The Real “Naked Truth”

Truth has fallen on hard times in recent decades. If there is one thing people in our culture want more than anything else it is to live in any way they choose – yet experience no adverse consequences for doing so. However, while we can choose to live in a way that ignores truth, we cannot choose to be free from the consequences of doing so.

I was reminded of this disconnect with regard to sex when I read a poignant article called “My ‘Naked’ Truth.” It is the account of a 59 year old woman who was rejected as a sex partner by the 55 year old man she met on the internet, and had known only a short while, because he thought her body was not attractive enough.

The woman rightly pegged the guy as a shallow jerk but what’s missing is a recognition of her own beliefs that contributed to the disappointing outcome. Sex, as does all of  God’s creation, has a purpose. Sexual intercourse is designed to be the ultimate expression of intimacy between a man and a woman and as such is reserved for the commitment of marriage. It is more than just a physical act, it is an act of both physical and spiritual oneness.  Phil Ryken describes it this way:

Sexual intercourse is the covenant cement that is designed to unite one man and one woman for life. But when sex is shared with the wrong person, at the wrong time, or for the wrong purpose, the wrong things get attached. After the bodies uncouple, souls are torn apart, and the best and deepest intimacy is squandered.

This woman was expecting to find the same oneness, acceptance, and intimacy in sex with a virtual stranger as can be found in sex with a life-long committed partner. It simply does not work that way. It is no accident that the biblical euphemism for sexual intercourse is “to know” the person. Sex, however, is the culmination of knowing someone, not the method of knowing someone.

This woman’s expectation that her short-term uncommitted boyfriend treasure her and be intimate with her in every sense of that word – in short, act like her husband – was just as misplaced and shallow as his expectation that his sex partners all be young and nubile.

God’s design for marriage, sex, everything is perfect. When pursued within the boundaries set by our Creator, sex is a wonderful thing. However, when we use it however we want, God’s design be damned, we should not expect to reap the benefits associated with its proper use. Truth can be ignored but the consequences of doing so cannot.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. – Galatians 6:7

 

 

Does God Orchestrate All Things that Come to Pass?

Does God Orchestrate All Things that Come to Pass?

Does God orchestrate all events? By that I mean all events, not just the “biggies.” No Christian I know suggests God did not orchestrate things like the Flood, The Plagues of Egypt the birth of Christ, the crucifixion of Christ, etc. However, many balk at the idea that He orchestrates everything, even the mundane events of life for His purposes.

However, the Bible is fairly bursting with not only the teaching that God orchestrates all events but with examples of Him doing so. One such example is in I Samuel, chapter 9.

Just prior to this chapter, Israel’s last judge, Samuel, has become old. He’s put his sons in charge and they are corrupt as Eli’s sons had been a generation earlier. As a result of this and the people’s hardness of heart, they ask Samuel to give them a king so they can be ruled like the nations around them.

God tells Samuel to warn the people what that will mean for them but instructs him to give them what they want. We then come to chapter nine.

Several donkeys of a well-to-do man named Kish have run away. Kish instructs his son Saul and one of his servants to go look for them. Saul and the servant set out but have no luck finding them. They go from town to town, province to province, but no donkeys. Finally when they reach the district of Zuph, Saul suggests to the servant that they turn back. He’s concerned that his father will stop worrying about the donkeys and begin worrying about them if they stay gone much longer.

However, the servant just happens to know that there is a prophet in the town they are near. He suggests they consult with the “man of God” and see if he can help find the donkeys. Saul agrees.

As a result of all these events they are walking along the road exactly when and where God had revealed to Samuel he would find God’s chosen king for Israel.

Why did the donkeys run away? Why did Saul’s father send his son and not just some servants to look for the donkeys? Why did he choose this particular servant to go with Saul? Why did they take the route they took to look for the donkeys? Why did the servant suggest they check with the “man of God,” rather than just accede to his master’s wishes?

One one level the answer is because of the volition of the creatures, whether donkeys or men. They made real choices within time and space. But, on another level we must say because God orchestrated the events to happen just as they did. No differently than He orchestrated the birth of Christ and death of Christ at just the right times (Galatians 4:4, Romans 5:6). We don’t understand how those things work together – how men and women make real choices for which they are responsible yet all things that come to pass are the plan and purpose of God. But, the Bible consistently teaches both are true (see also Acts 2:23).

So does God orchestrate all things? Yes, and I’m thankful He does. If it were otherwise, we’d be at the mercy of the decisions of the creation rather than of the Creator and in whose hands would you rather rest?