I’ve been doing a lot of research these last few days on pornography and related issues, as part of preparing a presentation that we are going to be offering to local youth groups. “We” being the abstinence and relationship education program that my local PRC operates, and that I help with.
As part of that research, I was digging deeper into God’s design for sex, allowing me to see just how much of a counterfeit porn is, and how insidiously it robs us of intimacy and real relationships.
In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says that “Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.”
Did you know that the word “knew” there is “yada” in Hebrew? As I researched, I discovered that “yada” means to know, to be known, to be deeply respected. It denotes a sense of deep intimacy and attachment, not just physically but emotionally as well. It often comes as an outflow of a covenant.
Of course, pornography has none of that. There is no knowing, no respect, no intimacy, no emotional anything, no covenant. And it rewires the brain, so that real intimacy and relationship become very challenging. Praise God, He can redeem and restore even in that.
But I digress. As I was researching the word “yada”, I found another beautiful place where it’s used:
“Be still and know (yada) that I am God.”
It caught me by surprise. As I’d dug into the beauty of God’s design for sex and marriage, I must confess that there was a part of me that was rather sad at the reality that God hasn’t yet given me that beautiful gift of knowing and being known in marriage. And then He showed me that verse.
He invites me to know Him. Intimately. He’s brought me into covenant with Him. He knows me, He loves me, He chose me, He delights in me. He calls me to fully recognize who He is and who I am in relationship to Him. And He “yada’s” me. Look at this other verse where I found “yada”:
“O Lord, You have searched me and known (yada) me.
You know (yada) my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know (yada) it altogether.”
Psalm 139: 1-4
I may not be married or have an intimate relationship with a man, but I have something far better. An intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe, who knows me completely, in a way that is impossible in a human relationship. I am invited to explore His depths, to know His love, to know HIM, and though I’m limited in that knowledge this side of heaven, I will one day see Him face to face and know Him fully, just as I also am known.
Now, to be very clear, God is not our “boyfriend” and we’re not married to him in a regular human sense or anything like that. Let’s not get weird with this. But let’s also be careful not to underestimate the incredible gift we have in being brought into relationship with God.
I want to know God more. I want to count all things loss for the sake of knowing Him. I want to know Him not with head-knowledge, but experientially. I want to rejoice in the fact that I am a daughter of the King, that He knows me fully yet loves me fully. I want to be like Him. You, too?
Look at this familiar passage, in a different version (AMP), which perhaps will allow the words to sink a bit deeper:
“For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11
That’s a knowing that is worth doing. Worth giving up everything for. Join me? I’ll close with this final verse:
“And those who know (yada) Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10
May God bring you into a rich, intimate knowledge of Himself, and may you trust Him fully. He will never forsake you, never betray you, never stop loving you. May God bless you along this journey of seeking Him!