DISCLAIMER: Do not believe anything that I say! Test everything that you read below against all verses in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Brit Chadashah (NT). Pray for the truth and to be led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh)! I am not your pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi, or anything else. I am just a guy who has an opinion.
YHVH has betrothed HIS people, HIS set apart people; the Israelites. They are to now prepare themselves to show they are worthy of marriage to HIM. They are to be diligent in their ways and stay true to the ketuba they agreed to follow. Since we know the rest of the story, we know how this turns out. We know that the Israelites, almost from the moment they entered the wilderness, began to stray from their ketuba.
YHVH has always been clear about what HE wants from HIS bride. HE wants their love and devotion to HIM. HE loves HIS bride and shows tremendous patience with her. HE has great compassion and mercy. If there is anyone who will stay true to their word, it is YHVH. When the Israelites were given the instructions to follow, they immediately began to grumble and complain about their conditions. They essentially rebelled against YHVH with their words and their actions. Whether it was wanting more meat or complaining about the manna or lamenting leaving Egypt, the Israelites chronically and openly started to reject some of the terms of the ketuba (covenant).
I believe 40 is a number of testing. We see that while Israel was to be preparing herself for her husband, she failed. As punishment, YHVH did not divorce her, even though in the wilderness, Israel did start to go after other gods, only children 20 years and younger were allowed to enter the promised land. In the beginning of their time in the wilderness, Israel did not show herself to be worthy of marriage to YHVH. She had 40 years to prepare to be the bride he wanted.
When did Israel become YHVH’s bride?
I propose that Israel became HIS bride when the Israelites crossed over the Jordan and into the promised land.
Let’s take a look at that. As part of some weddings, both the bridegroom and bride mikvah (or baptize) themselves before they have their wedding feast and consummation. This is tradition, but it points out an important aspect of the marriage that is to happen. Each person in the marriage should be committed to each other and free of any and all past indiscretions. A mikvah is a symbolic cleansing and renewal of the person. Since YHVH is already set apart (holy), HE does not need to be mikvah’ed. From the perspective of the bride, she does need to be cleansed of her past, symbolically, and come into the marriage as a renewed person.
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
We see this pattern when Joshua brought the Israelites through the Jordan river. The waters were stayed at the head end long enough for the entire nation to come into the land. This is the symbolic mikvah of the bride.
Now that HIS bride is ready to be received, YHVH takes HIS bride to where he puts HIS name. HE leads them into the land that is set aside for HIS set apart people. We see this in the pattern of the marriage. The bridegroom has been preparing a place for HIS bride (the land). When HE is ready, HE takes HIS bride and leads them to their new house. This is where they are to live, with HIM as their head. HE will be their keeper and their protector.
All YHVH asks from HIS bride is to be worthy of being HIS bride. HE does not ask them to build huge cities or monuments to HIM. All they need to do is follow HIS instructions, that which is in the ketuba, and HE will love and protect them in all their days. He wants them to not be seeking other gods to worship and follow. HE takes this very seriously.
HE wants HIS house, HIS land, to remain pure and his bride to put their focus on HIM. Remember, HE is a jealous GOD.
“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
YHVH has betrothed HIS people at Mount Sinai. He has allowed them to prepare themselves to be ready for HIM to take them in marriage. Before HE takes them to HIS dwelling place, which is the promised land, they are mikvah’ed through the waters of the Jordan.
Now, they are HIS people and HE is their GOD