Saturday, August 09, 2014

Be Fruitful and Multiply and Fill the Earth

What stirs your heart?

For me it is God’s word, my children, my family, friends, songs, and love stories. I am a hopeless romantic. I am…really. I play it off that I am not but secretly I am. My favorites are the pure, respectful, beautiful relationships. Perhaps they begin as a friendship between two who have the utmost respect for one another and then love is realized if situation permits…

Okay, so I read and watch too much Jane Austen. I admit it. But it is refreshing and so lovely. There are no half naked individuals shacking up or even inappropriate conversation or touching. The energy is electric.
“…after all that is bewitching in the idea of a single and constant attachment, and all that can be said of one's happiness depending entirely on any particular person, it is not meant--it is not fit--it is not possible that it should be so. --Edward will marry Lucy” (Auten, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London. 1811.)

Couples in the bible are a hodgepodge. I suppose that goes to show human nature. There is Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel (and Leah), Ruth and Boaz, Mary and Joseph, the bride and groom in the Song of Solomon, Lappidoth and Deborah, David and Bathsheba, Naomi and Elimelech, Hosea and Gomer, Ahab and Jezebel, Solomon and his 700 wives and 300 concubines, Aquila and Priscilla, Isaac and Rebekah, Abigail and Nabal, Sampson and Delilah, and Tamar and Er (and Onan) to name a few. Just within these mentioned there is all kinds of foolishness. Abraham had a son with the hand maiden of his wife, Sarah. Jacob meant to marry Rachel but was given Leah instead and ended up with both of them. David took Bathsheba as his own even though she was already married to another man…then he had her husband killed. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, was a prostitute. Ahab’s wife Jezebel was a very wicked woman. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines…need I say more about that one? Nabal was a “harsh and badly behaved” man and husband to Abigail. Delilah deceived Sampson who was in love with her. And both, the first and second husband of Tamar were wicked and killed by God.

I am trying to think of a marriage in scripture that is truly gorgeous! What about Adam and Eve (aside from their blatant disobedience to God), Ruth and Boaz, Mary and Joseph, and/or Naomi and Elimelech? Does the bible give enough information? The only illustration that springs to mind is Jesus and the church. I get that our marriages are supposed to reflect Jesus and the church. But I feel Jesus’ love for the church is different. The church is His bride but it is not for reproduction. It is a very deep love but not including a sexual, lustful nature. Maybe it is about so much more than procreation.
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18. ESV.)

John Piper stated the following,
In other words, Christ’s vision of the meaning of marriage was so enormously different from the disciples, they could not even imagine it to be a good thing. That such a vision could be good news was simply outside their categories.
If that was the case back then with the sober, Jewish world in which they lived, how much more will the magnificence of marriage in the mind of God seem unintelligible to the world we live in, where the main idol is self, and its main doctrine is autonomy, and its central act of worship is being entertained, and its two main shrines are the television and the cinema, and its most sacred genuflection is the uninhibited act of sexual intercourse. Such a culture will find the glory of marriage in the mind of Jesus virtually unintelligible. Jesus would very likely say to us today, when he had finished opening the mystery for us, the same thing he said in his day: “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. . . . Let the one who is able to receive this receive it” (Matthew 19:11-12)….

The most foundational thing to see from the Bible about marriage is that it is God’s doing. And the most ultimate thing to see from the Bible about marriage is that it is for God’s glory. Those are the two points I have to make. Most foundationally, marriage is the
doing of God. Most ultimately, marriage is the display of God….

Marriage is God’s doing because it was his design in the creation of man as male and female. Of course, this was plain earlier in Genesis 1:27-28, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’”

So from the very beginning the design in the creation of man, male and female, was a union that produces a world filled with God reflecting, radical disciples of God in the old testament and Jesus in the new.
( By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org. http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/staying-married-is-not-about-staying-in-love-part-1.)

A union that produces a world filled with God reflecting, radical disciples of God and Jesus. Does that describe your marriage? Does that describe mine?...

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