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Friend of the Bridegroom, Isaiah 62 Fast, Stories Behind the Songs, Watchmen on the Wall

Lord, Wake the Bride: 21 Days of Intercession for Israel (Day 3 of Isaiah 62 Fast)

Our fuel for intercession is love. In order to pray aligned with God’s heart, we have to remember our first love—Jesus, and His first love, His Bride, the Jewish people. While God wants a strong body, He also wants a pure, radiant, faithful, hopeful, and soft-hearted Bride at his return. This is the bride mentality. For the full exploration of this topic click here. Below is just an intro before we pray through the scriptures.

Who is the Bride?

The Bride is the body of Christ. The Bride is Israel. We do not believe Israel has been replaced by the church, but that the church has been invited into a covenant of belonging to Yeshua along with Israel. So while we are one, there is a distinct love that God has for Israel. We also remember that the gospel went first to the Jewish people and then to the Gentile. This is important to understand because God has not given up waiting for His Jewish bride to return to Him. He loves the Jewish people in a unique way because of their history together. Whether Jewish or Gentile, if we care about Him, we also care about the people group He chose first and still ties Himself to, Israel. He longs for Israel and waits for Israel. Understanding this, the Gentile and Messianic disciples of Yeshua operate together, BOTH as friends of the bridegroom, as the Holy Spirit of Yeshua awakes His bride in the last days.

Gentiles have been completely brought in to this covenant by faith, so that, the entire global church is also the bride of Christ. Gentile or Jewish, our goal is to see the bride awake, from every nation tribe and tongue, with a special eye toward Israel. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, we maintain the bride mentality, intimacy between us and God and between each other (non-sexual unless married, obviously). In seeking to be a friend of the bridegroom and wake and beautify the Bride of Christ (Revelation 3:2, Revelation 19:7), we understand that we also ARE “the bride” covenanted in betrothal to Jesus Christ (Hosea 2:19; Eph. 1:13). As those redeemed, we are declared legally righteous by His blood (Rom. 3:21-28, 4:18-25), and sealed by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to guide us in truth to bring to completion what Jesus had to teach us (John 16:12-13), what the will of the Father is, to bring us to unity (Eph 2:14-18), to equip us for global ministry (Acts 2), to convey the love of God (Romans 5:5), to give spiritual gifts to the people (1 Corinthians), and to wash us continually until Christ is formed in us (Titus 3:5). The implications of this will change the world.

Jewish Bridegroom and His Jewish Bride

In Jewish culture, after a Jewish bride (the Gentile bride was only revealed later (Romans 9-11)). The father would choose the bride for his son and establish a bride price. The groom would make arrangements with the family of the bride and plan a time about a year before the wedding for the betrothal ceremony where he would establish a covenant by the signing of a contract where the groom would agree to pay the bride price.

At the appointed time, the young man would come to the house of the bride-to-be for the engagement/betrothal ceremony (kiddushin), but she would have the choice to let him in to eat the betrothal meal. If she did let Him in, the groom would pour a cup of wine for his beloved, to represent the making of a new covenant with her. If she drank the cup, she would have formally accepted the proposal and they would be betrothed. Sometimes, the man would vow not to drink wine again until the marriage celebration (a vow of sobriety—extra motivation and a demonstration of His devotion to wait for her!).

The bridegroom would then take his leave, but before he did, the young man would give a ring to his beloved, sealing the covenant, setting her apart and claiming her as his own. This vow is repeated even today in a traditional, single-ring ceremony where only the groom gives a ring to the bride. She gives nothing in return except her devotion. He says to her,

Ha-rei aht mekudeshet li, be-tahba’at zoh, k’dat Mosheh v’Yisrael.

With this ring, you are consecrated to me (sanctified/holy), according to the tradition of Moses and Israel.”

The bride is then set apart for the groom. After the groom left, He spent their time apart preparing a room for them in his Father’s house, but the groom did not decide when He was finished. The Father did. And the bride? She waited. When the Father assessed that the time was right, He would tell the son to go get his bride. This could happen in the middle of the night which is why no one knew the day or the hour of the groom’s arrival. The bride had to be ready at any moment with a veil and an oil lamp by her bed, with extra oil, just in case (since the oil in oil lamps only lasted about four hours).

When the groom and his friends got close to the bride’s house they would shout and blow a shofar trumpet to call his bride out to the wedding (traditional Jewish communities all over the world still did this even twenty years ago according to a Jewish woman I interviewed in Cochin, Kerala, India!) Then the wedding celebrations would begin! The bride would then go through a water baptism (mikvah) of living water (mayim chayim), her final purification. Then the wedding feast would begin.

Yeshua’s Wedding Feast

Yeshua was Jewish. He used the Galilean wedding traditions to show us that He wants deep relationship with His people. The Father choose the bride for his son and established a bride price of His son’s death. He stands at the door of our hearts and waits to be let in and eat a covenant meal with us. By letting Him in, we agree to hear His proposal. Jesus enacted a covenant with communion, betrothing us in a “new covenant in His blood.” (yes, this is what Jesus said over the first communion… according to tradition, the Jewish men would have been wondering why Jesus was betrothing Himself to them!) Everyone in that room was Jewish.

