Editor’s Reflections -- By: William David Spencer

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 26:4 (Autumn 2012)
Article: Editor’s Reflections
Author: William David Spencer


Editor’s Reflections

William David Spencer

The Stilwells’ Dodge Ram van weighed five tons. Donna Stilwell weighed 115 pounds. Her husband, Richard, was hardly thinking about the comparison when he slid underneath the van to fix the transmission. But, as he worked on it, suddenly it slipped out of park and the vehicle crushed down on him. He could not move. He screamed for Donna, who dashed out of the house, and leaped into the van, trying to drive it “gently” off him, but “the pain was unbearable.” So, Donna Stilwell, all five feet two inches and 115 pounds, jumped back out, grasped the van over the front left wheel, and lifted the van off her husband. “She has wrist problems and has a hard time moving a coffee table,” Richard reflected afterwards, as he recovered from “internal bruising” and a “broken arm.” “The end result could have been a lot worse if not for the super human strength of his wife,” observed reporter Christina Wallace of the Boston Metro. But, another remarkable aspect Wallace records is that “Donna has reported no back, wrist or arm pains since performing her feat of strength.”1

How much untapped potential power (both physical and spiritual) has God built into the bond of marital love? We know that Genesis 2:24 reveals that God has blessed marriage with a dimension that is itself suprahuman. We are told, “Therefore a male leaves [the Hebrew word y’zb has the force of utter separation, as in forsakes, abandons, leaves behind] his father and his mother and adheres to [dbq, that is, sticks, clings, attaches, even pursues] his wife [a female term, so not another male], and they are becoming [the word is in the imperfect tense] one [that is, united] flesh [or body, or living creature].”2

What is interesting to note is that that same word for a wife and husband becoming “one,” or “united,” is used in Deuteronomy 6:4 in the first great confession that Israel was given. After God called the Israelites out of Egypt, after forty years of wandering, and their victories over Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, as they gathered on the far side of the Jordan River, just before God led them over into the promised land, God gave this new people a great “I believe” statement (that is, a confession, a creed) for the adults to confess constantly, to teach to their children, to place on their gates, their houses, their doorposts, their very bodies: “Hear, Israel, the Lord [singular, this is the Tetragrammaton, the four sacred consonants built out of the verb ‘to live,’ that signified the L...

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