And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me
Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. Hosea 2:16
The custom of arranged marriage is a most common practice in many cultures around the world. In fact the concept of the choosing of a spouse being left completely up to the parties being married is in some measure a modern practice. In our culture (or lack thereof as the case may be) most look aghast at the thought that someone other than themselves should choose the husband or wife that they are to be wed to. Yet one has to wonder if our practice is the best one when we look at the high rate of divorce in our culture compared to that of those cultures who arrange marriages for their children.
The worship of free-will (which is rampant in our society) leads its adherents to equate true love with the exercise of that will, yet true love is that which most often comes long after the period of courtship and the ensuing wedding is over. Mutual love between spouses is usually the result of commitment and devotion on the part of one towards the other rather than a google eyed devotion being the cause of that commitment. In the eastern cultures the man was generally much older than the bride which he took to be his wife. In many cases she had no prior knowledge or contact with him before her marriage to him. A good example of that can be found in the account of Rebekah and Isaac. (see Gen.24)
Here in the book of Hosea is seen an example of true love shown to an unworthy wretch. The LORD commanded Hosea to marry a harlot named Gomer. (see Hos.1:2) There is no evidence that Gomer was ever faithful unto Hosea or that the children that she bore to him were all indeed the fruit of his loins but rather likely the product of her whoredom. She even attributed the sustenance which was provided by the faithful Hosea, as that which her many so called “lovers” gave her. (see Hos. 2:5) Yet her wickedness and unthankfulness never in the least deterred Hosea in his desire to fulfill the purpose of GOD in manifesting love to her.
The marriage of the LORD JESUS CHRIST to HIS elect bride is an arranged marriage. The bride was never consulted in this arrangement, but rather HE loved her before the foundation of the world. She has always been the apple of HIS eye and the delightful object of HIS deepest love and devotion. HE has determined to spare no expense in making her HIS wife, not only in redeeming her from the bondage and slavery into which she willingly sold herself but also in winning her heart and causing her to love HIM in return. It was for this reason that HE created the world to manifest HIS glory in her redemption.
--- Mike McInnis
The Law of the Sabbath
The law of the Old Testament sabbath was clearly stated. "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou" (Deuteronomy 5:14). Note these words: "thou shalt not do any work...rest." The sabbath given to the Jews was a type of Christ. When it comes to our salvation, the rule still applies, "thou shalt do no work...rest." Redemption has been accomplished by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Concerning this work of reconciliation and justification, the Savior said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Salvation, therefore, is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He hath saved us" (Titus 3:5). The word from the Scriptures is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
The penalty for breaking the sabbath was harsh and violent. "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people" (Exodus 31:14). On one occasion a man was arrested, incarcerated and later stoned to death because he picked up some sticks on the sabbath day (Numbers 15:32-36). Do you wonder why the punishment for working on the sabbath was so severe? Disobeying the commandment of God to rest on the sabbath pictured the refusal of proud, self-righteous sinners to be saved solely on the basis of the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. All who refuse to rest in Christ alone for eternal salvation must be cut off from His people and cast into everlasting destruction.
--- PastorJim Byrd
Soul and Body
Most people say we have a soul, but in reality, we are a soul and we have a body. The body is the tabernacle of the soul. We might liken the soul and body to a bird in a shell. For a child of God, death is the shell cracking open and the soul taking its flight to Christ. Before long, the Lord will break the shell and then, at that very moment, we will be "absent from the body and present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Since Christ redeemed both the souls and bodies of His people, someday our dead bodies will be raised and reunited with our souls and we shall abide with the Lamb of God forever.