But the Bride is not preparing! Instead, she is looking out the window, watching the door, watching the clock, watching the calendar, counting the days, and discussing these same details with friends. She has not realised that she is not yet ready!
As Bride Candidates, we are all called to “Watch” for the Bridegroom. But let me tell you of a scenario I have been seeing over and over for the past few months.
As the time draws near for the Bridegroom to arrive, the Bride has not made herself ready. She has not yet taken a shower, nor laundered or ironed her clothes, nor prepared her dress, nor laid out her wardrobe. She has also not prepared her wedding veil.
Instead, she is enthralled with the “timing” of when the Bridegroom will arrive. So, she watches the calendar and the clock; She uses her calculator to determine the likelihood of the Bridegroom’s arrival on particular days; Her focus is not on her preparation, but is on the door.
Alas, when the Bridegroom knocks, she will suddenly be told she is not “ready.” Why has she frittered her valuable time away in a “foolish” way? Surely it is wise to “watch.” But priorities tell us that step 1 must come before step 2. We must bathe, and prepare our clothing, and get dressed, BEFORE we wait at the door. Most of the Bride Candidates are “watching,” but are not even aware they are not yet ready!
Why is this?
Someone has been speaking to the Bride Candidates, telling them they are “already” prepared, and that there is nothing left for them to do but “wait.” The “wise” virgins, however, are not going to stake their entire future on what some Theological Seminary has proclaimed through its Pastor-Graduates.
No, they will not take their Leader’s word for the matter, no matter how nice he may be.
No, the “wise” virgins will seek the Scriptures on their own, and will find their preparation on their own.
Today’s Proverb illustrates the preparation the “wise” virgins will undergo:
“Who can find a virtuous <02428> woman? for her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Here the word translated ‘virtuous’ is the Hebrew word ‘chayil,’ Strongs number <02428> which stems from <02342> ‘chuwl’ meaning “travail, bring forth.”
It is through much seeking Yahweh in the Scriptures, and through much travail or wrestling, that the Bride will “bring forth.” A bride candidate who will go to the effort of seeking, and travailing, is rare, thus her price is far above rubies.
This travail and wrestling is the inner turmoil that occurs within the seeker. As one seeks Yahweh in the Scriptures, one begins to realise the Scriptures say something quite different from the message one has heard in the commercial congregations. Thus an inner conflict begins.
We must therefore wrestle and travail, to decide whether we will believe what we have heard previously, or simply believe the Scriptures. We must wrestle until we prevail, or overcome, as did Jacob. This seeking the Scriptures, and travailing, is the first step.
Let’s look at the second step of the process:
“Favour <02580> is deceitful <08267>, and beauty is vain…” (Proverbs 31:30a)
The word translated “favour” is the Hebrew word ‘chen,’ Strongs number <02580> meaning “grace.” The word “deceitful” is the word ‘shequer’ <08267> meaning “a lie, falsehood, deceitful, deception.”
What is the meaning of the above passage for the Bride’s preparation?
Scripture portrays Biblical “Grace” as a two-sided coin, but in most evangelical congregations today, only one side of that coin has been taught, most even denying the existence of the other side.
When one truth is taught to the exclusion of a second truth, the first “truth” becomes deceitful — a deception, and a lie. This partial truth of Grace that has been turned into a lie has been received by most Bride Candidates, and has thus prevented them from Biblical preparation.
The one side of the Grace coin we have learned is good — we need only learn the other side of the coin. While seeking Yahweh in the Scriptures, and in travailing, the Bride candidate begins to realise she has been deceived by having only a partial teaching of Grace. But what shall she do?
The remainder of the above verse gives us the remedy:
“…but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30b)
Notice that in the context of Prov 31:30, the Fear of Yahweh is preferred over “Grace” — which is deceitful, simply because most have received only one of the two aspects of Biblical Grace. When the Fear of Yahweh is found, it will actually complete the two-sided coin of Grace. This two-sided coin aspect of Grace is revealed as ‘Grace Grace’ in Zec 4:7, referring to Biblical Grace, as seen in Yahshua, who is our example.
The wise Bride Candidates will begin to seek Yahweh in the Scriptures, on their own. The wise will understand that the Fear of Yahweh is the beginning of their wisdom, and those who have good understanding will take heed to these Scripture passages: (Deut 17:19; 2Kings 17:34; Psalms 111:10; Prov 1:28-29).
Bride Candidates, there is not much time left in which to prepare!
Wisdom fears Yahweh! and the Fear of Yahweh keeps His commandments!
Will the Bride Candidates cease being among the foolish, and begin to seek Yahweh for wisdom for their preparation? Will they be ready when the Bridegroom arrives?
Those who are wise, will forsake the foolish — and will seek Yahweh on their own — and will live. The foolish will not do so (Prov 9:6).
Let us prepare, and make ourselves ready! The Bridegroom Is Approaching the Door!