Your Maker Is Your Husband: The Divine Marriage Metaphor and the New Covenant -- By: Matthew Haste
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Your Maker Is Your Husband: The Divine Marriage Metaphor and the New Covenant
Francis Schaeffer called it language “that we would not dare use if God himself did not use it.”1 Truly, Isaiah’s declaration to Israel that her Maker is her Husband (Isa. 54:5) is one of the more remarkable statements in the Scriptures.2 In the last twenty years, several scholars have examined this passage and others that contain marriage language describing God’s relationship with His people.3 While these studies have advanced the overall understanding of this metaphor, far too little has been written about the specific function of this language, particularly in relation to the new covenant.4 This article will provide
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an overview of the use of the divine metaphor in Scripture with particular emphasis on how this image points to the new covenant. It will be demonstrated that the divine marriage metaphor communicates the gospel of the new covenant in two key ways: by preparing Israel for her Messiah and by revealing Jesus to be the divine Bridegroom who has come to rescue His Bride.
Old Testament: Preparation For The Messiah
The language of God and His people as husband and wife resides mostly in the background of the Old Testament historical books and wisdom literature. However, several passages are worth noting because they contribute to a biblical understanding of marriage in general.5 Genesis 1:26-31 sets the stage for the divine marriage metaphor by portraying man as a relational being who uniquely represents God to the world. Genesis 2:24 speaks to the permanency of the marriage covenant, which will provide a backdrop for understanding Israel’s spiritual infidelity.6 In addition, various passages in the Proverbs set forth the biblical model of marriage by exalting the beauty of intimacy
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and the joy that fidelity can produce.7 Finally, the Song of Songs further develops this model by emphasizing the power of passionate love.8 Thus, these passages provide a backdrop for this metaphor by defining the biblical standards of marriag...
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