To the Church at Laodicea By Chuck Missler "And unto the angel of the church…
Seven Brides Who Portray the Bride of Christ: The Shulammite Bride and Gomer
By Dr. Nathan E. Jones
Nathan Jones: To help us learn how seven Old Testament brides portray the Church, we are joined by Dawn and Dennis Morris (watch the episode of Christ in Prophecy). Dawn is a Christian novelist and Dennis is a successful businessman. Both share a passion for equipping the Church for the soon return of Jesus Christ.
In the first segment, we looked at how Eve is a pattern of the Church and how we relate to Jesus, the Bridegroom, followed by the brides Rebekah, Rachel, Ruth, and Abigail. Now we will read the stories of the final two Old Testament brides — the Shulammite bride and the wayward but redeemed bride Gomer.
6. The Shulammite Bride
Nathan Jones: Let’s move into the Song of Solomon and probably one of the more famous Old Testament brides — the Shulammite woman. We don’t have a name for her right? How is Solomon’s bride from Song of Solomon a picture of the responsive love the Bride has for the Bridegroom?
Dawn Morris: No, we don’t have a name for her. She’s the first bride who demonstrates passion in marriage. She is responsive to her husband. Likewise, we as Christians are responsive to Jesus. We love Him because He first loved us.
Solomon loved his bride passionately. He praised her character. In the same way, we see Jesus giving us a new character. As the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus is the one who’s going to present us before the Father, holy and blameless in His sight. We are looking for that wedding to come where the Church is presented as the Bride of Christ. Christ loves us so passionately that I truly believe He didn’t need nails to hold His hands to the cross, for His love would have held them there.
Tim Moore: Speaking about passion, at times we kind of set aside the truths revealed in Song of Solomon that the author’s passion was manifest in all of the various forms of love that a husband and wife are meant to enjoy together. Marriage is one of those beautiful relationships God gives us, full of pleasure and joy. Love is not something to be ashamed of but rather embraced within the covenant of marriage. The Song of Solomon shows us that unashamed love very clearly.
7. The Bride Gomer
Tim Moore: That brings us to the last bride — Gomer. How is Gomer a picture of the pardon the Bride of Christ has received through Christ’s obedience?
Dawn Morris: That’s right, Gomer shows us the pardon that we receive in Christ. Remember, Gomer was a prostitute, and yet, Hosea was commanded by God to go and marry her, and he did just that. Each of us even within the body of Christ has fallen short of the glory of God. When we sin we become unfaithful.
But, unlike Gomer, we see the faithfulness of her husband, Hosea. Gomer was a bride whose husband obeyed the Lord. Likewise, Jesus obeyed and went to the cross so that we sinners could be redeemed and become Christ’s bride.
This is really cool! The names in Scripture have significant meanings. I always look up the names of whomever I’m studying. Hosea means “salvation” and Gomer means “complete.” Hosea bought Gomer out of the slavery her prostitution had put her in and redeemed her even after she had been unfaithful after they’d been wed. Hosea was commanded by God to love Gomer as God loves us to provide an example of how God so faithfully loves Israel and the Church. Likewise, as the Church, when we embrace Christ’s salvation we are made complete in Jesus. And, it’s not because of our own worthiness but because of Christ’s worthiness.
Tim Moore: None of the seven Old Testament brides we listed would have been brides unless they had a bridegroom. Concerning a bridegroom anticipating being married, I’ll never forget my own son-in-law, who is a large, very fit young man, standing at the front of the church with tears streaming down his face. He was crying as my daughter entered because his heart was so full of love. That’s the same picture of Jesus Christ eagerly desiring to bring His own Bride home to live with the Father in the place that He has been preparing for us — the New Jerusalem.
Dawn Morris: That’s right. Jesus was so eager that that was the very first thing He talked about with His disciples on the night before He died. He said in John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am there you will also be.” The Rapture has been the “blessed hope” for the Church for the past 2,000 years.