They drink from His cup, which is their acceptance, and we drink from it in communion…our “yes!” He gives them the ring and seal of the Holy Spirit and left them alone saying to remember Him every time you drink and eat (wine and bread were staple foods). He was preparing a place for us in His Father’s house! And, one day, as soon as His Father gives Him permission, Yeshua is coming back with fierce love to take us to be with him there!

So as soon as we accept Yeshua’s offer of betrothal and unity with Him, we find ourselves in this already-not-yet relationship. We are already intimately His and yet we wait for Him to take us home forever. In baptism, we are washed by water like a bridal mikvah (purity bath) and with the receiving of the Holy Spirit, we are sealed in Him. We build one another up in love and we “clothe ourselves with righteousness of Jesus, (His robe and breastplate) which covers our sins, and with righteous acts made possible through our obedience to His Spirit who is alive in us. We do this so that we will have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city of God when Jesus, our Beloved, returns (Revelation 22:14). Knowing Jesus as Beloved is how we know what real intimacy and faithfulness is.

From the scriptures below, we know that God was “married” to Israel, in covenant commitment, even in the Old Testament, and we know that Gentiles (non-Jews) have been invited into this covenant relationship, through the Holy Spirit, opening up this offer of betrothal to all peoples of the earth, which was His hidden plan all along and is now revealed THROUGH THE ONE NEW MAN (Jewish/Gentile) CHURCH (Ephesians 3:6-11)! Hallelujah!

But right now, in these 21 days, whether Gentile or Jewish, we focus all our attention on the Jewish Bride who is still sleeping.

Let’s Pray for the Jewish Bride

Father, we know you love those of us who know you already, but right now, we want to be your friends, weeping with you, contending for your Jewish Bride. Thank you for your love for them

…You have chosen them and have not rejected them. Isaiah 41:9b

You are her Maker and her husband, the Lord of hosts is Your name; and the Holy One of Israel is her Redeemer, the God of the whole earth You are called. Isaiah 54:5

…Lord, remember the devotion of Israel’s youth,
    how as a bride she loved You and followed You through the wilderness,
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the Lord,
    the firstfruits of Your harvest…
Jeremiah 2:2-3

We see in the story of Hosea how you faithfully pursue your covenant/betrothed people.

“But then I will win her back once again.
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
    and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
    as she did long ago when she was young,
    when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
16 When that day comes,” says the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’
    instead of ‘my master.’
17 O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
    and you will never mention them again.
18 On that day I will make a covenant
    with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
    so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
    all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
    in peace and safety.
19 I will make you my wife forever (or I will betrothed you),
    in righteousness and justice,
    in unfailing love and compassion.
20 I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
    and you will finally know me as the Lord…
I will show love
    to those I called ‘Not loved.’
And to those I called ‘Not my people,’
    I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’
And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’
” Hosea 2:14-19,23-25

You have been a pursuing God from the beginning, not only for the Jewish people or for the nations, but for us individually. Use the Gentiles to arouse your people to holy jealousy. And raise up your Gentile bride to love and cherish your relationship with Israel. May they enter into the new covenant with you in this season in mass numbers! Let the Springtime come!

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Thank you Yeshua that you will clothe your Bride with your own garments of righteousness. You will be her covering. Her protection.

When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you,” declares the Lord God, “and you became mine.” Ezekiel 16:8

You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman…and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5

My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings (corners of a garment) over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” Ruth 3:9

Thank you for giving your bride the ring/seal of the Holy Spirit.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. 15Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. Galatians 3:13-15

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” Song of Solomon 8:6

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 … AND …Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 2 Corinthians 1:21

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30

Just as the Jewish people led the Gentiles to understand your covenant, may you now use the Gentiles to disciple and say to the people of Israel, “I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2

Because we do not know when You are coming in day or hour, help us be a bride is ready and sober-minded (1 Peter 1:13). We must be watchful, vigilant, and discerning of the times (Matthew 25:13, Luke 12:56). We must keep shining light in darkness by the oil and anointing of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 25:8-9). We must be pure for You by washing ourselves and others in the scriptures and we make ourselves beautiful for Him.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Rev 22:17,20

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Rev. 22:14

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy (set apart), cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (the writer means scripture here). Ephesians 5:25-26


You are chosen

You are loved.

You are pursued.

You are bought with a price or “redeemed”!

You let Him in

You eat the covenant meal

You drink the “cup of the new covenant in His blood”

You are set apart, “spoken for,” and off limits.

You remain pure.

You are left alone for a time—they don’t know how long the wait will be.

You wait expectantly and keep watch in hopeful joy.

You remember the beloved.

We WILL BE returned for!

…Once again the sunlight fades away
Light a candle, in the window
Looking through the purple and the gray
Could it be my eyes deceiving me  
A shadow, but how can shadows knock upon my door
Lift the latch and gaze into your eyes
Tender passion brimming over
Tears of joy as I begin to cry
Wipe them quick to prove it’s not a dream
You whisper, I told you that I would come back for you.
Fly me away to somewhere I can be free     
Your words flood my soul
And bring you back to me
The way that it should be

The Spirit and the Bride say Come; and the One who hears says come!

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