At Such a Cost Thy Bride
The author of this article was requested to prepare a paper on worship. At first glance, this might not seem to fulfil that purpose. In a letter which accompanied the article he writes, “In thinking about worship, the realization gripped me that it cannot be legislated but must be spontaneous. Therefore, I decided to try to set forth in this feeble way why I am a worshipper of the Lord Jesus.”—Ed.
Picture with me a prince living in regal splendour. His home is a palace. A retinue of servants waits on him tirelessly. His wealth is Incalculable. Luxury, comfort and ease are his daily fare. Nothing enters his life to sadden or discourage him. He has within his own power the ability to satisfy his every desire.
Nevertheless, strange to say, he has a need. He earnestly longs to have the companionship of one who will reign with him in the splendour of his coming kingdom. He seeks a bride to share his magnificence.
Now court protocol requires that he select a person of royal blood. Naturally he should consider her family background. Her health should be a factor also, as she will face an arduous schedule of duties. Her appearance will have to be such that he will be proud to have her enthroned beside him. She must be a person of impeccable manners, and it will be much to her benefit if she has a variety of talents.
The papers announce the startling news! It is scarcely credible! In utter disregard of protocol, the prince has chosen a “commoner” for his wife. Actually the press has withheld the details, but what really happened was this! The prince left his splendid home in the fashionable section of the capital, and went down to the very poorest quarter of the city. Needless to say, the papers could not use the term, but the place was what we might call “skid-row”.
It was there he found his future bride. To tell the truth, there was nothing about her to commend her to the prince. Her appearance was what you might expect of one dwelling in that unspeakable neighborhood. She was without talents that would commend her to royal society. He could not possibly have chosen her upon the basis of what he would receive in return.
Not only was she lacking in merit; it must be stated quite honestly that she had much of positive demerit about her. Her family tree did not bear inspection. Her own character was ignoble. Her health was sadly impaired by her sinful life. Her manners would have barred her from middle-class society, to say nothing of royalty.
Most surprising of all, when the prince began to woo her, she responded with bitter hatred. She insulted him, neglected him, and wounded him with her harsh words.
Would he then be repulsed? No, he persisted most graciously to win her to himself. Finally, his love and kindness broke her heart, and he began to prepare her for life in the palace.
In considering the prince’s unusual course of action, one can only conclude that his purpose was to find the most unworthy person upon whom he could bestow his love, power, and wealth.
Of course, you know Who the Prince is, do you not? And the bride?
Wait! The illustration is sadly defective on two important scores.
First of all, this imaginary prince was a mere man—of the same human family as his bride, but the Prince of Heaven is God the Son. What human words can ever express what it meant for Him to become a man in order to seek and save His bride? We cannot even imagine what it would mean for us to become an ant in order to live in a colony of ants. Yet, that would not compare with the condescending stoop of the Saviour in becoming a man. Our illustration, consequently, fails to portray the marvel of the incarnation.
Even more important than this, the prince of our story did not have to pay for his bride. Yet the Prince of Glory paid for His bride with His own most precious blood. He actually died for her. For Him it meant the crown of thorns, the bitter gall — then the three hours of darkness in which He gave Himself for us.
No one else ever chose so unworthy a bride. No one else ever bought a bride so dearly. No one else ever raised such an unworthy person to such a dazzling height of dignity, wealth, and glory.
Oh, yes! We started out to discuss worship. What is worship? Worship is the emotion that wells up within your heart when you realize that the Son of God is the Eternal Lover of your soul, and that you are the unworthy one whom He selected to be a part of His bride eternally.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow. Matt 6:34.
’Tis far the best to simply rest,
Care not about the morrow;
You may have grace for this day’s race,
But more you cannot borrow.
* * *
Oh, restless heart, that beats against your prison bars of circumstance, yearning for a wider sphere of usefulness, leave God to order all your days. Patience and trust in the dullness of the routine of life will be the best preparation for a courageous bearing of the stress and strain of the larger opportunity which God may some time offer to you.