Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 6th September 1998
From the Pastor: Three plus Four is not Seven II
"There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: the way of a man with a maid." Proverbs 30:18,19|
"The world loves a lover", we are told. The truth of that familiar adage
depends on a right conception of love, viz. a pure attraction leading to a deep
affection, and concluding with marriage. Then a full physical expression
follows that public commitment, but not before. Many are the stories, odes, and
sonnets written through history around the theme of true love. And there is a
wonderful beauty in them all, even when some stories end in tragedy.
Agur the sage marvelled at this scenario, and likened it to an eagle in the
sky, hovering (as we would explain it) on thermals, or the way a snake can
slither along a smooth rock, when we would only slip and fall. "Love makes the
world go round", goes another saying: true enough, but how does love itself
work? In recent times the scientists have weighed in, telling us that it is all
a matter of body chemistry and hormones. But they neither can nor could tell us
whether the chemistry produces the love, or the love evokes the chemistry. Thus
the ancient sage could not fathom it; neither, it seems, can we.
Meanwhile, there is the converse in the ugly filth of adultery and fornication,
as noted in the very next verse (20): for the loose woman it is no sin, but as
normal as eating a meal. But there the mystery reappears: in illicit sexual
activity beauty suddenly vanishes, and instead becomes vile and repulsive.
Wherein lies beauty? The answer is simple, for those with eyes to see: it comes
when everything is done in harmony with God's created order and according to
His revealed command. When that is violated the result is ugliness and filth.
God "has made everything beautiful in its time" (Ecclesiates 3:11), therefore
His wrath will come upon those who besmirch and defile that creation. Thus it
is necessary for us to maintain the mystique and beauty, not only of the
marriage relationship, but of all His created order by honouring all His
ordinances. Such is the fragrance of Christ Himself (2 Corinthians 2:15).