The Mystery of Babylon
HE WHO created all things for Himself welded the bands of relationship to bind its beauties to Him. Blessed are the family ties--father and mother, husband and wife, or child and parent, for in each we may see a picture of Himself and of His varied excellencies.
As our Father, He has engaged Himself to sustain and nourish, counsel and guide, correct and discipline. He fulfills all those kindly offices which an earthly father feebly counterparts. We are His children. No mother's tender solicitude can equal His.
How wonderful a harmony and spiritual accord His works reveal! Shattered and discordant chords are everywhere, but when attuned to Him, each in its true place, there is music to His ear and ours. Children in glad obedience to the parents' gentle rule; wives in loving subjection to their husbands; and men, loving their wives as they love themselves--how pleasant are such scenes!
As our hearts dwell on these various virtues, we see His heart unveiled. His virtues are they all. The glorious halo of a manifested God crowns all. It transmutes the bands of earth into the most fine gold. The little candlelight that scarce can pierce the gloom, by this most divine alchemy, is transformed into the effulgence of His glory.
The chiefest and the sweetest of all earthly ties is that which welds two hearts into one--the marriage bond. What rarer bliss, what higher happiness on earth than this? What closer covenant of love has earth been called to witness?
And can we find in this a picture of Himself?
Yes--He, too, as lovers will, has chosen one to be His own; and more than all earthly lovers can, He woos and wins her to Himself. How precious such a theme must be. None of earth's stories sway the heart like those of love. How engaging then, must be the story of Yahweh's love!
Shall not our hearts leap as we see His chosen one in all the ardor of first love, gladdened by His presence and His bounty! But then, alas, how sad to see her heart grow cold and see her turn away from Him, forsake Him, and prove unfaithful; how heart-rending the divorce--she lonely and forsaken for her sins; He in patient faithfulness, waiting the day of restoration!
These are pathetic scenes; but the gloom deepens as we behold that false woman boldly usurp the place and portion He reserves for her, taunting Him in shameless style, "I sit a queen and am no widow; no mourning shall I ever see!" And as the dread darkness is broken by the lightning of His wrath, can we not join the joyful chorus as they sing their judgment song? (Rev.18:7; 19:1-2.)
But joy such as this we soon forget as we see His bride again, no longer lonely and desolate, but with youth renewed and adorned with her beautiful bridal robes of purest white and glistening gold, beneath His glorious marriage canopy. Then indeed will she respond as in the days of her youth and break forth into singing.
But our eyes turn even from her beauty, which He has put upon her, to Himself, as we whisper to our hearts and say:
"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride
So shall thy God rejoice over thee" (Isaiah 62:5)
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