7 July 2014
Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 1 Corinthians 7:1
Apologies. I forgot to post the devotional this morning. I posted it to two sites on Facebook, but never got to the website…. Charlie
In these words, Paul is referring here directly to a question which had been asked of him – “Now of the things of which you wrote to me…” The first of the issues is concerning marriage and his words are probably a direct response to the question. For whatever reason, the issue of celibacy as opposed to marriage had been addressed. The term “to touch a woman” is a way of indicating marriage.
Paul is saying that there is nothing wrong with celibacy. In this, he uses the term kalon, “an excellent thing” instead of a word of lesser impact agathon which means merely “good.” It is this terminology which was probably borrowed word for word from the letter he received. They asked his opinion and he in turn has provided it in confirmation. It would be like someone asking, “Isn’t the sky really blue today?” The answer might be, “Yes, it is really blue.” The words “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” then are his response.
Q: “Is it good for a man not to touch a woman?”
R: “Yes, it is so.”
In other words, what Paul is saying is not intended to mean that it is better to remain celibate than to be married, but not being married is an excellent thing. He will explain his reasons why as he goes on, justifying the soundness of living a celibate life. From this beginning point, he will give quite a few details concerning marriage as well. Some will reflect the Lord’s own words concerning the issue and others will be his interpretation of the state of things.
However, he will speak of the appropriateness of marriage throughout his thoughts. Thus it confirms that he is not using this verse as a greater or lesser comparison, but rather as a confirmatory response to a question.
Life application: Context is always a necessary aspect of our Bible interpretation. If we fail to consider context, we will inevitably come to faulty conclusions concerning matters which will affect our walk with the Lord and our understanding of what is sound or unacceptable for our lives.
How wonderfully marvelous it is to know You more each day Lord! Rising early and reading Your word sets my feet on the right path for what lies ahead. Pondering Your word as I walk along the path keeps me safe from the fiery darts which fly towards me; I am fully protected as I consider Your testimonies. And before I retire to my cherished reward at the end of the day where I can get a bit of rest, I once again open Your word and let it fill me up. And thus, my sleep is sound and filled with thoughts of You. How wonderfully marvelous it is to know You more each day Lord! Amen.