I embarked on an internet search to see what people think love is NOT…Whew! There’s a LOT out there! The thing is, it doesn’t matter how many PhDs someone has, whom they work for that gives them clout, or how many people follow them. What DOES matter is if they agree with what the Author of Love…true Love…says love is…and isn’t. In the last two posts, I dug into several things God says love isn’t, according to 1 Corinthians 13. In this post, I’m looking at additional parameters. I pray God reveals something new or thought-provoking to you today in this well-traveled chapter of the Bible, as He has me…So, what doesn’t love do?!?
Celebrate or enjoy violating God’s justice or abusing God’s standards (Vs. 6). I can think of many instances in our society where God’s standards are being abused…and celebrated. What He approves is being replaced (and enjoyed) by what WE approve, what WE want, what serves US. Whether we like it or not, this isn’t what God prefers and, therefore, isn’t love!
I’ve heard different reasons why some think and believe the Bible allows for homosexuality and various gender identities beyond man and woman…and why these individuals believe Christians should emend what they teach in order to look at these topics from that point of view…one which, according to them, may show God’s nature more completely. This is a sensitive subject and one that is interpreted in various ways. Verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 13 instructs us not to abuse God’s standards, so it’s imperative that we look deeply into God’s Word to understand what His standards truly are. It’s only then that we can properly embrace a Biblical world view of this topic, making sure what we believe isn’t merely approved by us or is what we want, but it aligns with what God prefers (the definition of the Greek word, “agapé”–love–in 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4:16).
Some hold the thought (and teaching) that Scripture says God began by creating humans (male and female), but they don’t believe the Bible says these are the only two gender identities that God created in time. If we look at Genesis 1:27 (GWT), which has been included in their case, it says, “God created humans….” There is no “began” in this verse. “He created them male and female.” There are no other genders or gender identities listed as being created. “A unique feature of Biblical Hebrew is the use of the waw-consecutive or waw-conversive form of a verb in a narrative, as in these passages from Genesis. For example, in Genesis 2:7, the Hebrew word יָצַר – “yatsar,” means “to form or fashion,” and in the waw-consecutive, וַיִִּיצֶר –“and he formed.” The word in Genesis 2:22 is וַיִּבֶן – “and he built,” the waw consecutive of בָּנָה – “banah,” “to build.” The waw-consecutive is formed by the Qal imperfect of a verb with the waw prefix – ו.While the imperfect generally conveys the future, the addition of the waw converts the sentence to the past.”1 God created male and female on the 6th day of creation (Genesis 1:27-31); He didn’t create anything else between then and when the Word reads, “The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them” (Genesis 2:1 NETB).
I also find it fascinating that the Hebrew word for “male” or “man” is formed from the Hebrew word “zakar,” which means “remember.” The Hebrew word for “female” or “woman” is formed from the Hebrew word “naqab,” which means “to pierce, bore, appoint.” We see in Genesis 2:21-22 that God made a hole in Adam’s side (pierce/bore), took a rib out, closed up his flesh where He took it from, and “built” a woman into a particular form. Since “naqab” also means “appoint,” we know that God assigned women a job…a role. So, what was it, as a woman’s role in today’s society seems to be getting center stage? According to Genesis 2:18, women are:
* To be a physical helper to men. The Hebrew word for this, “azar,” means, “to help, succor” (to assist and support in times of hardship and distress).
* To correspond to men. Your version of the Bible may read, “suitable” or “complementary.” The Hebrew word is “neged,” which, in this context, means that it’s according to “what is in front of, corresponding to.” This helps us understand that women are equivalent to men in character and form, yet, in certain respects, they give more clarity to the full nature of God.
* Viewed by God as satisfactory in quality, just as man is/was.
In dissecting this meaning, it’s clear to me that if you were born a woman, the reason and way you exist, the way you look (including your shape), your small (but significant) qualities were configured not only as part of a particular group of people that God built with a purpose of helping, aiding, and supporting men, but also as a work of art, within this kind of people (Ephesians 2:10)…a visual to help others see and understand the full nature of God. I also observe, from the meanings of “male” and “female” and the Hebrew words they come from, that God’s purpose for man was to remember: 1) who created him (God), 2) that he was built/formed from the dust of the ground, 3) how and why God created woman, and 4) that his purpose is to work, guard, and protect as well as to visibly show the nature of God.
These are important factors in realizing God’s intention for the people He created.
There are some additional thoughts, relating to views about sexuality, to compare with Scripture, but I’m going to stop here, for now. Check back next post for a closer look.
Shoo! It's been a long while since I've settled in to work on the study! The LORD, however, gave me a verse yesterday to dig into. I thought it was going to be for the blog, but as I sat down and dove into the verses around it, I asked Him if it was for the study, instead. It, indeed, was; He continued to show me different connections with the theme of the study. I didn't deep dive far into it, but that wasn't His intention today. He just showed me some notes He wanted me to get started on and gave me a bit of quiet time to do so. So exciting to me!! Thank You, LORD, for directing my steps toward obedience in Your purpose for me!