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The Prayer of the Bride (Psalm 27)

One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

-Psalm 27:4

Many who love and follow Jesus today were initially just looking for peace and comfort when they read the Bible, refuge and rescue when they first called on Jesus’ Name, or warmth and shelter when they wandered off the cold street into a church building. 

But when a person truly comes to be part of the bride of Christ, he is suddenly devoted to the Person of Jesus rather than the provision of Jesus. Nathanael at first had skeptical curiosity about Jesus: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). But after his first encounter with the Lord, he declared, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel” (John 1:49).

Nathanael went in cynical and came out believing, because he saw the beauty of Jesus, and it changed his life and eternity. The born-again bride may still have imperfections and failings, but the Lord Jesus knows His bride and the bride knows Him. The imperfections and failings decrease with time, because she is getting to know Him more. Awe over Jesus’ miracles and words is wonderful, but on its own, this is more like the infatuation prior to the commitment of marriage. But the bride sees Christ for who He is, and that reality changes everything for her. 

Among Christians, the attitude of the bride is much different than that of professionals, intellectuals, spectators, and acquaintances. Professionals work at appearances. Intellectuals prefer argumentation over incarnation. Spectators and acquaintances love excitement and good times. But a bride has made a vow: “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…as long as we both shall live.” That vow is weighty, seeing as the Bridegroom is risen from death, alive forevermore, and has promised her eternal life! The bride loves the intimacy of heart she shares with the bridegroom. But she also remains with Him in the hard days, the boring times, when trials, difficulties, and offenses arise, when the Bridegroom cannot be understood and the cost of faithfulness feels unbearable. She has vowed to stay, and she knows He has vowed the same.

When God provided the people of Israel with commandments on how to enter His presence in Leviticus, He said this: “And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13). God was clear about the importance of salt, but what is its significance? As a preservative, it may represent enduring faithfulness, like a wedding ring.

There is also a Jewish wedding tradition in which the bride and bridegroom each bring a container of salt. On the day they are wedded, they mix the two, and the salt is intermingled. When the salt runs low, they repeat the process as a constant reminder of their vows. Likewise, God says to us, “Don’t come to Me without salt.” In other words, “When you are faithful to give all your are and all you have to Me, I am faithful to do the same." God always accepts the offering and prayer of the bride, because she comes to Him in faithfulness. Like the intermingling of salt, she has shared every aspect of life with Him, and in turn, she receives all that He has to give her.

What is the greatest request of the bride? It is to dwell with Jesus and behold His beauty (Psalm 27:4). “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’” (Revelation 22:17). Professionals say, “Come, Sunday morning.” Intellectuals pray, “Come, great thoughts and arguments.” Spectators cry, “Come, entertainment!” The request of the acquaintance is, “Come, good times and pleasant feelings!” But the prayer of the bride is, “Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20). Anything else may come or go.

-Pastor Alex

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