one’s family and life?
Using the marriage metaphor, describe your relation to God, now and in the past. Have you ever left or “cheated” on God? Was God faithful anyway?
Do you think God regards you as a “bride” or a “prostitute”? Why? How do you show your loyalty to God as your first love? How do you handle conflicts of loyalty between God and other loves (such as Israel found herself in)?
When did God “buy” you back to himself? How so? Share with your small group.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.