By: Waylon Bailey ~
Several weeks ago I participated in a funeral service where I was blessed to hear a wonderful presentation of the song “Beulah Land.”
“Beulah Land” was made popular by a singer named Squire Parsons. It is a song about heaven.
After the service, a woman in our congregation asked where “Beulah Land” is found in the Bible?
She said, “I have looked and looked but can’t find it”.
I responded by telling her there was good reason why she has had difficulty finding the passage.
The word “Beulah” comes from Isaiah 62, specifically verse 4. The reason it was hard to find is that the name is found in only one translation, the King James version. In that verse, the KJV for some reason did not translate two Hebrew words but transliterated them, simply anglicizing the Hebrew word instead of giving its meaning. The King James version did the same with the verb Baptizo, which means to dip or dunk.
The setting for Isaiah 62 is after the return from Babylonian exile. Judah had been “forsaken” and left unprotected. Now. they would be cared for and protected (the meaning of “Hephzibah”) and married (not forsaken, the meaning of the word Beulah).
The whole point of Isaiah 62 has to do with God’s delight for Israel and his restoration of the nation. Though the nation had been through terrible circumstances, God promised to delight in Israel and to restore it in this new day.
God used the marriage picture to show how much He cared for His people. Hephzibah had been the name of King Hezekiah’s wife. The word means “the one in whom I delight.” God used the marriage picture to show that He delighted in His people and protected them. No longer would they be alone and forsaken they would be married (Beulah).
The beautiful relation between God and his bride is found also in the prophecy of Hosea. Of course, the picture is found prominently in the New Testament as well.
Marriage is a God-given covenant which pictures for us the relationship of God with his people. The beautiful, intimate relationship of a married man and woman gives us a picture of the beautiful, intimate relationship of God with the people He has redeemed.
The songwriter, of course, picked up on the wonderful, intimate relationship we have with our God. Therefore, he longs for Beulah land–a place where God is.
As we deal with our marital issues (everybody has to), let us seek to do so not simply because it’s good for us but because it glorifies God and pictures to our children and grandchildren who God really is.
Marriage–and how we carry it out–really matters.
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Have a great week!