Preacher: Ken Noakes
Song of Songs is a beautiful book that millions of Christians, both single and married, have read and studied with great profit. However, for some – and in particular those not currently in a relationship – it can be difficult.
In any church family there will be folk who are single – those who have never been married and those who have been married and are now single. Due to a breakdown in relationship, divorce, death of a spouse, a struggle against same-sex attraction, or other reason, Song of Songs may push some unhappy buttons.
Sunday evening’s sermon ‘Singleness: Hopeful Contentment?’ by Simon Marshman is now available: http://bit.ly/1P6c391
‘The challenge for us is to live with an eternal perspective and a kingdom priority.’ – Simon Marshman
To be a Christian is to be someone who recognizes, more sharply and clearly than our world, that the creation story is not the end.
As early as Genesis 4 we are introduced to Lamech who took more than one wife, even the great Abraham had more than one wife and also had concubines.The Old Testament accounts report polygamy but they never hold it up as an example to be imitated. By the end of Genesis we’ve seen adultery, incest, rape, homosexual rape, prostitution – quite a bit more than we really were bargaining on.
The fall has damaged all of our relationships, especially and profoundly the marriage relationship.
The purpose of marriage is more than God bringing a man and a woman together to rule – the purpose of marriage is to bring a man and a woman together to relate sexually.
Back to Genesis. Let’s look at the flesh! The women is taken from the flesh of the man (2:21), to become flesh of his flesh (2:23) and to then join together as one flesh (2:24), naked and not ashamed (2:25) – this is sexual and deeply relational.
We can dig deeper when thinking about the purpose of marriage.
Back to our verse in Genesis – It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a helper fit for him. (Gen 2:18)
The context in Genesis 1 reminds us that male and female are made in the image of God. Should we pause and consider what this means for marriage?
What is the purpose of marriage? Why does it exist?
The Lord said, ‘It is not good for a man to be alone’; I will make a helper fit for him’ (Gen 2:18)
The common reading of this verse implies that it is not good for a man to be lonely. – as if the night life for Adam in the garden was not great and there was nothing good on Eden Cable TV! But is that all that going on here? Man needed some cheering up?
The nature of marriage has been under attack since the Fall – but particularly in the last 100 years as culture norms have challenged Biblical patterns for marriage.
Western society used to think biblical marriage was a good idea, and that divorce, adultery, pre-marital sex, cohabitation; serial monogamy and same sex marriage were bad ideas.
‘Marriage: Will It Complete Me?’ by Geoff Lin is now available: http://bit.ly/1KtR10O