04 October 2010

Transformed from an ordinary woman to an extraordinary delight

I had a friend post this story below from another blog on her facebook, so I'm not claiming this story! It's from a blog: lacedwithgrace.com. But it's a great one and has to do with grace and cows... two subjects the Lord has my heart focused on at the moment :). Oh, and Africa. Ha. Enjoy...

There is an old African story about a man who chose for himself a wife from among his people and then went to her father to negotiate for her. It was customary for a suitor to offer two to four cows to the father to prove that he could provide for his bride-elect and to offer something in exchange for his daughter.

The man was not like most men. Instead of offering just a few cows, he offered 10 fine cows to the father in his bid for her hand in marriage. The father gladly accepted the offer.

This created quite a stir in the village. What did this young man see in this particular young lady that made her valuable enough to pay 10 cows for her? Was there something the villagers had missed about this young woman? Word began to spread to other villages – there was a 10 cow woman living nearby.

The young man treated his new bride like a queen, for he had paid a queen’s dowry for her. Likewise, the villagers treated the new wife with respect, for she was no ordinary 2 cow woman, she was a 10 cow woman! And all this treatment was effected this young woman, too. She began to act less like a commoner and more like a great lady, for after all, she was a 10 cow woman!

And so it was through great sacrifice and wisdom, that one African man transformed an ordinary woman into an extraordinary wife and took great delight in her.

This is how God feels about us. God, with great wisdom and through great effort and sacrifice, has transformed a group of very ordinary sinners into an extraordinary bride for Himself. Isaiah calls this woman Zion, today we’re called the Church, the Bride of Christ.

Look at this beautiful passage from Isaiah 62:2-5 (NLT) and see how He feels about you.

“The nations will see your righteousness.
World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
by the LORD’s own mouth.
The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see—
a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City’
or ‘The Desolate Land.’
Your new name will be ‘The City of God’s Delight’
and ‘The Bride of God,’
for the LORD delights in you
and will claim you as his bride.
Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
Then God will rejoice over you
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.”

He has saved you and made you righteous. Like the African man with a 10 cow wife, His extraordinary payment shows your great worth, proves His ownership and provides protection. He holds you close and crowns you as His radiant bride, giving you a new name – Hephzibah – meaning God delights in you! Rejoice in that today. Rejoice in God’s delight over you.


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