(following comprises the final installation of the Saturday series on Secondary Illuminations of Scripture.)
In our last post, we noticed that Job as a type of Christ receives a double portion of all he had before his suffering and passes this on to both his sons and daughters. The Bible describes Job’s daughters as the most beautiful women of the land. Since the adjective used is rooted in being “bright,” “resplendent” might be a fitting poetic translation. The Bride shines with clarity and glory and all else that exists in God’s Light.
Could it be that our relational trials actually facilitate the conception, beautification, and birth of the most resplendent Bride in the land? Our shock at the pain stills us and creates moments for intimacy and formation. It provokes us to push with the anguish of intercession that Paul likened to labor (Galatians 4:19).
As we digest the experiences, we rid of the waste—critical spirits, bitterness, and ungodly anger—if not always the perplexity and pain or determination to see things changed. You could say we have manure to fertilize any forthcoming produce. Rather than a duller, more scared, and harder heart, we eventually find one that is wiser, understanding, and free. Even as a pregnant woman’s heart grows in size, we can act out of this heart in our future Body relationships, birthing something beautiful in the times of God’s favor. When we’ve experienced and redemptively processed the pain and loss of gravely abusive relationships and institutions, we become that much more appreciative, observant, and protective of the Bride’s real blessings in Christ. We become able to live these out, to explain them, and to pass their DNA on.
God has His eye on Job’s daughters. While we aren’t even told the names of Job’s seven sons, the three daughters are named. Daughters are not usually numbered, much less named, in scriptural genealogies, as reflective of the era. I’ve not found another such perfect inversion of the expectations. It calls attention to itself.
Why this disproportionate attention? I believe the names carry prophetic significance for the Bride’s growth into a perfect (three is perfect witness) partner for Christ. It is also possible that the seven unnamed sons among whom the daughters receive their portions could correspond to (a) the seven-fold Spirit of Isaiah 11:2 among which the Bride is nurtured and (b) the seven corresponding(?) lampstands or churches of Revelation (1:20; 4:5) among whom the Lord walks, awakening and calling out His perfect first love Bride.
Jemimah signifies something warm and affectionate. Since doves are known to be warm in their mating, Jemimah became a name for these birds. In the Song of Songs, doves are used to describe both the Bride and the Bridegroom’s eyes (1:15; 4:1; 5:12).
Instead of seeing a wide periphery like most birds, doves have singular focus. May we be engrossed in the One! God is going to birth singular, burning hearts in the Bride who is conceived in and birthed out of suffering. A corresponding joy is discovering that His eyes have likewise been focused on us all along.
As a warning, it is interesting to note that in Psalm 11, detractors would tempt David to flee like a dove to a mountain retreat away from the danger and trouble inherent in pressing on, in trusting that God is still in control and that the foundations of His throne go deeper than any other. The dove is as strong as where it is looking. Mountain retreats may be comforting and provide appropriate seasonal escapes, but isolation or relinquishing His call are not long-term solutions.
Job stayed the course and, in the end, looked fully and fastly at Love, not at bitterness. As we intercede for ourselves that the Dove would be formed in us and as we endure, we have more authority to call forth the same in spiritual children and to birth those who are able to exude His warmth to others. “Aunt Jemima” really is sweet!
Keziah refers to cassia, a spice often designating humility, since cassia is processed by stripping and peeling its skin. Job has been stripped down before man and God. There are few ways to so infuse our spiritual DNA with humility as by walking through suffering in soul-searching dependence on God and in empathic grace toward those who are producing or adding to our suffering (provided we don’t get self-righteous about our performance). Where our suffering is related to our sins—as when slander comes that is half deserved—it also calls us to humility through our reception of the needed rebukes and the imperfect vessels through whom these come.
Although spiritual children will surely have their own struggles and stumbles, as we model humility, we can rightfully teach and more readily replicate a healthy DNA (Hebrews 13:7; 1 Corinthians 4:15-16).
Finally, Keren-Happuch means a horn of cosmetic, particularly of cosmetic for the eyes. Horns are associated with strength and anointing, with the oil of the Spirit (e.g., Psalm 92:10). When rightly and diligently “applied,” the anointing of the Spirit beautifies us and makes us formidable to the enemy just like a bull whose eyes glare, horns positioned for goring. Our diligent “application” is to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the fruits of love. When the fruits and the anointing jointly flourish, the Bride’s eyes “pop” with this enhancement. This spiritual eyeliner makes the supernatural beauty of their hue more noticeable, the divine nature more apparent. And it is a corrective and sharpening balm to our own vision—cats’ eyes to find light and insight in the night.
This, beloved, is the Bride for whom the LORD has been waiting. He is completely overwhelmed by one glance of these eyes (Song of Songs 4:9). And it is how He already sees us.
In the midst of suffering, He teaches us how to fix our gaze with desperation on Him, strips us of what we pride in, anoints us, and cultivates His nature in us. Birthed out of suffering and restoration, the mature Bride is uniquely affectionate, humble, and beautified with His fruit. She is the double-portion heir and a perfect testimony of Him, growing in every grace as she awaits her glorification.
If in the end, Job is partially a prophetic story about how the Bride becomes resplendent, then that is an amazing motivation for going through whatever it takes. Often, the Bride is beautified through our relational suffering.
It might also be a reason to celebrate the illuminations that can sometimes be found in Hebrew and Greek names and words. And thus I sign off from this series. Let me know what you think.