God created us for intimacy. Intimacy with God and humans. Not just any intimacy but a connection so deep that two beings become one, or echad in Hebrew. Vertical intimacy (towards God) is where we cling to Him after drawing near His Presence through worship. Worship is to God what sex is to humans. We can see this in the Scriptures that describe idolatry (worship of anything or anyone other than God) and equate it with harlotry or infidelity (see Ezekiel 16). In Genesis 2:19, Adam clings to his wife Chavah, and the two become one flesh. In the same way, when we cling to God, we become so intimate with Him that we become one spirit.
Genesis 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.
1 Corinthians 6:17: But he that is joined (clings to) unto the Lord is one spirit.
In this (last) week’s Torah Portion called Ki Tetze, we learn about seventy-four instructions dealing mostly with horizontal intimacy (between humans), or sex. Say what? I know many people are not down with anyone telling them where, when, what, or who they can have sex with. Unfortunately, we do not have a hope of drawing near to God with pride in our hearts, and intimacy with humans is tied to our ability to be intimate with our Creator.
If we study our shadow, the Hebrew Scriptures, some narratives describe how God placed boundaries around His Divine Presence. In other words, He guards His heart. One example is Leviticus chapter 10, which includes two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. These dudes tried to be intimate with the Holy One with a strange fire and uninvited. What the strange fire symbolizes is not clear, but what is clear is they pierced a God-instituted boundary, and the very Presence they wanted to be close to, consumed them. Another example is found in Numbers 16 and involves Korah and his cohorts. They attempted to draw near the Divine Presence with pride, but the earth opened up and swallowed them.
(Here is reason number 957 why I do not believe in celestial rebellions. If Priests, a mere shadow of the heavenly Cherubim, or celestial messengers, attempted to draw near the Holy of Holies on earth with pride, malintent, or outside of proper protocol and were destroyed, then how in tarnation would a Cherub in the heavenly tabernacle-one who is connected to pride-approach the actual throne of God where the Divine Presence dwells, without being utterly consumed?)
Hebrews 12:29: For our God is a consuming fire.
Intimacy with God comes through worship. It makes me think of the book titled, The 5 Love Languages, which talks about five ways for a human to feel loved. They include acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, and touch. Since God is a Spirit, we can’t touch Him, but I think we can still use the love languages as a recipe for worship. Acts of service can relate to doing righteousness and justice. Quality time is equal to prayer and studying because these are ways to abide in His Presence. Praise and gratitude are types of words of affirmation. The Scriptures say that repentance and obedience are gifts that trump sacrifices. Touch could probably be equivalent to prayer because, in a way, your breath ascends to the Heavens to connect with its origin, the Divine Breath. If intimacy is attained through worship, then we were created to worship.
In the same way, God created us for intimacy between humans. Before we get too excited, there are different types of intimacy. Psychologists agree that healthy boundaries create trust, freedom, and peace. Psychologists also state how abnormal behaviors stem from a lack of human connection or intimacy. If we are tabernacles or dwellings, I imagine God weaved boundaries into our inner beings to guard and protect our hearts. Our hearts are equal to the Holy of Holies, where that Divine Presence dwells. Sex is holy, meaning it is set apart for a purpose, the purpose being intimacy. When we make holy things common, we make their purpose ineffectual. The Bible says that unholy sex is a sin against our bodies (1 Cor 6.18). I think this means it pierces boundaries around our hearts, which causes internal disorder. To repair those breeches, we must cling to the Holy One. When we cling to God, who is whole, we become whole. So, worship is how we cling to the Father, which produces wholeness, which enables us to be intimate with humans.
Place boundaries around your heart by being extra choosey on whom you allow into that space. Walk in humility by honoring God’s and other’s boundaries.
Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.