The Sanctity of Relational Intimacy
In his article, “The long, legal jihad against natural marriage”, Robert Knight, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union, writes, “the U. S. Supreme Court is widely expected to declare a constitutional right to same-sex ‘marriage’” in late June, 2015. “The drive to radically redefine marriage didn’t happen overnight. It’s the rotten fruit of the sexual revolution’s march through the institutions, along with 50 years of court rulings that pushed atomistic individualism at the expense of the family.” Knight continues by recounting “the culture cut loose since the 1960s from its Christian underpinnings”; SCOTUS “[finding] a ‘right to privacy’ in the…
‘penumbra’ [i.e., ‘the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object’; dictionary] of the Bill of Rights, largely based on the sanctity of marriage” in 1965; extending this “’right of privacy’ beyond the marital relationship” to permit the sale of “contraceptives to unmarried people” in 1972; approving Roe v. Wade in 1973 based on the “right to privacy” ruling; making “marriage irrelevant on the most momentous decision—the taking or preserving of a human life…by striking down…laws requiring spousal consent before and parental consent before a minor’s abortion” in 1976; “[vacating] a…law [barring] the sale of contraceptives to 15-year-olds and younger” in 1977; “[ruling] that [a] state’s marriage law violated the state constitution’s equal protection provision regarding ‘sexual orientation’” in 1993; “striking down anti-sodomy laws” in 2003; and “[striking] down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act” (enacted in 1996) in 2013.
Knight summarizes: “So now we find ourselves at the end of a long legal jihad against marriage and family, wondering whether the Supremes will declare a new ‘right’ out of whole cloth—or pull back from the legal cliff…A lot of loud voices are urging them to jump. But there is another voice, and it speaks in an entirely different language, directly to the human soul. Perhaps they will hear the one and honor His design for marriage.” (1)
A. Relational Intimacy, thus, destroyed by a “handful of people in black robes”.
1. Not all of a sudden; but drip by drip overtime, to wear down resistance to the imaginations of men.
2. Remember, too, the changes in television programming and movies toward more sexual content, so that today, queer men and women are celebrated as normal before the eyes of old and young viewers.
3. Intimacy between parents and with their children destructed so that disaggregated individualism might be constructed, with intimacy with oneself being most important…leading to hedonism.
4. Hoping that God will approve and change Genesis 2.18-25 & Leviticus 18.22. But, Numbers 23.19 remains True.
B. Balaam found Israel’s ‘achilles heel’.
1. “An Achilles heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, which can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.” (2) Vulnerability; deadly weakness.
2. Notice how satan found Balaam’s achilles heel in Numbers 22 and 23. King Balak of Moab sent for God’s prophet Balaam to come and curse the children of Israel traveling from Egypt to The Promised Land. In 22.9-14, Balaam asks God for permission to go the Balak; God says no. Balak won’t take no for an answer and, again, sends for Balaam. This time, in 22.19-21, God gives permission to go but not to curse Israel. Why did Balaam need to ask again? Did he expect God to change His mind? In 22.22, God’s anger at Balaam is evidenced by His angel seen by Balaam’s donkey and, finally, by Balaam opposing him. Balaam should have turned around but continued on, hoping that God would change His mind…about the money that was offered as reward by Balak. After all, this would have resulted in a large tithe, too! Rationalizing is what Apostle Paul would later write in 1 Timothy 6.10. In 22.36-24.14, Balaam approaches God on three different mountains hoping for His changed mind about the money, without success. Read 2 Peter 2.15 about Balaam’s achilles heel. Psalm 119.36!
3. However, while the Israelites waited to cross the Jordan River and before Moses died, the Israelites were sexually seduced by the women of Moab and began to worship the Baal of Peor with sacrifices; see Numbers 25.1-9. Jesus said, in Revelation 2.14, that Balaam “taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.” Sex is the ultimate stumbling block! Balaam lost his life because of it; Numbers 31.8. How is this like the sexual content that pervades radio, television, and movies today? A continuation of satan’s scheme. “’If it bleeds, it leads; if it’s sex, it’s next.’” (6)
C. Spirit leads Soul leads Body.
1. Apostle Paul identified that we are a trinity of spirit, soul, and body in 1 Thessalonians 5.23. That is, our spirits determine the things that our minds think about that generate actions from our bodies.
