Do you know the biblical interpretation of Jerry Seinfeld's well-known cliché?
"Yada, yada, yada!" You can hardly read that without snickering, can you? Seinfeld has made it a well-known cliché. If you're like me, you translate it, "Blah, blah, blah!" But trust me. This word anything but boring.
The calendar was fast approaching the date of a youth event in Atlanta, Georgia, when I pleaded with God to refresh my heart to impassion teens to live holy, pure lives. I confess I was feeling a bit dried up.
A few days later I was reading Genesis when I noted the familiar passage that claims that Adam "lay" with Eve. Well, I was fairly certain this wasn't as passive as it seemed, so I grabbed my Hebrew dictionary. The word for "lay" was, in fact, yada ... as in "Yada, yada, yada!" (You'll never hear that the same again, will you?) This Hebrew word for "sex" means "known, recognized, understood, respected."
Yada is not the only word the Bible uses for sex. In Genesis 19:33 we find that in desperation to carry on the family name, Lot's "older daughter went in and lay with [her dad]." Yuck! The Hebrew word for "lay" in this instance is sakab. It means "to exchange bodily emissions." It's a mere physical exchange.
Not all sex is the same.
In your quest to discover the truth, remember that. What you see on popular television shows isn't God's plan for your sexual life at all. In fact, His plan is so big that He has yet another use for yada in the Old Testament. You see, it's used nearly 900 times!
The word is used both in reference to a man and wife having sexual intercourse and—get this—in reference to a person being in deep fellowship with God. The book of Ephesians calls God's comparison of His relationship with us to marriage a great mystery. But when our marriage relationships are pure and free from sexual sin, they have so much intense passion in them that they are the closest thing on this earth that God can find to help us understand His passion for us. That's pretty heady stuff!
Let's not stop short with sakab. Let's give this world a picture of our God's great love—"to know, to be known, to be deeply respected."