On a recent summer evening in the
foothills below Jerusalem I stood under the chuppah wedding canopy with an
Israeli princess bride and her prince charming. The chuppah is just about
my favorite place to be in the universe. Why?
Newlywed couple for whom I officiated
Because there we experience the holy presence of God manifested in the
coming together of two lives. It is the power of union in love. God chose
to make this combination the vehicle for the creation of new life! This
should not escape our notice.
So, what does this have to do with our relationship with God?
"I know your works ... you have persevered and have patience, and have
labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I
have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember
therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or
else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place -
unless you repent" (Revelation 2:2-5).
This is a serious assessment, even a rebuke, from Yeshua. I often picture
the Lord's description of our loss of first-love as a spouse who is
faithful, hard-working, consistent in all duties, yet the fire in his/her
eyes for the loved one, has gone out.
What is "Frist Love"?
What is "first love?" I well remember meeting Connie. It was totally
amazing. This wonderful woman almost perfectly matched the vision I had for
life. My attraction to her was irresistibly magnetic. Has it been like that
every day since? No. We get bogged down in the duties of life and become
irritated, impatient and unappreciative. We have to admit that at times,
through our nearly 49 coupled years, we've been present but not
together! If we do not fan the flame, we take our spouse for granted. But
under the wedding canopy? Never.
Eitan and Connie
The Book of books is incredibly focused on true marital love, often as a
parallel to our relationship with God. The entire history of mankind begins
with a wedding: Adam and Eve. The end of the Holy Scriptures is also a
wedding–the marriage supper of the Lamb. The entire books of Song of
Songs (2:4;16) and Hosea (2:19; 3:1,4a,5) seize this theme. God says that
He is Israel's husband (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 31:31). Yeshua
highlights the command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and
strength as the most important of all God's commandments. In the New
Covenant the Congregation of Messiah is His Bride (Ephesians 5:23;
OK. So What?
The Revelation passage about first-love is addressing an end-times deficit
(Matthew 24:12 "... the love of many will grow cold"). Matthew 25
pinpoints the urgent need for our lamps to be full and burning when the
Bridegroom comes. This is a NOW message. Our coming King is warning us
that the natural tendency will be to passively "coast." He's exhorting
us - not only to be vigilant, but to be passionate, giving first place to
our love relationship with Him.
I want to suggest a couple of steps to fan our heart's flame for the
Lover of our soul and not just "get by."
■ Take stock. This honesty is crucial in our relationship with
the Lord. "Search me and know ... (Psalm 139:23).
■ Fan the flame by responding fully to His love initiative.
He loved us first. Be creative in spending time with Yeshua.
Converse with Him. Take walks together. Read His words as if listening to
your beloved speaking words of love and affection to you, and you back to
The outcome will be a delight for you and for the Bridegroom. And your life
will impact many (Psalm 51:12,13).