“My lover said to me,
‘Rise up, my beloved, my fair one, and come away.'”
Song of Songs 2:10 NLT
In the 90’s, Jerry Seinfeld popularized the term “yada” in one episode of his show, Seinfeld. Still to this day, the phrase “yada, yada, yada” is used to gloss over details of a story that the speaker doesn’t want to explicitly define.
I had no idea what the significance or meaning of that word actually was until I did some digging. According to multiple resources, Yada is a Hebrew term that has a variety of applications, but one of the core meanings describes the intimacy God desires with his people. That is “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.” Isn’t that cool?!
The only word in the English language that even comes close to this level of intimacy is sex – and look what we have done with that?! It’s become something we “have,” as though it’s a beer or a burger; it’s become merely an act of consumption. Our television commercials make money on it. Our education system teaches about it as something to wrap in rubber or run from. No wonder there is a massive epidemic of fear of intimacy in our culture today; it’s become so far from what God designed it to be.
All this leaves me desperately searching for a “reset” button. I want to know, to be known, and to be deeply respected. I want to understand God’s yada.
I found it alright – it’s called the Song of Songs. My husband and I have been reading it together for the past week or so, and it’s pretty intense! (By intense I mean that some of the verses have me blushing shades of purple.) It’s purpose, according to my study notes, is:
- To tell of the love between a bridegroom (King Solomon) and his bride,
- To affirm the sanctity of marriage, and
- To picture God’s love for his people.
As I have read through these chapters, I’ve found myself deeply refreshed and renewed not only by what an intimate human relationship should look like, but also the depth of God’s love for us. I’m not going to get into details about it because I want you to challenge you to go read it yourselves, however, I am going to share one section of verses that so powerfully display the beauty of the excitement a man has for his wife and, simultaneously, the excitement our God has for us and that we should have for him:
“Ah, I hear him – my lover! Here he comes, leaping on the mountains and bounding over the hills. My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young deer. Look, there he is behind the wall! Now he is looking in through the window, gazing into my room. My lover said to me, “Rise up, my beloved, my fair one, and come away. For the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone.” (Song of Songs 2:8-10 NLT)
Can you hear the two different voices of intimacy intertwined?
- The voice of a man returning to his beloved, calling her away with him after being apart for the winter – a beautiful reunion!
- The voice of God calling us to Heaven when we die, signifying an end to tears, heartache and pain – a beautiful reunion!
These eight chapters should be required reading for any married couple (once the kids go to bed, that is). Let it define intimacy for you. Read it with the goal of knowing God, being known BY God, and to share a deep respect. Then, bless your mate with that same gift.
Dear Lord, your creativity astounds me. Just when I believe that I have a full grasp of your depth and love and grace, you open my eyes to even more that I could ever imagine. Thank you for wanting us and allowing us to know, to love and to respect you. Let us offer this gift to each other as you have taught us. Amen.