There’s a great verse regarding spiritual intimacy in Jeremiah 9:23-24:
This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.
Riches? Nope. Wisdom? Nuh-uh. Strength? Not a chance. If you’ve got to boast about somehting, it should be that you understand and know the Lord. That word “know” is an interesting one. In fact, when you start scanning through the various meanings, you get a ton back. For example, the context can indicate:
– learning (Isaiah 29:11-13)
– hunting (Genesis 25:27)
– lamentation (Amos 5:16)
– sailing the sea (2 Chronicles 8:18)
– playing an instrument (1 Samuel 16:16)
But the one that catches the eye is found, among other places, in Genesis 4:1:
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.
That’s right – the word used to describe sexual intimacy is applied to the way we are meant to know God. That’s an extreme level of intimacy, because intimacy is what sex is all about. It’s about being naked and unashamed. It’s about consummation of passion. It’s about giving yourself wholly to another. And that’s what is offered to us in the gospel. Through Christ, we have the opportunity to walk in perfect intimacy with God; to stop knowing about Him, and to actually know Him.
That’s what, after all eternal life is all about. It’s not about streets paved with gold or reunions with dead relatives. It’s not about not needing Kleenexes any more or never having to visit a pharmacy ever again. All those things are great and all, but the real treasure of heaven is God Himself. Eternal life is about knowing Him. And because of the gospel, eternal life can be a present reality.
These truths – the reminder that sex isn’t just about a man and a woman but the relationship we are meant to have (figuratively) with God – makes pornography and casual sex all the more attrocious. As with all forms of sin, we are essentially taking God and replacing Him with something less than Himself. We are worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. It compounds the badness when you start to realize that in some way, all creation, whether zebras or sex or parenting, is meant to point us to God.