Though most pastors, if not down-right steering clear of the Song of Solomon, or at least treading VERY carefully through it ( 'tiptoeing through the tulips', so to speak ), this beautiful book ( of poetry? ) is revered as one of the most beautiful love letters ever written. Of course, it is doubtless avoided by many for its almost x-rated language & almost uncomfortable graphic license. Reading this lovely book, one should understand that, positioned in almost the center of the Hebrew Scriptures as it is, it is a love story, not simply about King Solomon & his lover, but one that is an encapsulation of the Story of Israel & Yahweh's love for Her. But that's not what I'm here to talk about; I'm here to talk about sex!
It almost goes without saying ( ? ) that in order for creation to occur, sexual intercourse must happen. You may wonder where I'm headed with this, especially in reference to creation, because we've all been taught, especially as Christians, that 'God', ex nihilo, ( 'out of nothing' ) created the heavens, the earth & everything that we see, even what we don't. This is not necessarily wrong, biblically speaking, although careful study has revealed that the creation accounts in Genesis 1 & 2, rather than speaking simply of the creation of the material universe, are referring to the institution of a covenant of marriage between Israel & the Creator God, known as Yahweh to the Hebrews. Whatever the case may be, whether the Creator God did indeed speak the worlds into existence, or whether the Universe, as some refer to the Source of All, simply has always been, eternally existent, one thing should be very clear, none of what we see in the material world came about by accident: two Forces had to come together in order to create what is!
The miraculous Story we read in the first pages of the Gospel accounts of Matthew & Luke, respectively, relates how a certain young woman named Mary was chosen to be the Mother of the Christ, or Messiah of Israel. According to the Story, or at least the clear inference, is that Mary conceived the Child who would be the Christ, without having had sexual intercourse with a man. While this may or may not be totally accurate, Scripture makes very clear that the Holy Spirit of the Creator God overshadowed ( 'came upon' ) her & she was found to be 'with child' ( pregnant ), not having been intimate with a man. As the case may be ( many battles have been fought over this ), whether one believes that this actually transpired or not, it should be noted that such doctrine could lend credence to the belief that the 'giants' of Genesis 6 & elsewhere were the offspring of fallen angels ( devils, demons ) & female human beings!
It is entirely possible, of course ( please don't get me wrong) that the Creator God bypassed His own Laws of Nature in order to present the Perfect Seed, the Scion of Zion & I'll let the reader take it from there, if he or she so wishes. The point to be taken here is that, even though Scripture 'plainly' reveals these 'truths' to us, we must remember first, that we as 21st Americans ( English ) are endeavoring to comprehend an Ancient Hebrew document & two, that this document is written in an apocalyptic style to reveal certain truths using symbolic & hyperbolic language. In other words, though it seems, to our Western eyes in particular, to be speaking of the creation of the material universe, it is primarily a covenant document, relating the proposal of the Creator God to His Creation. But, as usual, I digress.........
By now, many of my readers are no doubt wondering, 'what has all this got to do with 'Mother Earth'? Well, I'm glad you asked! Keeping in mind, of course, that we have in our hands a Covenant Document, primarily about the relationship between Creator & Created, we should note that there IS universal creation being cursorily referred to, in the background, so to speak. In the first chapter of Genesis, we read, ' '. We should note, looking back at the very first verse or so ( of Genesis 1 ) how similar the language of Creation is to the Announcement to Mary, as related earlier; ' ' One could almost read here, in the manner of Scripture ( Genesis 25:21, Deuteronomy 7:14, II Kings 2:21, Psalm 113:9, ( Isaiah 54 ) et al ) that the earth was 'barren'. Whatever the case, clearly, the earth produced seed, much as the Virgin Mary produced THE Seed!
Though scientists now think they have found a particle that seems to be capable of ex nihilo creation ( 'where did that particle come from?' ), it is a scientific fact that two forces must work together in order to produce ( there ARE exceptions to this rule ). Thanks to Science & Technology, we now have artificial insemination, where the female, human or animal, need not be penetrated by a male in order to produce, but the seminal specimen from the male is still necessary to the fertilization of the egg. To my knowledge, no scientist has figured out how to fertilize an egg without the sperm from a male.
Something doesn't come from nothing! Certain scientists may theorize & we may speculate ( 'have faith?' ) till we're blue in the face, but when it comes right down to it; 1 + 1 = 2, 0 + 0 is 0: no matter how hard we try, 0 + 0 will never equal 1 ( though I'm sure it's been theorized ). A woman must have a certain part ( or parts ) of a man enter her uterus in order for there to be conception; that's the simple truth of the matter! Whether the Creator God artificially inseminated the Virgin when He 'overshadowed' ( hovered over ) her, or whether he simply 'spoke the Word' as in the Beginning, it should be very clear that there is more to the Story than meets the eye.
For many Christians today, this seminal subject is a rather uncomfortable topic of conversation, if not almost downright taboo! Like some pastors seem to avoid an in depth examination of the Song of Solomon, so many Christians seem to avoid this most seminal of subjects. Whether we're talking spiritually, psychically, or biologically, this subject of subjects cannot be avoided if we would get to the heart of the matter!
Throughout the Scriptures, both Hebrew & Greek, if one is willing to accept it, the concept ( of sexual intercourse ) is hidden in plain sight, if one is but willing to look & accept it. The heavens & earth were conceived in this way, just as Jesus the Messiah was. Pretty much every one of the prophets, to one extent or another, wrote about Yahweh's love for His people, sometimes using language that would make one blush if they really thought about it. Maybe I have a dirty mind, but if we knew more about Hebrew idiomatic expression, I'm pretty sure that we'd be a little red-faced when reading certain portions of Scripture. As the case may be though, the Story of Israel, as with any story with a beginning, would never have gotten off the ground without sex!
Humanity was engineered for sexual intercourse, let's make no bones about that! As the Scriptures say, in the words of wise King Solomon, ' '. In certain situations, wisdom tells us that we should not engage so ourselves, but in the right context, sexual intercourse is the most beautiful & glorious act of worship that we, as human beings can perform!
Charles Haddon Shank