The Flame of the Lord
in the Marital Holy of Holies
“For in all the world there is nothing to equal the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the writings are Holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.” Rabbi Aqiba at the Council of Jamnia (ca. 90 A.D.).
How could such a
celebration of human sexual love
be included in the sacred canon?
Where is God in all of this?
I mean, this is explicit stuff!
How could such a celebration of human sexual love be included in the sacred canon? Where is God in all of this? I mean, this is explicit stuff!
The simple truth is that He is first and foremost present in the sexual lovemaking. Not in the lovemaking as a description of our love relationship with Him, but in the admiring, kissing, stroking, fondling, oral sex, and intercourse so poetically described. Second, He is present in the spiritual allegory. But the spiritual allegory is explained by the sexuality; the sexuality is not sanctified by the allegory. The description of passionate sensation filled lovemaking is legitimate, blessed, and a glorious gift from God in and of itself. It needs no external justification.
This book is holy because it is full of beautiful breasts well enjoyed, a moist vagina ready for sex, a hard penis glistening and flowing with pre-cum, oral stimulation of penis and clitoris, passionate lovemaking and ecstatic moaning and erupting climaxes. . . a feast of sensual delights. And because it is filled with these holy acts and images, so graphically described, it is then a worthy type of the Bride of Christ in union with her Heavenly Spouse. Only something so gloriously profound, passionately intense, and ecstatically pleasurable could adequately picture God’s spousal love for us. Again, the allegory does not sanctify the sex; the sex is delightful enough to be the allegory.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31 NASB
God created our physical being “good”, at least if Genesis is to be believed, and it is most certainly. Our sexuality is a primary part of our physicality, and it is the part of which God chooses to speak most eloquently and passionately. He doesn’t devote a whole book to our gastronomic or any other pleasures, or to the minute details of family life, or to the joys of work and a job well done. He only devotes a whole book to our sexual pleasure. Our full enjoyment of sexuality is of paramount importance to the God who wants it to be enjoyed to the full. And the Song of Solomon affirms this human sexual love in language both beautiful and clear.
Flame of the Lord
In fact, the spark of our sexual passion has its origin in God Himself. And it is an expression of the Fire of God.
Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised. Song 8:6-7 (NASB)
This sexually expressed love in all of its passion and explicitness is called “the very flame of the Lord.” Our sexual lives are a gift from and point to the God whose passion we express with our bodies, and whose pleasure we enjoy in sexual sensations and play. The more we enjoy it the more He is pleased and glorified.
This Song is more than an allegory showing God’s love for humanity. God’s love is revealed directly in the sexuality, in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. Their orgasms are an expression of the pleasure of God in His creation.
Holy of Holies
The Fire of God was manifest in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The Pillar of Fire led the Israelites through the dark of night in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21-22). It settled over the Holy of Holies when Moses entered to fellowship with God and enjoyed His Presence (Exodus 40: 34-38). Just as those who entered the Holy of Holies experienced the joy and utter rapture of God’s Presence in the Glory, so the marriage bed is a Holy of Holies where we experience physically the utter rapture of the pleasure of our God. There the Flame of the Lord is ignited and experienced in ecstasy and delight.
The fact that sexual love is a fire is also expressed in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NASB) when it says “it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” In marriage the fire of God can burn most brightly and have its most glorious expression.
Just imagine – the fire of our sexual passion is ignited by the very Flame of the Lord God Himself in the Holy of Holies which is the marital bedroom. The Flame of the Lord is there in the sex alone. Not just there in the spiritual simile, but in the sex alone. The glorious sensations I feel rising in my erection leading up to and during the pleasurable spasms of climax is an expression of God’s delight.
But so holy is our physical delight that it does also spiritually express His. Yes, our passion reveals and manifests and expresses His for His Church; our joy in sexual union expresses His at being one with His Bride.
Again, the fiery passion I feel is ignited by the very holiness of the Flame of the Lord. The Flame of the Lord that is so strong that in spite of all that may oppose it, water cannot put it out for “waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it.” My erection literally becomes his candlestick; my moment of climax becomes His flame. And this also speaks to the fact that will ever quench God’s love for us. What could be more glorious! We may never look at sex the same way again. Hallelujah!
Sexual Lovemaking is Worship
In the early versions of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer part of the marriage vow said,
“WITH this ring I thee wed,
with my body I thee worship,
and with all my worldly goods I thee endow:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
The Holy of Holies was a place of worship and communion with God, and the bedroom is the Holy of Holies of the Marriage. It is good for us to realize that our self giving act of worship with our bodies in the sexual pleasure of marital lovemaking - where a husband is focusing more on giving to her not taking from her - is also a Spirit-filled act of worship unto the Lord our God, and a moment of intimate communion with Him. The very Fire of God anoints that worship.
The Pleasure of God in Being God
John Piper, a renowned pastor, writer, and self-described Christian Hedonist, wrote a book called “The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God.” I just love that title.
If the marriage bed is a sexual Holy of Holies where the Fire of God burns brightly in erotic excitement and conjugal union, then our solitary moments of masturbation when we simply enjoy being ourselves, and experience the pleasure of our own bodies, must surely be a perfect picture of our great God who takes such vast pleasure in simply being Himself. This, if nothing else, sanctifies the experience of this gift from God. My times of solo sex display and express God’s pleasure at being God. He does not “need” us; He is complete within Himself. All by Himself our God is a consuming fire. While spousal union is sublime, we do not “need” anyone else to express the “Flame of the Lord”, we can do so ourselves. Yes, we desire our mates just as God desires union with His Beloved. But again, He is complete within himself. When we with pleasure stroke our way to the joy of climax we beautifully express God’s great self-existent joy. The Flame of God burns brightly during our times of self pleasuring. Not only may we never look at spousal sex the same way again, we may never see solo sex the same way either!
Perhaps this is why God made Adam first, left him alone for a season, caused him to discover the sensations of self-pleasure, and only then gave him a mate. God is eternally self-existent. We exist first as individuals and though we become one with our spouses we never cease to be solitary individuals, and nor should we. Our self-pleasuring is not just a vital part of our individuality; it is an essential and fundamental expression of that individuality. And as an expression of God’s eternal self-existence, it is a beautiful thing indeed.
And knowing that our solitary sexual pleasure expresses God’s great pleasure at being God, we can then use our times of stroking and climax as an act of worship to He whose pleasure our orgasm expresses. God is there in our marriage, and there in our masturbation. Praise be to His Holy Name.
If married couples most eloquently express the joy of their union in spousal sex, we most eloquently express the joy of our individuality in our enjoyment of solo sex. It is all part of God’s picturesque plan.
Let the Fire of God’s burn brightly!
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Christians Enjoying Nudity and Erotica
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.