2. See this in Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5.27-28. Consider, too, His statement in Matthew 6.22-23. Your spirit tells your eyes what to look for, which can lead your body into wrong behaviors.
3. “We do know that when our eyes our open, our vision accounts for two-thirds of the electrical activity of the brain — a full 2 billion of the 3 billion firings per second — which was the finding of neuroanatomist R.S. Fixot in a paper published in 1957.” (3)
4. So, be concerned what you show to God! Remember 1 Samuel 16.7 and Hebrews 4.13. Be like Job 31.1.
5. “This life’s dim windows of the soul
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not through, the eye.” William Blake (4)
D. Breaking of Covenants.
1. Balaam’s spiritual lust for money led his mind to rationalize God’s word and, then, led him to teach Balak the strategy of sex that led to his death. Can you understand this from James 1.14-15? Romans 6.23? Numbers 32.23?
2. Balaam broke the covenant with God that made him a prophet. Covenant is inferred in Numbers 22.6c & 8a.
3. Marriage covenants between man and woman are sanctified relational intimacy because of Genesis 1.28, 9.7: God’s idea. This leads to a mother’s covenant with her children, in Exodus 2.9, and to a father’s covenant with his children, in Genesis 18.19. This, then, leads to children honoring their parents; Exodus 20.12. How can fathers, mothers, and children rationalize not doing these requirements before God? What excuse will He accept?
4. “You may have heard that ‘50% of marriages end in divorce.’ This isn’t actually true – but if you also count marriages that end in separation, it’s not that far off either.
20% end within 5 years; 32% end within 10 years; 40% end within 15 years; 48% end within 20 years.
After 3 years of separation, Caucasian women are much more likely (87%) to divorce than are Hispanic women (64%) and African American women (60%).
5. What are the chances your second marriage will end in separation or divorce? Second marriages have a much lower rate of success than first marriages. 10% end within 1 year; 31% end within 5 years; 46% end within 10 years.” (5)
What are the reasons for breaking covenants given in Matthew 13.21-23?
6. Can covenants entered into before God be disavowed? By whom? Were these made with God? How should Psalm 51.4 shape your opinion? What was David’s sin?
E. How not to commit adultery.
1. Does Jeremiah 13.10 express the essence of all adultery?
2. What impact do demons have upon relational intimacy? Home? Work? Family? Friends? Church? See Hosea 4.14, 5.4. What does harlotry/prostitution in Proverbs 29.3 have to do with wisdom?
3. How were satan’s temptations of Jesus in Matthew 4.1-11 a temptation to harlotry? What do you learn from Jesus’ response?
4. How did His words bind and defeat the spirit/demon of harlotry/adultery?
5. What should we learn from Jesus’ example? How does this explain John 16.33?
6. How does Jesus’ example illustrate ‘to abide’? Why did Jesus use ‘abide’ so many times in John 15.1-11?
7. Contrast self-control in Galatians 5.22-23 with Proverbs 25.26 & 28. How does this relate to ‘abiding’?
8. Consider David’s advice about the foundation for all relational intimacy in 1 Chronicles 28.9 & 29.19a. How is John 8.31-32 like Psalm 119.11, 72?
9. Why is Deuteronomy 17.18-20 a good idea for you, too? Presidents of all organizations? All leaders ?
10. My suggestion for building your defenses against adultery is to read one of the 22 sections of Psalm 119 each of the first 22 days of each month for the next year. For the remaining eight or nine days, read the first eight or nine chapters of Proverbs. This will help you to follow Paul’s advice in Ephesians 6.11.
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015. www.sozoclass.com.
(1) http://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/robert-knight/2015/05/26/the-long-legal-jihad-against-natural-marriage#.VWTq0GDasUU. Robert Knight: http://theacru.org. (2) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles’.heel. (3) Www.imagethink.net. (4) Www.goodreads.com. (5) Www.avvo.com. (6) Communicating for Life, Quentin Schultze, 2000, p. 102.