THE PRIESTLY TURBAN, THE BRIDE’S ADORNMENT, AND THE ASSEMBLY
I thought in the prophet we have a word for the bridegroom and the bride, and a word for all of us. I trust everyone here has been clothed with this garment of salvation. It comes out of heaven’s wardrobe, and it is the same for every one who believes in the Lord Jesus. Luke 15 would show us just what is in the heart and mind of God. God’s house is down here, where He is delighting to bring out the best robe and clothe every repenting sinner, and I believe our dear brother and sister would rejoice to have the gospel enter into this happy occasion, and we appeal to everyone here that their heart may be turned towards the Saviour, the One Who has, as we have sung (hymn 99), done so much that He might secure what is for Himself.
So the prophet here is speaking of being clothed with the garment of salvation, and being joyful in his God. This has been a happy time, because we know our young brethren are committed to the Lord and His interests here! Testimony has been borne to that, and that is a great joy to our hearts. But then the Scripture says, “As a bridegroom decketh himself with the priestly turban.” Well, I think we can say that our brother has done that. Our exercise is now is concerned with its continuance.
The priestly turban would mean that he considers firstly for his God. And that is the first consideration for every one that believes in the Lord Jesus – what is due to God. He takes it on as an intelligent matter, to deck himself with the priestly turban. It enters into the arrangements of the household, so that what takes place there is suitable for God. A man is responsible for his house. Therefore he is responsible to maintain what is due to God in his house. And I am sure that our brother will do it, as committed to the Lord.
Then the prophet goes on to say that the bride “adorneth herself with her jewels.” Well, that is clearly not the trinkets that mark man’s world, adornments that women wear today, but the adornment that the Lord is looking for, as we read in Peter, is the adornment of “a meek and quiet spirit” (1 Pet 3:4). That is a jewel; it says, “In the sight of God is of great price,” and I think our dear sister has that. It says, she “adorneth herself” with it. What a wonderful triumph that is, a triumph of grace, that persons can adorn themselves with adornments that reflect the influence of heaven! That is the first consideration for our dear young brethren, united together, a testimony already having being rendered as to their commitment to the Lord!
Now that works out in fruitfulness. That is why I read the following verses, because they bring all of us in. Think of the feelings of the prophet, as he thought of Jerusalem: he thought of it in its devastation, I suppose, or coming devastation; he thought of it in relation to the mind of Heaven. And, you know, in the midst of all the uncertainty and turmoil and breakdown, of which we are all part, we can have divine thoughts as to what the assembly is. This speaks of Jerusalem actually, but we can apply it to the assembly at the present time. Do we hold our peace as to it? We see that it is publicly all in ruins, so do we wait until the Rapture until it is all complete? Or do we intercede with God, do we plead with God as to His interests here, that the Church may prosper, that the truth be preserved according to His mind? It goes on to say, it shall be “called by a new name” – the mouth of Jehovah will name it, and it shall be a crown of beauty. What God is looking for from His earthly city in the day to come is to be reflected in the assembly at the present time. It goes on to say that His delight is in her – “My delight is in her, and thy land, Married; for Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, shall thy sons marry thee.” Now that is a challenge to us today – is your heart set in relation to the truth of the assembly? It is a great matter, dear brethren – it is what is first in the Lord’s heart, as to what is due to God in His assembly. It says they are married to it, they would be committed irrevocably to maintaining what is due to God in His assembly, involving indeed the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and the service of praise. We can enter into the service of song, in which the Lord is the great Singer.
I just commend these three thoughts to us that we might have them livingly before us as a result of this happy occasion together, seeing two young people committed to the Lord’s interests. It will not be a big meeting where they are local – it will be a very small one. But the truth of the assembly, I am sure, will be maintained and worked out even in conditions of smallness there.
I just read in Ephesians that Scripture, well known to us, which speaks of the great thought of Christ and the assembly. “I speak,” Paul says, “as to Christ, and as to the assembly.” What a challenge to every one of us! Do we speak in that language? Is that the language of our hearts, that we speak as to Christ and as to the assembly? We shall be speaking in heaven’s language if we do, and that is what the Lord is looking for. Paul never lost the sight of it; even in prison (he was writing this when he was in prison) he says, “I speak as to Christ, and as to the assembly.”
Then I just read in Revelation 21. I could have read in relation to the eternal state, but I read about the way the bride would appear in the coming day, because you need to get up to the mountain to see it. John was taken by the angel up the great and high mountain, and he would see the assembly in her public glory in a day that is soon to come. It is not very far off, dear brethren, and we, through grace – those that have put our trust in the Lord Jesus – are part of this bride, this assembly which Jesus has given His all to secure. What a wonderful thing at the present time to go up the mountain and see what John saw! He had been to the desert before, he had seen what happened to the false bride who sat as a queen and no widow (Rev 18:7). That is a very solemn thing. He was carried into the desert to see that (Rev 17:3), but if we want to see the assembly according to Heaven’s mind, we need to go up the mountain, and the Lord would help us to do so, so that we might keep the divine thoughts before us in the little time that remains before the Lord should call us home.
May it be so, for His name’s sake!
29 May 2009