Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A virgin again

white rose
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 31:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.'" Jeremiah 31:3,4

After all that He has been through with her, God calls Israel a virgin?!

"Only the amazing love of verse 3 could call Israel a virgin," says my Bible commenter.

God here seems to be talking about a process of what is sometimes called "revirginization"—of restoring that which has been lost, squandered or blemished: "Again I will build you and you shall be rebuilt."

The idea of actual sexual revirginization is relevant in our society where sexual looseness is tolerated, even encouraged in movies, TV, books, music—and from the earliest age. Chances are good that if you came to the Lord in your 20s or 30s, though still single, you were no longer a virgin.

Ken Shigematsu in his book God In My Everything talks about sex and spirituality. After describing how God's presence in our lives helps us express our sexuality in wholesome ways, he subtitles a final section "Revirginization." In it he says:

"Perhaps you feel that you have fallen short or have been compromised  because of your past experiences, failing to live out God's ideal …. Perhaps your sexual purity feels like a ship that sailed away long ago."

He quotes Ezekiel 36:25-27 and concludes:

"You may struggle with an ongoing sense of regret or shame over past sexual sins, but God promises to sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean. He offers you a new heart. You don't need to be defined by your past. When you turn to God, you experience a new beginning" - Ken Shigematsu, God In My Everything, p. 106.

If we are plagued by memories and regrets in this area, let's take to heart God's words to Judah, and claim His cleansing and rebuilding for ourselves.

PRAYER: Dear God, we are surrounded by sexual lures and temptations. Please help us to stay pure and accept Your washing and rebuilding when we are plagued by memories and regrets of sexual sin. Amen.


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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