In Jeremiah 3:14 the Lord presents a picture of Israel as His bride. An unfaithful bride, in this case. The Lord has always viewed Israel as His bride. After He redeemed His people out of slavery in Egypt, the Lord presented a “marriage contract” to the Children of Israel in the wilderness. This occurred when the Lord spoke the Ten Commandments and other laws to the people of Israel. The commandments were a verbal marriage agreement. According to Jewish tradition this occurred on Pentecost. The voice of the Lord frightened the Children of Israel so badly that they asked Moses to ask the Lord not to do it again.
As we know, Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the commandments as written by the Hand of God. He was there so long that faithless Israel committed spiritual adultery with the golden calf. The Lord was so angry he delayed the marriage between Himself and Israel.
Instead, He made someone else the spring bride. In Isaiah 65:1 the Lord says “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, “Here am I, here am I.” Israel turned its back on the Lord and the Lord turned to someone else. The word “nation” in this passage is “goy” in Hebrew. Even today, “goy” in Hebrew refers to gentile people. The Lord allowed Himself to be found by the Gentiles. The Gentile Church became the spring bride.
The Book of Ruth is a picture of the Gentile Church. Ruth, a gentile, was the widow of a Jewish man. According to Jewish law, Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer. At the end of the book, Boaz pledges to marry Ruth. Ruth is a type of the Church. Boaz is a type of Jesus, the Redeemer. The Redeemer pledges to marry the gentile. This foreshadows the wedding banquet in Matthew 25. And when does this happen? According to Jewish tradition, the harvest described in the Book of Ruth is the early harvest, Pentecost.
Have you ever wondered why the bride is not mentioned in the story of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25? This book was written to the Jews. The bride is not mentioned, because the bride is a gentile.
The Church is the early harvest, the spring bride. And, perhaps, the marriage will occur on Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. There is a day coming when faithless Israel will turn to the Lord and honor Him. It appears that this will occur in the fall, at the Feast of Harvest. Israel will be the fall harvest, the fall bride.
This may explain the statement of Jesus, that “the first will be last, and the last will be first” (Matthew 19:30 and 20:16, Mark 10:31). The Jews were the first to be offered redemption by the Lord, and they will be the last to receive it. Gentile Christians were the last to be offered redemption and we were the first to receive it. Praise His Name!