Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Itch Inside

In jest it was once said that love is an itch inside that you can't get to, to scratch.

That seems to be a valid assessment for all that have loved understand that itch, the need to scratch it, and the failure to be able to!

Inside every person is an itch, not for one of the opposite sex, but an itch for spiritual communion - divine love.  We all have a longing inside which is that itch for love.
Psalm 73:25 "My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word."                
 Psalm 42:2 "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?"      
Psalm 63:1 "O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water."
King David said these words, but they are there representative of us all. David loved Bathsehba but he was in love with God. His love for the woman was erotic, but for God agape. That type of love is longing for a relationship between the created and the Creator. It is part of man's makeup, and only sin can pale that craving. You see, temptation is the blanket which snuffs out the longing for God and replaces it with self-love. Sin is when all the divine oxygen is depleted and the fire is put out.

David looked on Bathsheba in all her splendor and came to know here intimately. His arousal was satisfied but his quest for love was not. After he knew Bathsheba, God tugged at his heartstrings, and David longed for God. Bathsheba never satisfied that itch in David's heart, but God could. David knew that the only way to satisfy that itch - true love, was to sacrifice himself - his own desires, to please God. Psalm 51 is his testimony to that affect.

Man's purpose is to love. We were all born with the desire to intimately know our Creator, not in an erotic sense but a divine. That itch is always there and only a life devoted to sin can overpower that longing. When that happens, the sinner is reprobate. There is never a possibility to satisfy that longing, and damnation is the outcome. I believe that some people even die with that longing but pleasure has priority. Bathsheba was a distraction for David. Pleasure with her overpowered his longing for God. But when he had her, the itch was satisfied physically for her but he still longed for God. It might be that the forbidden fruit was desire for sexual intimacy, and that sex was intended only for multiplication. Indeed, David ate of the forbidden fruit, and like Adam, God covered his sin!

For men, and maybe women, longing for sexual intimacy is our thorn. Most people are not satisfied with one bite of the fruit but must have many. Like that tree in the garden, although Adam and Eve had all the herbs and fruits they needed - being allowed to eat from all the other trees, they both wanted this particular tree because its fruit was more grand. We are all born with that same plague. We want more than we have, and our inclination is to claim it at all costs just as David did. We are no better than David if we act on the beautiful fruit on forbidden trees. The danger is that we may satisfy the longing for God by being blinded by eros love, and in essence, erotica is the desire to satisfy the self, but agape is to commune with God. The former is self-centered and the latter relational.

For those pursuing the opposite sex, eros is distracting because it appeases the longing inside which we have for a divine relationship with self-satisfaction. Indeed, Paul recognized that when he said it is better not to marry:
1 Corinthians 7:1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."
Paul knew that desiring women interfered with love of God, but he knew that we all have that itch which we must scratch even though the scratching never satisfies. It doesn't because only our itch for God can meet that need. However, he  allowed that men could marry rather than fornicate. Rather than itching for one, God wants us to be satisfied with a wife, or husband for the other gender.

Strangely though, he speaks also of fornicating against Him! When we desire the opposite sex, our longing for God is put on the shelf unless it is a spiritual marriage where both parties have God as their first love. When I met my wife, one of the first things I said is: "I put God first. Are you okay with that?" Of course, I always did not live up to that because of my flesh, but my spirit was willing.

When David took Bathsheba he already had many wives and concubines, but he still had that longing in his heart. A cry for love intended for God may have been answered by the temptress. Fornication is never satisfying but many still do it! David did but was left dry:
 Amos 8:11 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD."
That famine was directed at the nation of Israel, but it is meant to be personal, and for the world as well. I have written several times about France and why they are now reading my blog. I have studied their history; they have sought other gods and even the unknown God. Their cup is empty. They are undergoing a spiritual famine in that they need to hear the words of the Lord!

France is attempting to satisfy that itch. For years they were a hotbed of Christianity but now are far removed from what is biblical and true. They must get that itch satisfied, I believe, or they will still thirst for God. They are actually ahead of America which still fornicates with the ghost of Marx.
John 4:13 "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; 14  but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.'"
 This water in the above passages was well water from the world. Jesus suggested living water which brings eternal life. It is His own blood which he offers, and whoever drinks of it, symbolically of course, shall live forever. Ironically, mankind's itch is really to live forever - it's our way of preserving the god of self. However, God understands and sent Jesus to save our weak little god - ourselves. Only Jesus satisfies, and he scratches that itch.

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