So, I remember the first time I read this verse with understanding. I was probably ten or eleven and so with child-like maturity, I read this verse, hesitated as my brain comprehended it, read it again and blushed, and then moved on with the story. It meant nothing to me other than the fact that I had this thought: “that’s a really strange verb to use in that context…” Yes, I was stuck on the proper use of words even then. I fell in love with nouns, verbs and adjectives in first grade and have obsessed over words ever since. But anyway, since that day, I read the bible with a keen awareness of words and how they were used. This one never left me after that day, and every time I read it, I pondered again, why ‘knew’? Maybe it was simply an act of discretion. Maybe Moses was like, “… uh … ‘Adam’ *blush* well, uh, he … um, how about this, God. How about we say, ‘Adam knew Eve.’ Surely they’ll get that, right?” While this sounds plausible, and even like something I would do if God told me to write the account, today I read it with a more mature understanding of the intimate relationship between a man and a woman, and the word ‘knew’ seems both appropriate and necessary.
I should have known my obsession with this word would eventually require me to delve deeper. What the spirit has revealed to me, I write only because I feel compelled to. Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing. But I know this is the message God has given me to publish tonight, so here it is:
It is obvious to me that every relationship in the Word, though completely true in a historical context, also serves as a symbol of how we interact with God. It is true for this one too. Every husband/wife relationship in the Bible uses the same word for their sexual relationship. “He” always knew “her.” Let’s use the relationship between Adam and Eve as Exhibit A to provide insight into how this is relevant in our relationship with God.
In the beginning, Adam saw one woman. He loved one woman. He married one woman, and then knew her. This was Eve. God constituted that sex should come after marriage, and although the Bible doesn’t discuss their marriage, I’m assuming they did things legit. After their presumed marriage, Adam got intimate with his wife. I envision a late night under the stars, with much passion between them, they consummated their relationship. They united and made things official. The two became one. Adam entered his wife and filled her with himself. He gave all of himself to her, and she received it. And then, “she conceived.” In case your wondering, I’m blushing. That was a very intimate, very vulnerable moment between them, and I feel like I’m intruding upon it. But please, bear with me. In that moment, Adam knew Eve. He was allowed to be a part of her life in a way no other man had been or would ever be. And in that moment, she conceived something inside her that was later birthed as a testimony of their intimate relationship.
I have pondered this, really, for years. Today, I came to understand the verb. More than that, today I came to understand how this particular use of the verb applies to my relationship with God.
There is a place in God, a level of intimacy that we reach with Him, where we become one with Him. The Bible talks about it. Jesus himself said, “I and the Father are One.” And he says that we are also invited into this same fellowship with God. Not that we become part of the trinity, but we become so full of God and His will becomes so much a part of our lives that we are one with God in our passion and pursuits.
There’s comes a time in our walks where we become vulnerable to God, and we allow Him to know all of us, and He fills us with Himself. And out of this relationship, out of this intimacy, we conceive His will, later to be birthed as a testimony of our relationship with Him. It all starts when we allow God to know us.
We often use the excuse that God knows everything about us to avoid telling God the innermost details of our lives. Like our hates, our fears, our sins. Of course He knows these things, but there is something to be said of telling Him. If Adam would have had x-ray glasses and used them to see through Eve’s clothes, she would have felt that a grave violation of her person. We are, of course, disregarding the fact that he had already seen her naked. That was before shame entered the picture. I can only imagine that as a woman, Eve’s privacy meant something to her. Her vulnerability to Adam was on her terms. If she did not welcome the intimacy, there would have been none. In the same way, God does not violate us. He wants us to be open with Him, but He allows intimacy to form on our terms. In other words, He patiently pursues us and waits for us to be ready to be vulnerable enough to let Him in. He’s a gentleman.
When we finally desire Him so much that we are willing to pour our hearts out to Him, He gently helps us release those things, but He doesn’t stop there. He loves us to much to leave us empty, so with our permission evidenced by our desire for Him, He fills us with Himself. He literally releases Himself into us in the form of His Holy Spirit and the Wisdom of His Word. This is when things get really exciting. We conceive! God plants His seed in us, and then something begins to grow in our lives. His Will begins to germinate inside us and eventually, we give birth to something wonderful from our God. It is not just His, it is also ours. This is ministry. This is intimacy. This is relationship with God. And it’s wonderful!