Your invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!
Two billion people are reckoned to have watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton or, as they should now be called, the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge. It was the social event of the year and newspapers and magazines followed their every move.
Who would design Catherine’s wedding dress; how it would look; what colour the Queen would wear; where the couple would go on honeymoon – all these issues and many more were the subject of prolonged discussion beforehand, and of detailed analysis afterwards. It seems there’s nothing like a wedding to get people talking and feeling better about life. Everyone hopes that the marriage will be as successful as the wedding appears to have been.
For, over the years, there have been some disastrous royal weddings. The Bible tells of one union which brought together two nations, which should have resulted in better international relations but which ended in disaster. The suitor was a king of Israel who reigned in Samaria and his bride to be was a Zidonian princess named Jezebel. Today that name has become associated with promiscuity, but in Bible times it was rooted in the notion of idolatry: for, in her native language, Jezebel probably means “the Lord (Baal) exists”. It’s tricky enough when two people from quite different cultural backgrounds marry, but it’s much more difficult when they also worship very differently.
Ahab, the Israelite king, was to have been a worshipper of the God of Israel, the God of the Bible. Baal was a Canaanite god – supposed to be in charge of the weather and the bringer of fertility. Perhaps in those days, over 2500 years ago, there was media speculation about which religion would win out – the worship of the one true God, or the worship of Baal. If there was much doubt about it, the newspaper reporters didn’t have long to wait.
Jezebel came with several hundred of her own prophets and Baal worship was soon entrenched in Israel, or it would have been but for the opposition of one of God’s prophets, named Elijah. His name meant “My God is Yah” – Yah being a shortened form of the memorial name of the God of Israel. A showdown followed on Mount Carmel, when the prophets of Baal were exposed as mere idol worshippers and the power of the true God was displayed in dramatic fashion. You can read all about that in 1 Kings Chapter 18.
Man and Wife
Ahab was easily influenced by his more determined wife. On one occasion when his palace expansion plans were thwarted by the unwillingness of a commoner to sell him some adjoining land, Jezebel knew exactly what to do. She advised him to get the commoner falsely accused and then promptly executed, allowing the king to take immediate possession of the now ownerless land. Ahab followed her advice precisely and this is the sad comment in the Scriptural account:
There was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up (1 Kings 21:25).
What happened with Ahab was exactly the opposite of what the Godgiven gift of marriage is supposed to do. God instituted marriage so that a man and woman could be a help and support to one another (Genesis 2:18) and there is much encouragement given to that end. The apostle Paul was not married, but he gave a beautiful insight into what marriage should be like, explaining that it should reflect the relationship that is to exist between the Lord Jesus and the
members of his church – the worldwide congregation that he has redeemed and adopted as his own people.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25–27).
Another Royal Marriage
There is another royal wedding due to take place, but it will not be in the UK, and nobody yet knows the date, although the invitations have been issued. The Return of the Lord Jesus from heaven will be the start of the transformation of the earth, so that it becomes a place fit for God’s people to inhabit. For Jesus is going to reign on earth as God’s appointed King, over the Kingdom of God. The Old Testament speaks of that Coming as a restoration of the ancient Kingdom of Israel (see Ezekiel 21:25-27) and the New Testament describes it as a Wedding Party, when Jesus calls to him all those who are to be working with
him while he transforms the earth.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:7–9).
The invitations have already been issued because the Bible contains the offer to everyone to be part of the collective bride of Christ. Jesus wants us to be there, but we have got to want it too. Before Prince William and Catherine
Middleton wed, people were camping out on certain streets in London so they could just catch a glimpse of the happy couple as their carriage drove by. They so wanted to be part of the day and to share in the couple’s happiness! If you want to be there – at the real Royal Wedding – then make regular Bible reading part of your daily routine and thus find out just what God offers and how we can be prepared for the great things that are about to happen.
- Tecwyn Morgan