As the Book of Revelation comes to a close, we hear the great prophetic declaration, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). Then, in chapter 21, John writes, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). As chapter 21 continues, we see that not only is this Holy City as a bride adorned for her husband, but it is, in fact, a depiction of “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.” But the Bride of the Lamb is not a literal city, but a spiritual one: God’s Elect People. She is symbolized here in a city, and as the psalmist said of Jerusalem, “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together,” so also does Paul say that the Body of Christ is “fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Psa. 122:3; Eph. 4:16).
Much talk has been made over the years about the Bride of Christ. Many Christians today are awaiting the great “snatching away” of the “rapture.” What is lacking in the “rapture” story, though, is the idea of a preparation. If we are to be the Bride of Christ, there must first be a preparation. In the days leading up to the ministry of Jesus, God sent a man named John, in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). Yet today, mainstream Christianity has no expectation of any kind of preparation: believing only that the trumpet shall sound without warning, and believers shall be whisked away.
The whole body of Scriptures paints a very different picture. God never changes. God is seeking a virtuous Bride for His only begotten Son, Jesus. And the wedding of the Lamb will not come until She is prepared for Him.
The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. As noted in most Bibles, this Psalm is divided into 22 sections of 8 verses each, with each section named after a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. What you may not know, is that, in Hebrew, the first word of each of the eight verses of that section begins with the corresponding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Thus, verses 1-8 begin with the letter “aleph,” verses 9-16 with the letter “beth,” and so on. Why is this so important? Very simply, we often call fundamental truths “the A-B-C’s.” In Psalm 119, not only is the first letter of each verse specifically chosen, but every verse contains one of the following ten expressions: way, testimony, precepts, commandment, saying, law, judgment, righteousness, statutes, and word. Each of these is lauded, verse by verse, in Psalm 119, for they declare the ten great and fundamental ways by which the Almighty has expressed Himself to mankind. They are the A-B-C’s of God’s Word.
The alphabet occurs similarly in another passage, by the hand of the Psalmist’s son, Solomon, in the book of Proverbs. This passage, read in Jewish homes every Sabbath day, is found in Proverbs 31:10-31. These 22 verses speak of a “virtuous woman,” and, once again, each of the verses begins with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet: verse 10 with “aleph,” verse 11 with “beth,” etc. Here, this style is used to make a different point. Solomon, in spite of his great wisdom, had become involved with many strange women, and with their worship, which led to his downfall, and, ultimately, to the dividing of the Kingdom of Israel. After declaring many words of wisdom, he concludes this writing with what seems to be the A-B-C’s of a man’s life: finding a virtuous woman. This is not only true of natural man, but also of God’s very purpose for mankind: to bring forth a wife for the Son of God!
Solomon said, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord,” “and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” (Prov. 18:22; 19:14b). Who should obtain favor more than God’s own Son?
Just what kind of Wife is God seeking for His Son: the Prince of Peace? No doubt, He is seeking the best! Even as Ahasuerus was seeking qualities that he found only in Esther, so also is God seeking a Church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; a people which is holy and blameless.
Unlike all ten virgins of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25, both wise and foolish, the virtuous woman’s candle does not go out by night (Prov. 31:18). As verse 29 says, “Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all.” She is strong, industrious, and wise. She provides nourishment for her household, and is given to hospitality.
God is looking for just such a people: a people prepared for the Lord, that excels above all others.
Dear friends, the time to play church has long since come to an end. The Day of the Lord is at hand, and He will have a glorious people. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” (Prov. 31:10). Boaz found one in Ruth. Ahasuerus found one in Esther. The question is not whether Christ will find one, but whether or not Christ will find one in us?
Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham’s servant prayed that God would lead him to a virtuous woman. Not only did Rebekah meet all of the criteria that the servant requested, but, when asked, she promptly replied, “I will go.”
Let us, too, prove to be the virtuous woman that the Lord is seeking for His Son today, applying the words of Solomon to our collective lives, that we might be a virtuous woman prepared for the Lord.