In Genesis there are several pictures of the Lord’s protection over His “bride.” These pictures, or foreshadows, involve Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Genesis 12 Abraham (then called Abram) and his wife Sarai went to Egypt to live because there was a famine in Canaan. There Abram told the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister because he feared they would kill him for his beautiful wife. Sarai was, in fact, Abram’s half-sister. Pharaoh took Sarai to his palace and gave Abram sheep, cattle, camels and many servants on account of Sarai. But the Lord inflicted Pharaoh and his household with serious diseases. Pharaoh discovered the cause and told Abram to take his wife and leave the country.
Later in Genesis 20 Abraham was living in Canaan near King Abimelech. Again, he told the king that Sarah was his sister. Again, Abimelech took Sarah to his palace. Again, Abimelech gave Abraham sheep, cattle, camels, many servants and about twenty-five pounds of silver. One of the remarkable things about this story is if chapter twenty is in chronological order, the Lord had just told Sarah she would have a baby. At the time Sarah was ninety years old, and yet she was still attractive to the king! Wow! Again, it was revealed that Sarah was the wife of Abraham.
After the death of Abraham, there was again a famine in the land and Isaac and Rebekkah went to live near Abimelech. It is possible that this was the same man or his son. It is also possible that Abimelech is a title, for it is composed of two Hebrew root words meaning “father” and “king”. Again, fearing for his life, Isaac used the same ploy as his father and told Abimelech that Rebekkah was his sister. When it was discovered that Rebekkah was the wife of Isaac, the king was furious. This time great wealth was not given, but great protection was promised. In the end, Isaac and Abimelech made a treaty that neither would molest the other. This indicates that Isaac was on the same level as the king concerning power, men and wealth.
Hundreds of years later the Children of Israel were in Egypt. The Egyptian king desired Israel to be his slaves, and he did so. This time the Children of Israel were led out of Egypt by the Lord under the leadership of Moses. As they left, the Egyptians gave the Israelites (God’s chosen bride) great wealth (Exodus 12:35-36)
Each of these events has certain parallels. There is a husband. There is a bride. There is a king who desires the bride. The Lord intervenes and reveals to the king that the woman he desires belongs to another. They all present a picture of the Lord’s relationship with Israel. And they present a picture of a future event described by the prophets.
At some future time the kings of the world will desire Israel, the wife of the Lord. It will be overwhelmingly revealed to them that Israel belongs to another. The result of this will be great riches and power for Israel. Isaiah chapter 60 describes the sons and daughters of Israel being brought, not sent, to Israel. The wealth of the nations will be brought to Israel. The sons of their oppressors will bow at their feet. This is the Word of the Lord regarding Israel, his wife. His Will will be done! Praise His name!