Psalm 45 : 13-15
“The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
Her clothing is woven with gold.
14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors;
The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
They shall enter the King’s palace.”
Abuse. This word evokes many feelings, mostly unsavory and unhappy. But ponder a moment with me and let us dissect this word together. The word abuse comes from two simple words. Ab and Use. Ab simply means away from, or wrong or miss, whilst use means apply. So abuse is actually the wrong use of something. Wrongful application. Now most times abuse comes from pure ignorance. Simply stated, when the use for something is not known, it can so easily be abused. Let’s go deeper. Men who abuse women are mostly ignorant of God’s design for women. They have a warped definition of the woman and that informs the abuse we see. Clearly understanding the beauty and excellence of God’s creation in women and the unique role they are ordained to play will fill you with awe and respect and as such the last thing on your heart will be to abuse them.
As deep and evocative as this subject is, it is not the object of this piece. I may however visit it in future as God leads. I am gripped today by the abuse of one unique lady. A most important woman. An exceptionally beautiful Woman. The betrothed wife of the most Noble of Men. Actually the wife of the perfect man and perfect God. Permit me to introduce you to the Church. The Bride of Christ. I see her abused in no small measure and I am no longer able to stand aside and watch. I consider myself as one of the many groom’s men, a friend of the Bride Groom, tasked with the role of watching over and keep His bride and preparing her for the imminent wedding. But she is today being raped, ravaged, pillaged and abused by so many, most of all other groom’s men.
In my attempt at mitigating or correcting this I am simply going to try to help inform on who the Church is and what her function is, and why we need to reappraise our relationship with her, if we are to allow her reach her full potential. Perhaps by the grace of God, repentance may ensue.
The church or the bride of Christ is not the product of any man’s imagination. The conception of the Church is not from this earth or of this world. The Church was born in the heart of God and brought forth in a most mystical way, that it requires deep immersion in the heart of her creator to even begin to grasp the beauty, splendor and intricateness of this grand betrothed holy lady.
To understand this, let’s go back to the book of Genesis. God declared it is not good for man to be alone. He said He would make man a helper comparable to him. Then God did something strange. He put Adam to sleep and opened his side and took out one of his ribs and out of this He formed the woman. Let’s get this straight. The woman is not the rib of a man, but she has at her core the rib of a man. God built the woman around the rib. To understand this process, we need to look into the original text, the Hebrew to see something quite interesting. In Genesis 2:7, we read that God formed man from the dust of the earth. This word is the Hebrew word Yasar, which means squeeze or compact together, or like a potter, mould. This was the word used for the creation of man, but in Genesis 2:22, we read that out of the rib God took from man He ‘made’ a woman. This word made is not the same as form or squeeze. The Hebrew word here is bana, which actually means to build, to repair, to set in order or established. From this word we also get the sense of continuing and building a dynasty or legacy. So man was formed, but woman was built. She was built with intricacies that are not in man, because she has a unique role to play in God’s eternal plan for His Kingdom. Now how does this relate to the church? Jesus the last Adam, was put to sleep (died) by His Father (GOD) and out of His side He brought forth the church, the bride of Christ. Notice in Matthew 16, Jesus also stated “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This Greek word Oikodomeo, means to buid up, construct. So the Church is being built by God himself and no man fully understands what the dimensions, the layers, the materials, the finished product looks like, so we need to be quite cautious on how we handle this awesome lady.
One more illustration. In Proverbs 31 verse 14, the bible describes the virtuous woman as a merchant ship. This simple sounding description is actually quite profound. First Ships have to be built. Two, they have more inside them than what appears outside them. Thirdly they keep a lot in their belly. Lastly, merchant ships are rugged and can survive the rough seas. If ships are that complex, how utterly befuddling is a woman then, not to now begin to approach the Church. By the way Noah’s ARK was a type of the Church.
Today, I just want you to ponder anew the mystery of the church. The sheer profundity of this wonderful creation of God that we have been graciously called into. Ponder the depth of love her Husband has for her. Stop and think about the price He paid for her. Consider the complexities of her creation and purpose. Understand the trust bestowed on us who are called to look after this lady, preparing her for her wedding day. Think, are you respectful of her? Are you one of her abusers? Her husband would soon return for her, please don’t let Him find you abusing His bride. Selah!!!
Let’s Pray: Father God rekindle our love, respect and appreciation for your wonderful creation the Church. Lord forgive us for abusing her. Forgive us for misusing her. Help us to humble ourselves before you and allow you to guide our hearts aright, so we can join you in establishing your eternal building. Help us groom’s men prepare the bride for her Bride Groom. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.