“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”—Matthew 10:29
In Matthew 10:29 we are brought into a piece of knowledge by Jesus; that our Father knows even the sparrows. Then in Luke 12:24 Jesus tells us further that He feeds the ravens—cares for them.
“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?”—Luke 12:24
The God of all creation not only knows every being, every blade of grass on the earth, every grain of sand above and below the sea… He even knows how many hairs are upon our head at any moment, He numbers them.
While we may not consciously yearn for someone to know and care for us so intimately, God still does. He understands our heart, sees us, and even more than that, He KNOWS us. He considers us to be of VALUE. He LOVES us.
Our mind can scarcely comprehend such love, such deep devotion. Our soul—mind, will, and emotions—dances at the realization. Our logic perhaps rebels because we are not worthy of such a powerful love. Yet, God goes on loving us.
When we ignore Him, when we suddenly see Him through love-struck eyes, and even when we turn our backs to Him in sin… He goes on loving us. We hurt Him and He continues to love. Yet He, like any of us who has ever been truly in love, desires relationship. He desires us to see Him, to know Him, just as He knows us. And unlike us, He deserves all of that and more. He deserves more than we could ever give, and yet, He will gladly take each and every one of us to Him.
This is God. This is His love.
God as Provider AND Lover:
It perhaps seems strange to view God as both Provider and Lover at the same time. When we are taught that He provides for us, we perhaps most often think of Him as our Father—which is true. But God can also provide AND be our Lover… and really, if we look just a bit closer, it makes sense.
In Jewish tradition when a man desires to wed a woman, he gives her father a “contract.” A piece of paper stating what he—the potential groom—would bring to the table, give to her, and provide for her. It is basically a written testimony of what she—the potential bride—can expect if she weds him….
Her father reads the contract and if—and only if—he deems it of value, he then places it before her under a glass of wine. She will then take the contract, read it, and if she too deems it of value and wishes to accept, she will drink the wine.
Likewise, Jesus—the bridegroom—placed before our Father a similar contract as He hung on the cross. He laid out His Blood—almost as if it were ink—and gave it to our Father for inspection, and our Father, finding it more than adequate, placed it before us along with a cup of wine…
If we drink the wine, we accept Jesus as our Groom; as our future Husband.
I have compared you, my love,
to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
your neck with chains of gold.”
—Song of Solomon 1:9-10
In the contract our Father placed before us for consideration are all the things Jesus is bringing to us. It is laying forth the riches of Heaven, just as it lays forth the riches of Jesus’ love. By dying on the cross, Jesus acted as a Provider, removing the curse and setting in place for us riches and life in Heaven; and as a lover, by dying to save His love.
He sent us a love-note from the cross.
No potential bridegroom on earth could lay forth such a proposal, such a contract. In this contract, Jesus offers to bring us—Gentiles and Jews—into the covenant of Abraham. He offers eternal life. He offers mansions in Heaven and power on earth. He offers us that which no one else can offer… Himself. He who is love.
Now. The question remains… “will we drink the wine?”
Accepting the Proposal of Jesus:
Jesus has offered Himself to us; offered to take us as His own, to love and provide. It is a beautiful offer, and assuredly the best that has or ever will be made. No other bridegroom can compare, and no one can better provide.
Yet, our Father has laid the wine before us to receive our answer. Jesus waits outside to welcome us into His arms. So the question is, will we drink the wine, or will we rise from the table and leave it untouched?
It is time for us to drink the wine—just as we do at Passover—to accept Him, Jesus, as our bridegroom and husband—as we do at Sukkot.
Still, we can choose to be like the unwise virgins. We can fail to bring the oil needed to meet the bridegroom. We can leave the blessed wine untouched and never go under the huppah with Jesus—the place where we marry Him.
Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”—Matthew 25:3-10
However, when we know the price Jesus paid to lay the offer of marriage before us, when we know of His scars and love, how can we refuse? How could we not take the cup and drink the wine? Because the hour of our Bridegroom’s return is near, and we cannot afford to wait any longer. We cannot make the Lamb of God wait for His intended’s answer any longer.
His heart aches with love.
My beloved spoke, and said to me:
‘Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grapes
give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away!’”
—Song of Solomon 2:10-13
In this season let us at last—as Jew and Gentile—accept Jesus’ proposal. Let us rejoice, for we have not only been atoned for by the Blood of our Messiah—Jesus—but we get to be His bride. His bride for whom He provides greatly.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:8
Let us take the cup of wine and drink, for our God, Jesus, the Son of the Most High, has paid the price and set before us an offer unimaginable. That of being co-heirs. Of belonging.
Let us laugh at the days to come with joy, because our Bridegroom cometh.
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”—Deuteronomy 32:43