By Elizabeth Prata
I recently studied the four women of Revelation. My favorite books are Genesis and Revelation. I love firsts and lasts, the beginnings and endings of things. The 4 women of Revelation are the Jezebel of Revelation 2 representing the pagan church, Woman clothed with the Sun in Revelation 12 representing Israel, the Whore of Babylon of Revelation 17 representing the apostate church, and the Wife of Revelation 21 representing the true church.
And then I realized that in my penchant for thinking of extremes, firsts and lasts, that if I learned in my study time the last woman mentioned in the Bible is “Wife/Bride”.
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9)
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)
The first woman mentioned in the Bible was wife also!
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22-25).
God takes marriage very, VERY seriously. In watching the very good clip of Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation explaining why gay marriage doesn’t exist, it hammers the point home even more. And not just homosexual marriage, bigamy or polygamy is an affront to God. Divorce is also, if done under any conditions but the allowances given in the Bible. The first woman is mentioned as wife in Genesis and at the end in Revelation the entire human history is seen to be God’s gathering a wife for His Son.
The biblical institution of marriage is a union between a husband and wife, sustained by Jesus, that pictures the union of Christ with His church. We don’t unite with the church any old way we want to, and we don’t unite in marriage any old way we want to. It is a God-created and God-ordained institution.
It also brings home the importance of women in God’s plan. Complementarians know this, but egalitarians don’t. God loves His people. He made two genders and two genders only. This is for many reasons, some obvious and some known only to God. But one thing is sure, one reason was so that we could unite and form a marital union ordained by God, grown by God, and pleasing to God.
And pleasing God is the thing for which we are made.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10).