This chapter begins with a bleak picture of the desperation people will have reached after the wars, disease, and desolation of chapter 3. The hopelessness results in the twisting of one of God’s precious sacraments, marriage. Verse 1 reads,
“And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”
Rather than one man and one woman in a communal reciprocal relationship, the relationship above is in name only. There is no mutual love or care, no partnership. It is everyone for himself. His and Hers and Hers belongings, bank accounts, needs, and satisfaction of those needs. Isn’t that the picture of relationships today? Too often people do not even bother getting married. Women seek a father or rather a sperm donor to bare children instead of a husband that will be a father to their children. Husbands and wives, domestic “partners” do not really do more than share a bed and an address. They look out for their own needs, they keep themselves ready for the breakup, which they treat as inevitable.
This is not the picture of marriage God has given us. It is not a reflection of the relationship God has for us with Him. With Jesus as the Bride-groom, the relationship is perfect and permanent. We do not need an “out.” He provides our every need. We commune with Him. We submit to Him and He loves us deeply and wholly.
The world we live in is fallen, broken, and twisted. But some of us pursue God anyway. Some of us have accepted the gift of eternal life from Him. For those He has great promises. Verses 2-3 read,
“In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. 3 And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem,”
That’s you and me, Believer! We are His bride. Is your name written in the Book of Life? Is Jesus your Lord? He is beautiful and glorious. We can see that. We know Him, His Love and what He has done and is doing. The world can’t see it, they can’t see Him for who He is. One day they will. One day judgment will come for everyone and fire will burn everything and everyone. What remains will be good, holy, and beautiful. He gives us a taste of eternity now. When He saves, He cleanses the soul, He removes the smut and grime of sin and makes us holy. He calls us righteous. Verse 4 reads,
“when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning”
And furthermore, He will be with us. His glorious presence leads us, protects us and comforts us. Verses 5-6 in The Message put it this way,
“Then God will bring back the ancient pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and mark Mount Zion and everyone in it with his glorious presence, his immense, protective presence, shade from the burning sun and shelter from the driving rain.”
That day will come. Everyone will experience it from one side or the other. Believer, you are experiencing eternity now. You already have eternal life. Although it is not yet complete, it is very real. Live with the knowledge and truth that our hope and promise is accomplished. Jesus was, and is, and is to come. Remember He is. God has said His name is, I Am. That is now. That is forever. Don’t live in the twisted version of good created by the world. Live in the true goodness of Jesus Christ.