“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Psalm 103:1
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. For He has done great things, He has done great things, he has done great things. Bless His holy name.
I love Him so. I Love Him so. I love Him so. Bless His holy name.
Lord Jesus, You are awesome in power and You are good. You are God. I am yours, and You are mine. I praise You and give You honor. There is no other beside you. You are love and You are just. Your name is mighty. I magnify You; You are holy. Blessed be your name. You are my God and I seek you earnestly. My soul thirsts for You God; my flesh yearns for You. I have seen You in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary; I have seen Your power and Your glory. Your loving kindness towards me is better than life, and my lips will praise You. I lift my hands in Your name. You satisfy my soul, and with my mouth, I offer up joyous praise to You. You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings, I sing for joy. My soul clings to You, Lord; Your right hand holds me up. I am safe in Your arms. You are holy; there is no God besides You. You rule and reign in power and authority over all things. My life is in Your hands Lord. Take my heart and transform it by the renewing and restoring of my mind. You are my God and I love You.
Esther’s Bride Price
Joshua leaned back and looked up into the tree. He knew he loved Esther, but to take her as his bride would be an undertaking. She would not be hard to love because his heart had already opened to her. He had fallen in love with her one day as he watched her caring for his younger siblings. She was so small and delicate. He had wanted to hold her in his arms many times, but refrained out of respect.
Esther was kind and thoughtful, a hard worker, and good-natured. To an outsider, she looked as though she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders, but to Joshua, she was beautiful. He could see deep beauty beneath the surface of her large, dark eyes.
Could he win her love? She didn’t seem to want to allow anyone in; how could he persuade her to open to him? He longed for a deep, intimate open and honest relationship, but would her heart accept his love?
Before he could begin pursuing her, Joshua knew his father would expect him to follow the Jewish tradition and begin to negotiate the bride price with her father, which was also his father. He knew the bride price would be high because Joseph was like any other father who placed great value on his daughter. Because of her past, Joshua knew Joseph would be extra protective. Joshua knew his father well enough, to know he would not lower the price just because he was his first-born son.
Joseph interrupted Joshua’s deep thoughts when he spoke. “Son,” he said. “Are you ready to begin negotiations for Esther’s bride price?”
Joshua took a deep breath before answering. “Yes, Father, I am ready.”
Joshua was not prepared for the price his father required. He had never heard of such a high price; it was enormous. It would take everything he had.
The Bride Price
There are several reasons why a Jewish father would set a high bride price.
It showed honor to his daughter because the price was high enough to require sacrifice. The high price showed her value as a bride. It told the daughter she was highly valued by her father.
The high bride price was compensation to the father for raising a girl who did not work as strenuously in the fields as her brothers. The bride price was set to repay him for loss of farm labor.
A man who was willing to pay a high bride price knew the kind of lifelong commitment he was making; once the groom had made the sacrifice and commitment to pay the price, the father of the bride knew he would be totally and completely devoted to the marriage relationship with his daughter.
Rebekah is Chosen for Isaac
Genesis 24: 10-27, 32-33, 49-53
The time had come for Abraham to choose a wife for his son, Isaac. Abraham was too old and frail to make the journey back to his family’s homeland; therefore, he commissioned his most trusted servant to go and choose a wife for Isaac. Eliezer, the servant, gathered together a variety of Abraham’s expensive material possessions to take with him on the journey because he knew he would need to have enough to pay the required bride price. Abraham’s family was prosperous; Eliezer knew the bride price would be high.
Worth Far More Than Rubies or Gold
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” Proverbs 31:10
The word, worth, used in this verse is derived from the Hebrew word, “meker,” (meh’-ker) or “makar” (maw-kar), which means “pay, price, to sell as merchandise, as a daughter in marriage, to surrender, to sell away.”
I know. The thought of selling a daughter is absurd; however, because Jesus has purchased us with His blood, please stay with me as I continue with this concept.
The wife, or bride, described in Proverbs 31, came with a high bride price. This meant she was highly loved and honored by her father. According to the virtues listed in Proverbs 31:11-31, she was a priceless resource for her husband.
God, the father, set out to choose a Bride for His Only Son, Jesus. A Bride who would own all the character traits and qualities that would bring Him honor and glory. A Bride who would be the result of His love.
He found her. He chose you.
Then, the Father set the highest imaginable price for your Groom to pay; He sacrificed His life and paid with His blood. Your price took all that he had. Because He chose to pay such a high price for you, He is totally and completely devoted to you. There is nothing you can say or do to earn His love. He loves simply, because You are His chosen Bride.
What does it mean for you to know you have been chosen by God to be the Bride of His One and Only Son? Come! Let’s share!
You are deeply loved,