Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Separate In Form but Equal In Image {Part 2}

continued from previous post...click here.

So now we know what God intended for sex and marriage to be before the fall. How does this change after the fall? Or does it change at all? Before we get to the eating of the sin fruit I want to clear up a few things.

In the last blog we talked about the male and female aspect of God. That both male and female were created in his image. That I believed the female aspect of God is the Holy Spirit. {You may want to read the last blog if you are confused.} What I want to be clear on is that when we worship God we worship God. That is to say we do not worship His male or female aspect in body but in spirit. God is not part god and part goddess. God is God. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. None of which now have a bodily form. They are spirit. That is why God was and still is against graven images or idols. It is making gods or goddesses into bodily form and then worshipping them. It is not right. So take comfort in knowing that God has both male and female aspects but worship God; not male or female.

I also want to clear up the notion of there being no sexual activity in Eden. I do not believe that the act of having sex started after the fall. I believe that Adam and Eve had sex before the fall not only for procreation but for pleasure as well. This notion that sex as God intended has to do with carnal knowledge is silly. Let me tell you why. Let's look again at the creation of Eve.

"23 And the man said 'Now at last this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.' 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed." Genesis 2:23-25

You just read the first marriage and act of sex in history. Adam is presented Eve. Adam speaks his marriage vows in verse 23. Then it is back to the narration describing the marital sex that Adam and Eve were having in verse 24. It says "For this reason". For what reason? For woman? No. The reason is marriage{leave and cling} and sex{become one flesh}. Verse 25 states that the whole thing is of God and to his glory; including their naked bodies. The Hebrew word Eden means pleasure for goodness sake.  So I am sure that in Eden there was the pleasure of marital sex!  Remember in the last post? The marriage bed is undefiled {Heb. 13:4}. Another clue is after Adam and Eve leave the garden.

"And Adam knew his wife Eve; and she conceived and bore Cain." Genesis 4:1

The Hebrew word for know or knew is yada. The same Hebrew word is used with the tree of knowledge. I think this is where the misunderstanding comes that the knowledge of sex came from sin. But it is quite the opposite. In the Hebrew there are different ways to say "have sex". The two most common are "to know" or "to lie with". Now it is my understanding that the word yada {to know} is only used to suggest intimate knowledge. Meaning not new. It is the term for sex that means legitimate possession. In other words when Adam and Eve left the garden they were married and had already known each other intimately. If there is still any doubt it should be cleared in discussing the fall.

God laid out the terms of sex and marriage prior to the fall. In the last blog I pointed out five things in respect to this. This is what was explained by God to Adam and Eve before the fall.

1} two opposite, separate yet equal images of God

2} those two people leave their households to be joined together before God

3} those two people are now allowed to be one in flesh and spirit in sexual union

4} those to people are to be fruitful{of the Spirit} to one another and multiply humans

5} those two people are to take dominion, subdue and replenish the earth

Now how did the fall change this? or did it change? We read of the first marriage and the first act of sex. Now we will read of the first sin and the first marital fight. God had told Adam before Eve was created not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore it was his responsibility to tell his wife. When Eve is in fact talking to the serpent or devil it sounds as though she has some understanding of the rule. But Eve was deceived by the devil, lusted after what the devil offered{which is always a lie} and sinned by taking it. Adam also sins by eating the fruit.

Now notice that the punishment of the sin has to do with what Adam and Eve already knew of. Adam had been placed in the garden to "work it and take care of it" {Gen. 2:15}. Now because of sin the working and the taking care of will be laborious and hard. Likewise Eve {as we have already discussed} had been told of the fruitfulness of her womb. She had an understanding of sex and reproduction. But now because of sin conception and birth would be laborious and hard. You you see again that they had understanding of sex and its purpose. God would not tell you of a punishment regarding how your body works if you didn't already know how it works. Now the big kicker for most people is what God says next.

"...and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16

Let's first of all look at the Hebrew word used here for rule. The Hebrew word is mashal. Mashal is also translated as govern. It means to make like, to assimilate derived from that of judging or forming an opinion. It is different from the harsher Hebrew words used for dominion or subdue. So from what I understand govern is a better fit. Govern gives more of a sense of horizontal and just rule as opposed to vertical oppressive rule. I think this also stays more in line with what God had intended for the marriage relationship; that is separate but equal.

Now what about "your desire shall be for your husband"? Well what had been the desire of Eve a couple of verses earlier? The fruit! She had strayed from the desire for her husband and the image of God there in, for the lie and slander of the devil. So I believe that what God was saying was a reminder of what he had already told the newly married couple. I would translate something like this..."Eve you need to be looking to your husband for love and fulfillment. And Adam you need to be stepping in or governing when Eve is in danger of sinning. This is a partnership. Desire one another and govern each other."

The Hebrew word for desire used in the above verse is teshuqah. It is different from the word that describes Eve's desire for the fruit. One is lustful the other is passionate. Teshuqah means to long for or stretch out for. It is only used in the bible three times. Twice in Genesis and once in Song of Solomon.

"I am my beloveds, and his desire is toward me." Song of Solomon 7:10

This is the verse that really sums up what God had intended for marriage. Now the desire is matched by the husband. In marriage you belong to someone other than yourself. So in that you allow the governance of someone other than yourself. Your desire for that person is reciprocated. It is about relationship. It is not one rulering over the other. It is not ownership. It is not one being more God like than the other. It is the two images of God coming together. Separate but equal. Desiring one another and desiring God.

Next we will look at how this carries over to the New Testament. Click for next post.


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