When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
This is the story. When Isaac went to Gerar, he was warmly received by Abimelek the ruler of Gerar. He looked upon Rebecca and admired her. She was a beautiful woman. Why would any king, a ruler, waste any time just looking upon a beautiful maiden? So, He took her with him. Either way, she was to be soon his wife.
I think the Lord kept Abimelek from touching Rebecca, for the bible records that Isaac had been there for a long time – Genesis 26:8b, but in that long while, Abimelek hadn’t touched her. That is absolutely God’s work!
On one particular day, Abimelek looked down through the window and saw Isaac fondling his wife Rebecca. Other translations say he was caressing her, or sporting with her, meaning that they were involved in some type of intimate activity which would not be normal for siblings.
He was stunned! “Why would Isaac tell me that Rebecca was his sister?” “Who would be fondling his own sibling?” Remember that this was a pagan king. Even with his lack of belief in the sovereignty of the Lord of Israel, he was quick to note that this wasn’t just any touch. It was not a simple flirtatious act. He knew that they must have been more than what Isaac had previously said.
Isaac, later on admitted to the King that indeed Rebecca was his wife.
Let’s pause for a while and think. How would a pagan king know that “fondling or caressing” was a couples’ domain? And not just mere couples as it is lightly scaled by the world, weighed by the standards of our finite minds, but a couple who have taken solid unbreakable vows before the Lord to be of one flesh, to leave and to cleave to each other?
Simple, the law is written in each and every person’s heart. Romans 2:15 says, “they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”
The law of God, convicts us when we are straying or stepping out of His given boundaries. He speaks to us through our conscience. Our conscience is God’s lamp! – Proverbs 20:27.
You see desire is good. God created desire.
He created hunger as a desire to satiate it with food. He created thirst to quench it with water. The same God created sexual desires. The desire for touch burns deep within each and every one of us and once we awaken those passions, there is no turning back, so he put boundaries for us.
He knew that sexual desires weren’t just mere desires, but they were like fire, good and powerful but equally destructive and scarring. It’s not that He hates the act itself, but he loathes the scars, the abandonment that one faces afterwards, because His essence is NOT OF ABANDONMENT. His disposition is OF ENDURANCE.
Sex, is the only act that makes two, as one flesh. So if it can permanently bond two as one, why would we think that it’s casual in all manner? Debasing it to self-gratification, instead of seeing the bigger picture?
Eating together, drinking together, shopping together, praying together, singing together would not bond two into one, but having a sexual intercourse would.
Before its fully expressed, the road begins with fondling, kissing and petting to awaken those very desires. The question is, why would we be quick to awaken the desires that lead us to the road of performing a life uniting act without the intent of or the depth of commitment? Isn’t that violating God’s beautiful gift?
We therefore, cannot fool ourselves that awakening those desires will be good for us.
You cannot keep fondling each other every passing day and expect nothing to happen. You cannot fan each other every day with wild kisses, heavy caresses and expect that your mind will remain in its purest of form. Thrice, the writer of Song of Solomon has warned us against awakening sexual desires before time.
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” (Song of Solomon 2:7).
There is a time for romance. There is a proper space to awaken Eros. Awakened feelings are like a blazing fire, unless the corral of married love has been built. Its strength can turn into a dreadful monster, an unrestrained beast, a god who cannot be satiated with a onetime sexual encounter.
You will want more and more. You will never get to a point of saying, “I have had enough.” It isn’t satisfied with a pleasure here or there. It grows. Your mind will be filled with sexual fantasies wondering how it would feel if only you would kiss again, touch again or probably pushed the button just further to see how you two would both react.
Outside the marital bonds, the burn cannot be contained. Inside marriage, sexual desires remind you to be servant lover. To serve the needs of your spouse first. Its burn, is fueled by unselfish grace, unmerited respect, a warm tenderness, ongoing servant-hood and mutual admiration.
In marriage, romantic love is meant to be a glue. To cleave to each other uninhibitedly. This brand of romance will lead to intimacy. The ancient word was “know” — a knowledge of another human.
Most people have never experienced this level of knowledge and the devil would rather keep more walking on superficial waters of “love.”
Those who flutter about, those who debase those feelings, will never know of its deepest melodies. The song stops, the melodies are cluttered, the beauty is tainted and the glory departs.
Outside its proper space, the grandeur of God’s gift cannot blossom to its fullest. Eros might be fueled by short excitation, but it is highly “unstable”, incompatible with marriage, an institution that is meant to be lasting no matter the time, the space or the mundane.
Do not awaken it before the time.