Every marriage begins with a covenant, an exchange of promises and wedding vows made by each partner to the other. This is what took place on Mount Sinai between Israel and Jehovah. There are many scriptural references which highlight the Lord as a Husband to Israel His wife.
Isa 54:6-8 (ESV2011) For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.
Jer 31:31-33 NKJV “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Did you notice something very important in this passage in Jeremiah. Yes the Lord is the Husband and Israel and Judah corporately together are His wife, but there is more, for the Lord said that He will make a new covenant with His wife. One in which will not be written on tablets of stone, but written on hearts and minds. Ezekiel goes further and prophesies in Eze 36:24-26 NKJV “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
So when we read Rev 19:7 which says “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Then we must understand the legal document to legitimise this marriage of the Lamb, is the New Covenant which was promised to Israel long before Jesus was born. The two cannot be separated, but one is a fulfilment of the other. The Marriage of the Lamb, is a fulfilment of the promise made between the Lord and Israel. When Jesus took the cup and declared in Matt 26:28 “this is my blood of the new covenant” He was saying to His disciples who were with Him that night, through me the New Covenant promised long before to your forefathers has come. Yes, it is a New Covenant, but it has an ancient history! And though the ‘Old’ is fading away and will soon disappear’ (Heb 8:13), its purpose of providing the basis of marriage between God and man continues in the New. It is only because the gentiles have been grafted into the Olive tree that is Israel, that they are able to participate in the promises made to Israel. There can be no wedding without Israel, for there is but one Wife. No secret rapture of a gentile church to a wedding without the very one with whom the promises of a new covenant have been made, how can this be? There is a spiritual law, as Paul writes “First for the Jew, and then the Greek (or Gentile)” This law not only applies to salvation and judgement, but also in marriage also. As Laban said to Jacob when Jacob realised he had been tricked into marrying Leah before Rachel in Gen 29:26 “It is not our custom to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn”